MedTech Trends for 2024: Takeaways from JP Morgan's Health Conference
With the new year just beginning, I was fortunate to attend the JP Morgan Health Conference 2024 to learn more about the trends shaping the healthcare and life science industry for the next twelve months. Among the number of groundbreaking announcements and sessions, a prominent theme at the conference was the huge momentum of digitization efforts across healthcare. The driving forces behind this ongoing transformation include:
- the imperative for greater efficiency (e.g. rising costs in drug development)
- the demand for better patient experience/care
- the remarkable potential of innovative software and artificial intelligence (AI)
The future of medicine is moving beyond science fiction.
Major announcements were made on site that demonstrated that medical software and manufacturing won’t be slowing anytime soon: United Therapeutics captured attention by revealing plans to construct the first-ever factory dedicated to manufacturing computer-designed human organs. CEO Dr. Martine Rothblatt shared insights into their prototype facility, developed in collaboration with the FDA, which is designed to scale up production to build 150 human parts each year. This development is particularly promising, considering the significant unmet need for transplants, with almost 100,000 individuals awaiting kidney transplants across the US alone.
Nvidia, a key player in AI technology, took center stage by announcing a groundbreaking multimillion-dollar deal to build the world’s largest pharmaceutical supercomputer. This investment is poised to revolutionize drug development by harnessing the power of AI for more sophisticated simulations and analyses, driving research in a more efficient manner.
AI is moving from drug development into other parts of the pharma/biotech ecosystem.
The role of AI/ML in various facets of the healthcare industry was another major focal point of discussions, with AI making strides in reshaping how healthcare operates in medical devices, digital health, supply chain optimization, and manufacturing processes. In drug development, manufacturers are aiming for impressive milestones, as exemplified by DeepMind's groundbreaking AlphaFold. However, the technology still needs to mature into more complex use cases, like multi-protein interactions. With that said, it is clear that many companies are looking for more significant bottom-line impact through the use of AI in more downstream processes like manufacturing, critical quality attribute (CQA) prediction, and supply chain.
Basic machine learning (ML) methods have been shown to accurately predict CQAs of pharmaceutical products as well, a breakthrough that will help determine the viability of a given batch and whether continued testing would be worth pursuing. With accurate calculations, the practical applications of machine learning in quality control will save researchers and manufacturers time and effort, which in turn will lead to more innovations and drugs reaching patients who need them.
Medical software is only going to get bigger and strive for greater goals
Prior to the era of AI, digital transformations were already underway to enhance patient experience, treatment value, and adherence. Companies like ResMed, which made almost $400M in Software as a Service (SaaS) revenues in 2022, have been at the forefront, utilizing software across their value chains and delivering more efficient and improved treatments to patients. Following this leadership, the broader industry is now actively transforming its product development processes to prioritize the digital experience and user comfort.
The integration of connected digital health in the medical device industry marks a significant leap in enhancing patient experience. These technologies, including wearable monitors and telemedicine, offer personalized, efficient healthcare through continuous monitoring and real-time data. This immediacy not only empowers patients but also enables healthcare providers to offer targeted treatments. Improved communication with AI will lead to proactive care and better health outcomes, pushing healthcare towards a more patient-centric future. This continued development, along with the advances made in personalized drug development, will come to fruition in the coming decade as companies continue to prioritize AI integration.
JP Morgan's Health Conference emphasized the increasing impact of AI, digitization, and collaborative efforts reshaping a new era of healthcare. Our team at Ketryx is thrilled to be partners with these innovative companies aiming to improve patient health outcomes using AI/ML. We know these advancements not only signal a promising era for transformative healthcare solutions but also acknowledge the eager anticipation of patients awaiting these groundbreaking developments. As we step into this new year, these major topics signal a promising era of transformative healthcare solutions—we know that patients are waiting on them, and we look forward to facilitating these breakthroughs through collaboration!