JP Morgan Healthcare 2024: 8 Hot Takes & Insights from Health Tech & Biotech CEOs

8 digital health and life sciences executives share their hot takes and insights from the recent annual JPM Healthcare Conference 2024

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Virgil Bretz, co-founder and CEO of MacroHealth

“The annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is still one of the most efficient ways to meet with capital partners. Other conferences are increasingly attracting the investment community, such as HLTH, but none are as concentrated as JP Morgan. This conference is unusual in that meetings for small and middle market companies typically don’t take place within the official conference but are instead scattered all over the surrounding hotels and restaurants. It can be impossible to find an unoccupied space or even a table to meet and present, but despite this it remains the preeminent event for executives looking to meet with investors. 

One takeaway I had from the event is the sense that capital markets are more optimistic this year. People I spoke with were more positive about the economic climate, with an underlying sentiment that there is still significant portfolio cleanup to do with companies that may have been aggressively funded during the heights of the market.   There is a lot of capital out there right now and quality companies will have no problem securing it, but those that are marginal, or underperforming might continue to have a tough time getting funded.”

Charlie Lougheed, CEO of Axuall, Inc.

“The twenty-twenties have not been kind to healthcare systems. During the last two JPMorgan Healthcare Conferences, health system leaders’ mood was determined yet glum — the pandemic, workforce shortages, burnout, stagnant reimbursement, and depleting budgets were all top of mind. However, while challenges remain, optimism at this year’s event was palpable as the tools and data to mitigate future risks and optimize workforces became available. A movement toward workforce intelligence that proactively addresses an increasingly complex supply and demand dynamic is clearly underway — signaling additional promise for a sector recovering from a painful few years.”

Ellen Rudolph, CEO and Co-Founder of WellTheory

“The biggest challenge for chronic condition management solutions in a growing, saturated enterprise space is consumer awareness. With the reach Omada has with enterprises, partnering with Amazon opens up doors in terms of distribution and letting consumers know that Omada is a benefit they have access to — at massive scale.”

Ron Gutman, Founder & CEO of Intrivo & On/Go

“Metabolic health, weight loss, and obesity are at the center of it all, with GLPs generating the most buzz. Everyone is concerned about adherence and stickiness of the drugs and early data shows that without the appropriate programs, people drop off and gain back all they lost. LillyDirect, more precisely, Big Pharma starting to play the direct-to-consumer game, is getting a lot of attention. There’s a huge opportunity for partnerships between innovative tech startups that are consumer-focused and big pharma that’s focused on R&D and commercialization, of course, with the supervision of doctors. Another popular topic is the pipeline of clinical trials focused on additional benefits of GLPs beyond obesity, diabetes, and weight loss. Several waves are expected around multiple areas of benefits like heart conditions, addiction, and more. And lastly, but definitely not least, Al is huge – every major CEO presentation is focused on it.”

Anu Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder of Millie Clinic

“Women’s health was everywhere at JPM — the mainstage, IPO chatter, sold-out side events, and even news headlines lamenting the lack of spaces to pump milk. The healthcare investing universe is finally catching up to the fact that women are the power users of the healthcare system accounting for 51% of the population and 80% of care decisions.”

BioPhy, Co-Founder and CEO, Dave Lawtshaw II, Ph.D

M&A: The Catalyst for Success in the Pharmaceutical Landscape

Embracing M&A in the pharmaceutical industry has become a powerful strategy to unlock innovation and growth, especially in the face of looming patent cliffs. Front and center at the JPM 2024 Healthcare Conference, M&A activities are fueling the industry’s potential to bring groundbreaking late-stage assets to the market. M&A makes it possible for the best data to rise, enabling rapid advancements in patient care and lucrative returns for shareholders, ultimately benefiting all stakeholders involved.

AI: The Non-Negotiable Ingredient for Pharma’s Survival and Success

The value of incorporating AI into drug discovery and development cannot be overstated. As discussions at the JPM 2024 Conference highlighted, AI adoption is non-negotiable to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving pharmaceutical landscape. By embracing the power of AI and harnessing its insights, the industry has the potential to make targeted breakthroughs, speed up development processes, and ultimately, save countless lives by fast-tracking life-saving treatments to the market.

