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JPM 2020: MedTech Tackles the “So What?” Around Digital Health

Every January, the worlds of MedTech and BioPharma decamp to San Francisco to network with investment bankers and hedge fund managers at what has become one of the world’s biggest medical industry investment get-togethers – the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Or just ‘JPM’ to veteran attendees.

This year, NHS Surgeon & Clinical Entrepreneur Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, BEM, was invited to attend the 38th edition of the conference, travelling to the Golden Gate City to meet with thought leaders, investors and C-level executives from across a multitude of organisations including medical device companies, insurers and hospital organisations as well as a whole lot more,. all keen to share unique insights into the latest prospects, trends and developments.

“It was really exciting to see so many decision makers and thought leaders from the across industry ecosystem and from all over the world all together in one place,” said Nadine. “It made a change to see so many people wearing suits in the Bay Area – not my experience on previous visits to the city!”

In terms of the main themes and topics that came up for discussion during the event, Nadine commented that a key takeaway for her was how there appears to be a growing focus on innovation around business models across the MedTech sector right now.

“For the last few years, particularly as the concept of digital health has come to the fore, we’ve seen plenty of focus on innovation in technology, as exciting new kit and new devices have come onto the market in what feels like wave after wave. I think in relation to digital health, the medical device and MedTech industry has hit the point where it needs to start answering the “so what?” around the technology, show clearly how it plans to turn clever ideas into viable, sustainable and game-changing solutions. At JPM that there is a wide consensus around this, that the industry is ready to look at what’s next after a very exciting initial phase of technological innovation.”

Building pathways

Nadine continued to comment that “A lot of the discussions I was involved in were centred around how we now take the technology and build it into successful clinical pathways, how we establish a robust business case for it and how we use it to provide value to the wider healthcare ecosystem. In addition to that, there is a lot of interest in how we test clinical excellence within the new paradigms established by the technology, what success will actually look like. That’s critically important from the point of view of clinical outcomes and patient impact, which is why businesses like Proximie are founded in the first place. A lot of people are talking about testing and evaluation way beyond the kind of proof of concept discussions everyone was having a few years ago.”

It is always encouraging and exciting to see hospitals and universities such as Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital and Kings College London play an important role in understanding and evaluating these benefits*

In particular the shift to value-based healthcare in the medical device industry and partnering with innovative technology companies to add value before, during and after surgery. The impact across this perioperative pathway can be hugely impactful, particularly in reducing variation in surgical care and removing cost.

From its origins as a relatively small event where a select group of Wall Street bankers and investor clients would meet with a carefully chosen roster of healthcare companies pitching for investment, JPM has grown considerably in recent years, with MedTech and medical device companies arriving in San Francisco from all over the world to give the conference a much broader focus.

The descent of the great and good from the global medical and pharma industries on San Francisco has also had a notorious impact on prices during the week. “If you are planning on going next year, make sure you have a suitable expense budget – coffee shops were charging $25 just to go in and sit down, never mind order a drink!“ joked Nadine.

“I’m very grateful for the invitation to attend and for all the support and advice we received from various people which meant I was able to be a part of it. Thank you, and I look forward to returning in the future.”

Nadine will be speaking at several forthcoming events across the world in the months to come. Please get in touch to learn more about these and about her mission to reduce variation in surgical care through Proximie.

* https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/st-thomas-medtech-hub-vision-and-showcase-during-london-tech-week