Even without the jam-packed hallways, face-to-face investor meetings and nightly cocktail parties, this year’s virtual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference still proved itself a valuable stage for healthcare leaders to share their plans.
According to a J.P. Morgan spokesperson, the virtual conference drew a larger crowd than normal, too, saying, "We had little over 12,000 confirmed attendees as of the Friday before the conference started versus about 10,000 last year."
As is typical of investor conferences, this one had a fair amount of bragging about sharp revenue or volume rebounds even as the COVID-19 crisis rages on. But there were also blunt assessments of the challenges companies face in climbing out of the hole the pandemic left them in. For insurers, there was concern about what the future brings as people return for care they put off.
After nine months that felt like nine years, presenters at this year’s conference—including the CEOs of major drugmakers—shared their beliefs that the vaccine distribution process will pick up steam.
Until then, companies are doing their best to differentiate themselves in a tough market. Device companies are touting their data capabilities. Health systems are expanding their ambulatory surgery networks. And everyone is trying to get more comfortable living with uncertainty.