Putting Patients First: The Core Principle That Transcends Geopolitical Challenges

Addressing the complex interplay of geopolitical risks and global drug supply chains, the JPM 2024 Conference showcased how the pharmaceutical industry must always prioritize patients’ welfare. The industry has a moral obligation to navigate geopolitical minefields and foster resilient, responsive supply chain management that ensures patients remain at the center of decision-making processes, regardless of political tensions that may arise. Given the rising geopolitical risks in 2024, all companies will have to be vigilant as to how these changes impact everything from raw materials to drug product, and ultimately patient mobility.

GLP-1 Antagonists: A Stepping Stone, Not the Ultimate Panacea, in Longevity Research

The promise of GLP-1 antagonists and similar obesity drugs highlighted at the JPM 2024 Healthcare Conference marks a significant leap forward in the fight against obesity and obesity-related diseases. However, it’s important to recognize that these treatments represent only one piece of the longevity puzzle. The industry must remain vigilant about not crowning GLP-1 antagonists as the ultimate solution. Instead, it must continuously invest in developing comprehensive therapies and tackling the complex interplay of factors that contribute to obesity and aging, ultimately pushing the boundaries of human health and longevity with an initial focus on lean mass retention during treatment.

Russ Richmond, CEO and Co-Founder of Laudio

  • Green Money Shoots – The financial situation for hospitals is improving, and most think this will continue over the next year. volumes are also improving.
  • Labor remains a core issue — in fact, every single nonprofit hospital system is still talking about the challenges associated with labor and rising labor-related costs
  • Automating repetitive work in healthcare will be a major trend in 2024 and key to solving some of our largest issues within the system
  • AI remains a big theme

Orr Inbar, CEO and Co-Founder of QuantHealth

“Expect the current market down-cycle to largely be over by mid-year, however, investors will likely maintain a first-principles approach for some time to come. QuantHealth’s in-silico evidence-generation approach can be an invaluable tool for investors to make calculated asset assessments before deploying capital.

Due to cash reserves drying up, many early-stage biotechs will be forced to demonstrate near-term inflection points in their programs, and many will not make it to their next round. QuantHealth can be a strong biotech partner to demonstrate proof-of-concept viability for prospective investors and big-pharma partners.

With the IRA reducing the exclusivity period for many drugs, QuantHealth’s synthetic trials can be an important tool to extend a drug’s label into new indications and to support payor negotiations.

This year will mark a turning point in the integration of biological and clinical data to support end-to-end drug development, as noted by the Caris-ConcertAI and Caris-Flatiron partnerships. QuantHealth’s in-silico platform natively integrates these two knowledge domains into a single learning framework and will be a catalyst for such data integrations and partnerships.”

Emerging health IT vendors: KLAS

Vendors ranging from value-based care to patient engagement were highlighted by healthcare professionals as some of the most promising health IT vendors of 2024, according to a Jan. 16 KLAS report

KLAS asked organizations it interviewed to share the most innovative or potentially disruptive healthcare information technology vendors they have recently come across. The report reflects the feedback received from 52 healthcare professionals.

Here are the emerging vendors categorized by their respective market segments, per the KLAS report:

Clinical tools:

  • Abridge
  • Accuity
  • Artisight
  • CancerIQ
  • ChartSpan
  • Curbside Health
  • DeepScribe
  • Medcurio
  • Spruce Health

Core solutions:

  1. Ascend
  2. Ceribell
  3. Health Gorilla
  4. Juxly
  5. Lirio
  6. Prompt
  7. Tissue Analytics


  1. Aidoc
  2. LucidHealth
  3. Medicom
  4. PocketHealth
  5. Riverain

Patient engagement:

  1. AngelEye Health
  2. Avaamo
  3. B.well
  4. DexCare
  5. League
  6. Lena Health

Pharmacy and smart pumps:

  1. Bainbridge Health
  2. ConsortiEX
  3. GraphiteRx

Revenue cycle and operations:

  1. AKASA
  2. Axuall
  3. Cloverhound
  4. Edgility
  5. Eightfold
  6. Fathom
  7. Glidian
  8. LucidAct Health
  9. Meduit
  10. Pronto Computing
  11. Rhyme
  12. Rivet
  13. SurgLogs
  14. Wave HDC
  15. ZulaFly


  1. Abnormal Security
  2. Exabeam
  4. ThreatLocker

Virtual care:

