MedTech Highlights from J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and CES (The MedTech Download)

Kelly Springs-Kelley
January 21, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • This year’s JPM 2021, although virtual, was packed with key insights and market projections from the industry’s giants.
  • In addition to the J.P. Morgan event, CES took place the week of January 11th. And while the event has a broader focus, there was no shortage of medical gadgets on display.
  • In what has become a fascinating saga, the consequences continue related to an Elon Musk Tweet and it’s dramatic impact on a small MedTech company.

JPM 2021: Intuitive Surgical, Accelerate Diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers, Exact Sciences, Renalytix

The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is the preeminent event of the medical device world. The self-described “largest and most informative healthcare investment symposium in the industry” hosts some of the largest MedTech companies in the world. In 2020, the event took place in San Francisco and welcomed 450 companies and more than 9,000 attendees. Thinking about that kind of makes you nostalgic, right? This year, like every other major event, instead of badges, attendees got login details, and the virtual JPM 2021 kicked off.

Many of the presenting companies discussed the impact of the pandemic, whether it was in relation to disrupted supply chains or opportunities that presented themselves. Yet there was still plenty of talk surrounding innovation that has the potential to radically change healthcare. One of those was Exact Sciences’ “acquisition of the worldwide exclusive license to the proprietary TARDIS minimal residual disease test from the Translational Genomics Institute.” Through the move, the company iterated its desire to become the leader in multi-cancer screening and colon cancer testing.

Medical Gadgets at This Year’s CES 2021

Image: Nexvoo

No matter if you are in MedTech or FinTech, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is a showstopper. It is a glimpse into the future, featuring up-and-coming tech advancements from more than 40 product categories. Think digital health, entertainment, and IoT/sensors, just to name a few. CES has been the place where some of the greatest innovations of our time were announced, from the VCR in 1970 to virtual reality in 2015. Whether you attend for work or pleasure, you will find yourself enrapt from the moment you walk through the door.

This year, MedGadget provided a rundown of some of the most noteworthy medical gadgets at the virtual 2021 event. Some products of note included Nexvoo’s face mask, Breeze, which is both transparent (because we miss seeing other people’s expressions). It also has two silent fans that circulate and filter the air. Valencell, whose biometric sensor technology is already used in many devices, announced a calibration-free, cuffless blood pressure technology that can be used in wearables on the finger, wrist, and ear. Want to learn more? Read the entire article here.

The Strange Saga of Elon Musk, WhatsApp, & a Small MedTech Firm Continues

If you haven’t already heard this story, it bears repeating. There are two things that people know to be true: the power of celebrity (especially on Twitter) and the reactionary nature of the stock market. Much like death and taxes, for the most part, you can depend on both. Earlier this year, the two collided. The results were immediate and lasting for two companies – WhatsApp and a lesser-known MedTech firm called Signal Advance.

It began when the Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced new terms of service, outlining the company’s intention to collect more user data. Considering the fact that Facebook has already felt user anger for it’s data collection policies, it is a wonder why they didn’t expect the immediate push back. Users immediately contemplated leaving the platform for an alternative. That’s when Musk stepped in with a Tweet that would result in Signal Advance’s stock skyrocketing overnight – on accident.

Neuromod Portfolios Advance at Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Abbott

As we have discussed, neuromodulation devices are nothing new. In fact, in the 1960s, the first neuromodulation device, a deep brain stimulator, treated intractable pain. Fast-forward to now, where these devices are a promising alternative to managing neurological disorders with pharmaceuticals.

MedTech Dive recently covered a virtual meeting hosted by the North American Neuromodulation Society. Three of the largest companies active in the space discussed their portfolios as they move into 2021. As the article reports, “the neuromodulation industry went into 2020 looking to bounce back from a flat 2019 defined by a lack of new products capable of driving growth. COVID-19 disrupted those plans.” Here’s how they plan to move forward.

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