Last week, Leslie Wheeler, EVP of Consumer Science, and Steve Atkinson, VP of Earned Media, attended the annual HLTH conference in Las Vegas alongside 10,000 attendees from diverse sectors: life sciences, health tech, consumer wellness and investors.
The conference boasted an impressive lineup of speakers from renowned personalities like Chelsea Clinton and Arianna Huffington to influential C-suite executives from companies like Microsoft and Moderna. The talks delivered were not just informative but also captivating, drawing substantial attendance.
The overarching themes of the conference revolved around innovation and transformation in healthcare. Every discussion underscored the need to address healthcare challenges and emphasized the pivotal role of partnerships, technology and data in developing effective care models to enhance overall health in America.
Media presence was noteworthy with notable outlets like Modern Healthcare, Med City News, and Axios covering the event. Companies leveraged this opportunity to showcase their perspectives on industry trends and their businesses, securing valuable media coverage. Live-streamed events and podcasts further added depth to the coverage, making it an excellent avenue for clients seeking media exposure.
The exhibition hall was a bustling hub, featuring a diverse array of companies, both big and small, with booth presence. Notable entities like Walgreens, Samsung Health and Google were among the exhibitors. Clients in the health-tech and consumer wellness sectors have an opportunity to showcase their innovations and significantly benefit from having a booth presence.
The conference offered a utopian vision of endless possibilities to revolutionize healthcare and improve the wellbeing of all. However, acknowledging that these innovations would only matter if they could be effectively integrated into the existing healthcare system, reaching those who needed it the most.
Among the myriad of impactful sessions, several stood out to Leslie and Steve:
- Alice Walton's Vision: Alice Walton, in her session, advocated for a preventive healthcare approach, emphasizing the importance of keeping people healthy before chronic illnesses take hold. Her focus on virtual care and transforming healthcare delivery resonated deeply and highlighted the importance of a holistic approach to healthcare.
- Walgreens as the "4th Network": Tracey Brown, EVP, President of Walgreens Retail and Chief Customer Officer, highlighted Walgreens' unique position as the "4th network" in healthcare. Their engagement with communities, building trust and educating people about self-care left a lasting impression on the significance of community-based healthcare initiatives.
- Amazon's Behavioral Change Approach: Neil Lindsay, SVP of Health Services at Amazon, stressed the importance of behavioral change in healthcare. Amazon's customer-centric approach aimed to help people adopt healthier habits with a focus on making healthcare more accessible.
- Curative Payer Insights Panel, Coverage Uncovered: Curative CEO, Fred Turner, discussed how status quo employer-based health insurance is failing working Americans. An eye-opening study conducted by Health Analytics and Insight Group revealed nearly half surveyed say they struggle to afford healthcare expenses in a major medical event, 4 in 10 find they’re OOP costs so expensive they dip into savings and 1 in 3 deferred medical care in the past year over concerns about associated costs. Curative’s solution is $0 copays, OOP costs, preferred prescriptions and deductibles for in-network care after an initial baseline visit in the first 120 days of joining Curative.
- Pervasive Role of AI: Artificial Intelligence was a dominant theme throughout the conference, from startups to tech giants like Google. The responsible integration of AI in healthcare, easing the lives of care providers and enhancing patient connectivity emerged as a central focus, mirroring the overarching theme of connection that permeated the event.