  1. Accuhealth
  2. BabyScripts
  3. KangarooHealth
  4. Medically Home
  5. Ocuvera
  6. Spring Health

Value-based care:

  1. Acclivity Health
  2. Databricks
  3. Guardian Research Network
  4. Mindoula
  5. Persivia

What Happens to Digital Transformation When Management Is Stuck in the ’90s

Published by Reworked | Digital Workplace | January 10, 2024

Digital tools are helping employees perform their tasks and achieve goals more efficiently. Advancements in technology have catapulted businesses forward at an unprecedented rate. Yet some organizations remain where management has been reluctant to change traditional processes that have proven to be successful in the past to take the leap into new ways of working.

What some workplaces are experiencing today, said Travis Vocino, director of product design at Meta, is a clash of eras — a generational divide that can stifle a company’s growth. “Workers feel held back, creativity is capped, and opportunities for innovation are missed,” he said.

The solution, Vocino said, is through communication and demonstration. Employees must find a way to demonstrate to reluctant managers how adopting modern digital tools can help them achieve better results and avoid them becoming obsolete in the short term. But, as with any change management strategy, the key to success here is to start with small projects that can showcase the potential of digitalization and taking baby steps toward a larger digital transformation plan.

It’s about evolving the game, he said, not changing it overnight. Here are some tips to get the conversation started.

Bring on the ROI

Organizations that continue to use what Sharad Varshney, CEO of OvalEdge, describes as  “legacy management styles” often tend to be old-school leaders, which usually means that for change to be considered, they will need to see proof of concept — especially if new risks or high costs are involved. New, shiny objects aren’t likely to win over the tried and true unless a strong business case is made.

So, when introducing the need for change, Varshney advises employees avoid merely “selling the C-suite” on the tools themselves but rather focusing on the bigger ROI picture.

Tools vendors have a vested interest in making the case that their tool (and their tool alone) can maximize results, he said. The problem is that to stand out from the crowd, they like to create new terms or lingo that while they may sound groundbreaking are either little understood outside of the industry or haven’t been proven over time. Think orchestration, semantic knowledge graphs, self-service, composable data analytics, dynamic discovery, persistence layer — the list goes on.

“This [approach] often creates a lot of confusion around emerging technologies,” Varshney said. And taking that same route when attempting to showcase to management the need for change is ill-considered, he said.

Instead, when trying to convince a legacy management style team of the need for newer tools or methodologies, employees should focus on process improvement, workflows and enhanced management methods. “Demonstrating tangible ROI of these methodologies will be the best way to not only open the minds of the ‘old school’ but get them to open the corporate wallets for these initiatives as well,” he said.

The disconnect between employees who use digital tools and managers who adhere to conventional working methods can also cause significant issues within an organization, said Jared Weitz, CEO of United Capital Source. Communication gaps, for instance, can hamper effective information flow and negatively impact attracting and retaining talent, especially younger workers born into technology. Resistance to using digital technologies can also halt innovation and reduce competitiveness.

To overcome this, Weitz suggests, much like Varshney, that employees take baby steps to demonstrate to leadership the impact of digital tools on productivity and business objectives.

“Leadership may see the benefits of digital tools firsthand by implementing small-scale pilot programs that highlight their advantages,” he said. “Creating a well-communicated digital transformation plan that aligns with overarching business goals is crucial.”

He also believes that establishing a culture of information-sharing, promoting cross-generational collaboration and facilitating communication between management and tech-savvy staff can help overcome the challenges of the digital divide.

Other important steps include addressing security issues and putting strong cybersecurity safeguards in place, providing ongoing feedback and fostering an environment of open communication facilitates understanding and resolving issues.

“Finally, setting a strong example for the rest of the company by aggressively adopting and utilizing digital technologies is an effective strategy,” he said. “Organizations may bridge the gap and establish a workplace that welcomes the opportunities digital tools provide by using these strategic, patient and collaborative ways.”

Establishing a Plan for Change

Before undertaking any significant organizational change initiative, Charlie Lougheed, CEO of Axuall, said leaders and change agents must take time to identify the most important changes needed within the organization and the impetus behind them.

He recommends a multi-step process to ensure organizations are equipped with the tools and strategies necessary to implement successful digital transformations that will enable traditional management to move beyond their current mindset.

