Even though 2020 has just begun, next week will arguably be one of the biggest weeks of the year for the healthcare industry. During this time, the city of San Francisco, California will become a temporary hotbed of innovation, hosting thousands of executives and investors for the 38th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference – an annual investment symposium convening 9,000+ people from 450+ private and public companies from January 13 to 16.
It’s a time when investors from new startups to those with billions in market capitalization will convene to discuss the biggest industry trends and for investors to better understand tomorrow’s hottest innovation trends.
As part of the greater conference, some leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs will also attend the StartUp Health Festival from January 13 to 14 to achieve a series of “Health Moonshots”, and conduct over 40 fireside chats with some of today’s leading voices in healthcare (more on that below). Says StartUp Health’s website, their moonshots aim to support the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for health and wellbeing by the end of the decade, and also improve the health for all by 2040. (For more, watch the event live on startuphealth.com, Jan 13 and 14.)
One of many other events of note is Mayfield and AWS' Health Innovator Summit: Conversations on Accelerating Innovation, in San Francisco at the AWS Loft. Attendees include the CXOs of leading hospitals, pharma, entrepreneurs and innovators and we will hear from panelists at companies like the Food and Drug Administration, Stanford, CNBC, the American Medical Association, 23andMe, the University of California Health System, Sutter Health, and Oliver Wyman.
Ten Hot Topics Leaders Will Be Talking About
Here are some of the many discussions and debates to expect next week – conversations that will likely shape the industry for both the year and decade ahead.
1. Health reform. With the next US presidential election happening later this year, health reform will be a hot topic for investors, especially as the Trump administration pushes for greater consumer price transparency and specialty drug spend outpaces traditional drug spend. Says J.P. Morgan’s event website, “Healthcare remains a key issue for voters ahead of the 2020 elections, with drug pricing reform, patient affordability and the changing role of the consumer major themes for both the US pharmaceutical industry and the 2020 presidential candidates.” Expect talk of political policies to be rampant.
2. Consumer technology and accountability. There’s now widespread understanding and recognition across the greater industry that consumer behaviors drive health outcomes. “We’ve seen a lot of energy around the health data graph, but this energy has been spread unevenly…and NOT necessarily where it’s potentially the most impactful,” said Oliver Wyman on this topic. “Although it’s unclear who will one day own a consumer data, it’s likely there will be some level of permissioning from the consumer to use their data.” We’ll see what else on this topic is discussed next week.
3. Patients around the world. Healthcare from a global vantage point, including the digital health revolution in the United Kingdom, was a big theme of last year’s J.P. Morgan event, as was driving industry transformation on an international scale. Expect a continuation of this topic this year, too. And, talk of the greater impact of climate change on healthcare.
4. Diagnostics access. As Oliver Wyman has reported, healthcare will face a shortage of over 731,000 jobs by 2025. “With a big deficit of healthcare workers just around the corner, the advent of artificial intelligence will quickly become a question not of if (or even when) but of how fast,” said analysts.
5. Mental health. A reported one in five Americans struggles with mental illness. According to Oliver Wyman, mental health in a typical employer claims set represents four percent of claims but affects one-fourth of costs. Mental health will continue to be a hot topic this year as the notion of merging mind and body takes hold.
6. An end to cancer. By the end of the decade, the number of new cancer cases is projected to exceed 23 million. Perhaps as an industry, we’re getting closer to this collective goal. According to a recent CNN article, the rate of people dying from cancer has been steadily dropping. We’ll see what new strategies leaders can adapt to continue this decline in cancer diagnoses across the greater patient population.
7. Opioids. According to an Oliver Wyman analysis, “Although Appropriate Use Measure guidelines indicate fewer than 15 opioid pills are necessary, many orthopedic surgeons, for instance, prescribe an average of 40 pills to patients in their practice.” We expect the opioid problem, and solutions, to be addressed next week head-on.
8. Cost. According to Oliver Wyman analysis, “Cost-sharing has reached its limits. Going forward, the industry must use new cost control tools to manage expenses.” What these new tools are remains to be seen next week.
