The J.P. Morgan 33rd Annual Healthcare Conference held in San Francisco this past week is a huge conference for medical device companies. It’s a conference that nearly all the major healthcare companies attend and is a great place for companies to show off new products, talk about what they are planning for the future, and announce new partnerships. This is one of the biggest medical device conferences of the year.
Oracle, not normally known for being involved in medical device, announced that it will use Proteus’ digital pill in its clinical trial data capture and management solution to track patients in clinical trials. The goal is to monitor the patient’s adherence to dosing instructions, monitor how the patient responds to the drug, and see how well the drug works. The pill will alert a wearable patch that the drugs have been ingested, and the patch will then send that information along with other information to a smartphone app. It will be really beneficial in Stage III clinical trials where, according to Oracle, 45% of trails fail partly due to a lack of data regarding patient adherence.
Qualcomm Ventures and Novartis announced they are going to co-fund a joint investment company with $100 million to spend on medical startups. Qualcomm ventures has invested in a number of well-known medical device companies, such as Fitbit and AliveCor. It currently has 18 healthcare startups in its portfolio. Qualcomm’s goal is to mobilize healthcare and further develop the field of digital medicine.
Several companies announced new financing at the conference. 10X Genomics, a company involved in DNA sequencing that provides an innovative genomics platform, said it raised $55.5 million in Series B financing. Augmedix, which uses Google Glass as a platform to reduce the number of hours physicians spend going through data and patient records, said it received $16 million in Series A funding. And finally Ginger.io, which uses a patient’s smartphone activity and self-reported information to make a mental health assessment of the patient, said it raised $20 million in funding.
Boston Scientific CEO Michael Mahoney discussed new innovations the company is working on and he is hoping that they can collaborate with hospitals on product development. He said the goal is to not only help patients but hospitals as well. Hospitals are currently being judged by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services based on metrics like readmission rates and hospital acquired infections. Boston Scientific wants to bring in new technology that will be beneficial to patients and will address hospital budget constraints by improving patient outcomes, shortening length of stays, and reducing readmission rates.
A lot of really important information came out at the J.P. Morgan conference. This conference is known for releasing information from many of the top medical device companies in the world and this year was no different. A few companies announced new funding, a few companies announced new partnerships, and all the companies discussed their plans for the future.