1. Identify areas for change: Pinpoint specific areas that require transformations by examining daily pain points and their impact on the organization. Create a vision that supports improvement in key areas.

2. Consider the existing culture: Ensure the purpose of change initiatives aligns with the organization’s mission, vision, goals and culture and that it is supported by leadership. It is also important to identify which initiatives have worked before, which haven’t and why in order to create a rollout customized to your specific organization.

3. Consult with employees: Identify the role-specific processes that digital transformation may impact. Then, ask employees to share insights on potential areas of improvement in their daily work. It’s important to acknowledge the value and role of existing processes in order to determine which evolving technologies are the best fit.

4. Communication-rich plan: During implementation, consistently share the value of innovation, the vision for change and progress toward it. This creates an environment safe for feedback and insights across the organization. Even the most robust, data-rich solutions application should be primarily a people-focused endeavor.

5. Learning and development commitment: Learning and development are essential components of embracing and executing change. While the unknown often makes participants change-averse, education about new processes, roles and responsibilities brings comfort to the workforce amid changing conditions.

6. Measure and monitor progress: Whether through surveys, conversations or hard metrics unique to the organization and its change initiative, ongoing data analytics tracking and review will reveal if the transformation efforts are successful. The data will also highlight the areas that may require attention or adjustment.

Related Article: Effective Coaching Connects the Dots Between Learning and Culture

The Role of Managers

Most businesses have started and progressed along their digital transformation journey, which means those that fail to update their capabilities are likely to be left behind by the competition.

Rick Smith, founder and managing director of Forbes Burton, said the move to a digital landscape has been gradually happening over the past 20 years, so there’s little excuse for today’s managers to be blind to the conditions around them. The onus, he said, should be on managers to stay relevant to their job role, rather than accommodate management practices from the last century into their day-to-day operations.

“Appropriate training should have been provided for them long ago, but if this hasn’t been offered yet, then this should be the first port of call. Those that are still resistant to learning new skills, though are really shooting themselves in the foot,” he said. “While it’s likely that managers that are stuck in the 90s will still have several benefits to bring to the business, it may be that their role needs to change in order for the business to move forward.”

About the Author

David is a European-based journalist of 35 years who has spent the last 15 following the development of workplace technologies, from the early days of document management, enterprise content management and content services. Now, with the development of new remote and hybrid work models, he covers the evolution of technologies that enable collaboration, communications and work and has recently spent a great deal of time exploring the far reaches of AI, generative AI and General AI.

Rethinking Big Data in 2024: How Healthcare Can Leverage Workforce Intelligence to Improve Care

by Charlie Lougheed, CEO of Axuall, for HIT Consultant

The future of healthcare innovation over the next decade will be shaped by insights from clinician big data and AI, otherwise known as workforce intelligence. While clinical discovery is often the first thing that comes to mind, workforce data and the intelligence derived from it represent a lesser-known but equally important place in the future of medicine. 

How we shape healthcare’s workforce, peer networks, and processes comes down to how we use data to surface meaningful information. Leaders must leverage data inside and outside their organizations for healthcare systems to thrive, let alone survive in an arena of extreme supply and demand limitations among doctors, advanced practice providers, allied health professionals, and nurses. 

Workforce Shortages Are the New Normal 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau projections, by 2030, every Baby Boomer will be 65 or older, meaning that one out of every five U.S. citizens will be of retirement age, increasing the use of healthcare services nationwide. Meanwhile, the Association of American Medical Colleges warns that the U.S. could face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034, with more than two of five of today’s active physicians aging over 65 years in the same period. Exacerbating this problem is the growing nurse shortage that threatens access to care for millions of Americans. 

Typically, when healthcare and big data are mentioned in the same sentence, it’s in reference to patient data. When attempting to maximize the patient experience, patient data is a logical first step in addressing the needs of patients. However, the use of patient data, AI, and automated treatment remains a controversial subject.  On the other hand, clinician data entails fewer roadblocks,  holding the key to the discovery of more efficient workforce models to address the existential challenges of workforce shortages, burnout, and attrition. 