9. Women’s health. Females, according to Oliver Wyman analysis, make 80 percent of consumer buying decisions in healthcare but are only 13 percent of healthcare’s Chief Executive Officers. “The female consumer voice – the one often in charge of not only their own healthcare, but the healthcare of others around them – is still falling on deaf ears,” said Oliver Wyman. “The bottom line is when all consumers receive personalized care under a supportive and transparent delivery system, the healthcare industry will thrive and flourish. It’s time for the industry to give consumers – both female and male – the health system they are asking for.”
10. Curing disease. Chronic disease. Obesity. Heart attacks. The list goes on. Said Oliver Wyman earlier this month, “We envision a time when the warning signs of chronic disease are recognized long before illness and disease take hold. These are the data problems in the next decade. In the meantime, we’re betting it’s worth the effort.”
Expert Perspectives Across Industry Sectors
Here is just a small sampling of many experts we’ll be hearing from next week.
- Bertrand Bodson, Chief Digital Officer, Novartis. Bertrand will take part in a fireside chat at StartUp Health. Novartis will be talking about the greater state of health and life sciences.
- Toby Cosgrove, Advisor, Google Cloud and Cleveland Clinic. Toby is also speaking at StartUp Health. Cleveland Clinic’s work to ensure social factors, mental health, and social determinants of health play a more prominent role in care delivery is considered a model to emulate across the industry. This includes their work over the past decade to hand over support services to local businesses to ignite the local job market.
- Jamie Dimon, Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Co. According to Oliver Wyman, JPMorgan Chase’s announcement to start an independent healthcare company alongside Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway “signals a true wakeup call” for the industry, a venture that could potentially move healthcare into an “anticipate-prevent” model.
- Chrissy Farr, Healthcare & Technology Reporter, CNBC. At last year’s StartUp Health event, Chrissy spoke on an all-female panel alongside executives from Sanofi and Intel about artificial intelligence, female leadership, and gender parity in healthcare. We expect she’ll use her executive interview expertise to ask panelists hard-hitting questions to find some clarity in an industry in flux.
- David T. Feinberg, MD, MBA, Head of Google Health. David will also take part in a fireside chat at StartUp Health. Recently, at the HLTH 2019 Conference in Las Vegas, David discussed the concept of when Google meets healthcare and how search engines will one day transform the future of care delivery. "Healthcare, as we all know, has so much more to do than just what's happening in your body. Let's go out of the body now [and] start answering the question, 'Can we impact health?'" he asked attendees.
- Marty Makary, MD, New York Times bestselling author, Johns Hopkins surgeon, and Professor of Health Policy. Marty will also be on a fireside chat at StartUp Health to discuss inappropriate medical care. According to both Marty and Oliver Wyman analysts, “Physicians estimate that over 20 percent of healthcare delivered in the United States is unnecessary. And this wasteful care comes with incredible financial consequences. Every year, a staggering $265 billion is wasted nationwide on unneeded care – more than twice the annual federal government’s infrastructure budget. It is easy for physicians, health plans, and patients to point fingers and assign blame.”
- Molly McCarthy, National Director of US Health & Chief Nursing Officer, Microsoft. One of many companies that is embracing an open standard as part of the greater Apple Health movement, Microsoft has already partnered with Adobe, Change Healthcare, and Premera. We expect to hear more on how big tech companies are collaborating with those in medicine and care delivery to help solve some of healthcare's biggest problems.
- Roy Schoenberg, MD, MPH, President & CEO, American Well. As Roy told Oliver Wyman, “It’s no secret that everybody, in any business today, is looking for disruption; but healthcare is a very unique industry. When you think about disrupting healthcare, not everything is fair game. State and federal regulations heavily govern the rules of engagement for the industry. So while the healthcare is ripe for disruption, it’s challenged because we have to be very respectful in that some of the cogs of the wheel should be maintained or retained and can't be discarded for the purpose of innovation.”
- Ed Simcox, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. HHS. As Oliver Wyman has reported, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made some big announcements last year, including the CMS Primary Care Initiatives, a rule to slash Medicare Part D and Medicaid managed drug rebates for point-of-sale consumer discounts, and more.
- Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive Officer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). According to Oliver Wyman, this British pharmaceutical company’s partnership with Manchester’s health system to tackle chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is resulting in faster drug access and is helping redefine clinical guidelines and reimbursement approaches for new therapies and drugs. We expect to hear more about GSK’s advancing pipeline.