Health IT, Startups

Here are the biggest stories from the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

From Vinod Khosla’s talk about the healthcare startups he loves to hate to Illumina and IBM’s partnership, here are the most noteworthy stories to emerge from the rain-soaked J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference and the satellite events around it.

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In a week that saw countless broken umbrellas and end to the Bay Area’s prolonged drought, the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco featured what it always does: set the fertile ground for healthcare and life sciences dealmaking and networking. From the buzz around Vice President Joe Biden’s appearance to talk about the Cancer Moonshot to Illumina’s partnership with IBM Watson Health, there were plenty of headlines generated at the main conference and the satellite events that accompany it. Here were the biggest stories that emerged from them:

Vinod Khosla: The healthcare startups I hate…

I never look at CPT codes, whether something is billable, what the business model is. I fundamentally look at where’s the value-add in this, what’s new and different. Healthcare startups I hate are the ones who help people increase their billing. Zero value-add from my point of view. I am uninterested. Not that it’s a bad business. People will make money at it.

I’d rather not make a clinic more efficient. I’d rather start a new one that has a radical set of assumptions. [And a portfolio company is doing exactly that, so stay tuned.]

Geisinger Health System CEO launches population health initiative

CEO David Feinberg noted that Springboard Healthy Scranton would include elements such as a fresh food pharmacy — an initiative that “prescribes” a food program for diabetic, food-insecure patients. The initiative will also pull together data, genomics, and double down on community involvement in an interesting combination of population health and personalized medicine.

For Medtronic, old data habits die hard

Deborah DiSanzo, general manager of IBM Watson Health, described Medtronic as a major client for IBM Watson Health and shed some light on the power of that cognitive app called Sugar.IQ. The app was released in the fall as a beta version to gather data from real-world patients. The goal of the cognitive app is to help patients manage this chronic disease better and, notably, to predict an oncoming adverse event for diabetes patients well before it arrives.

Exclusive: SAP dips its toes in the healthcare startup world

Through the StartUp Health SAP program, 15 startups will be selected globally based on certain criteria who will gain access to SAP’s HANA platform. The cloud technology functions as a platform-as-a-service that provides in-memory database and application services. The platform is designed to handle both structured and unstructured data.

Joe Biden: What the hell are we doing?

“What I am trying to do with the Moonshot is not just bring a sense of urgency but bring a change in the culture in medicine,” Vice President Joe Biden said. “You all don’t play well in the sandbox.”

Illumina & IBM Watson form cancer genomics partnership

IBM Watson Health is a serial collaborator, but it chose a pivotal agreement to spotlight at JPM. By integrating with Illumina’s platform, the two companies can create an end-to-end tumor sequencing workflow that could increase accessibility and scalability in the field. It could also address a major problem, said Watson Health Vice President Steve Harvey; a lack of standardization.

Why that infamous LifeSci party might soon get women on boards

It’s 7:15 a.m on the final day of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and Mike Rice, a founding partner of LifeSci Advisors, is exceedingly energetic.

It’s hard to hold that against him because it’s for a worthy cause. Rice is excited because he’s now on the right side of the gender diversity debate in biotech and pharma. And it’s no longer just words. His team has created a program and a movement in less than 12 months.

Photo: lushik, Getty Images