Healthcare’s Money Ball Moment

In 2003, Billy Beane, Oakland Athletics general manager, greatly enhanced his strategy for selecting players to create a winning baseball team by altering how he perceived available data. That “Moneyball” strategy could be healthcare’s home run. Data is available, and health systems must change their perception of it to provide the best outcomes for patients and clinical workforces alike.

Beane was successful because he and his team amassed a massive amount of data, analyzed it, and paid attention to the trends. They operated in a place of scarcity and discovered how to build a great team with minimal resources. The U.S. healthcare system’s issues, like workforce shortages and unmanageable workloads, deserve a fresh approach with a similar strategy. 

Clinician Big Data Helps Clinicians and the Organizations They Work For

Clinician big data applies millions of data points to construct a mosaic of the clinical workforce. Much like a phenotype, this data tells a detailed story of a clinician’s career history, including education, training, licensures, employers, facility affiliations, procedural experience, and the patient population traits they have served, benefiting the clinician and organization they work with.

So, how can big data play a role in addressing healthcare workforce issues?

  • Optimizing the Workforce You Have: Healthcare organizations, particularly those that operate across many service lines, license types, locations, and treatment modalities, struggle to keep track of the ever-changing dynamics of their workforce. Leveraging data to align supply and demand in their communities is crucial for efficiently distributing limited resources, preventing over-utilization and burnout, and managing attrition. As the executive director of strategy development for the Mayo Clinic recently stated in a podcast, “We won’t be able to recruit our way out of a workforce shortage.” 
  • Recruiting a Smart Way: When recruiting is the last option, applying workforce analytics to understand the gaps and specific clinician profiles needed to fill them is vital to an efficient growth strategy. Even better, organizations that recruit candidates they know to match those profiles significantly improve their ability to build well-aligned care teams for their patients. 
  • Reducing Onboarding Time and Cost: Collecting information and forms from clinicians and the primary sources who must verify their credentials is a slow, painful, and expensive process, costing healthcare organizations thousands of dollars a day in lost productivity, according to a study conducted by The Health Management Academy. Using big data and intelligent form automation reduces delays in credentialing and enrollment. 
  • Improving Access to Care: Optimizing the workforce means optimizing patient access to care. When clinicians are used more efficiently in roles aligned with their work history and career goals, patients receive elevated care, bettering their experiences. Proper workforce utilization also allows health systems to hire strategically – in an anticipatory manner based on healthcare trends. Access to clinician data enables health systems to staff appropriately before the increase in demand, which means shorter wait times for patients. This capability ensures health systems executives can retain patients while positively engaging clinicians. 

In closing

In reimagining the landscape of healthcare’s potential, the focus must shift from merely accumulating data to actively leveraging it –– especially in the realm of clinician data. The staggering volume of underutilized data is key to resolving today’s critical healthcare issues. Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics may still be waiting for their championship, but that season changed more than just one team –– it revolutionized a sport. Healthcare stands at a similar precipice, ready to transform its approach by embracing clinician big data.

The crux lies in recognizing the multidimensional nature of clinician data beyond traditional qualifications. By dissecting work histories, individual experiences, and aspirations, healthcare systems can weave together a comprehensive tapestry of their workforce. Embracing this holistic view empowers decision-makers to implement micro-credentialing strategies, optimize workforce management through data-informed decisions, and proactively align clinicians with roles that match their expertise and ambitions. This strategic use of clinician data ensures more efficient patient care. It primes healthcare systems to expertly navigate workforce shortages, fostering a symbiotic relationship between patient access, clinician satisfaction, and operational excellence. As the horizon of healthcare expands, the careful application of clinician data becomes apparent –– not just as an opportunity but as an imperative pillar for the future of a resilient, patient-centric healthcare ecosystem.

About Charlie Lougheed

Charlie Lougheed is the CEO and co-founder of Axuall, a workforce intelligence company built on a national real-time Clinician Data Network that enables healthcare organizations to create more efficient care networks while reducing onboarding time by over 70 percent. 

Lougheed co-founded and co-funded Explorys, now IBM Watson Health, in 2009 as a spin-off from Cleveland Clinic. Explorys became the leader in healthcare big data and value-based-care analytics, spanning hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and over 60 million patients across the United States. Having amassed the World’s largest clinical data set, Explorys went on to serve the payer, life sciences, and pharmaceutical sectors by providing real-world evidence and insight for product planning, research, health economic outcomes research, and safety.