As we make our final preparations for CES and JPM we can’t help but wonder which company is the next to implode and which will be the new rising star. Today we learned that digital health is still a hot topic as OneMedical has filed for an IPO. Yesterday we noted that Valeritas is headed for the insulin pump graveyard. Such is the circle of life one in, one out.
Looking at the roster of companies that will be at either event, there are select few who are doing both, it’s difficult to project who will generate the greatest amount of buzz. A clue might come from the companies behind many of these tech startups or digital health players. Valley neighbors Google and Apple plus their friends to the north Amazon. All three of these behemoths have vowed to change healthcare just as they changed the way we do just about everything.
They have the money to make this happen however so far when it comes to diabetes, we can’t exactly say this money has been well spent. Being geek oriented it’s not at all surprising they have fallen in love with the toys in the toy chest. Nor are we surprised in their belief that technology can solve every problem on earth. Yet like so many others before them they have forgotten about the people who will be using all this way cool whiz bang technology.
It will be interesting to see the reaction to two presentations at JPM – Verily on Monday afternoon and Livongo on Tuesday morning. Will they face real questions about making money, competition and how they plan to deal with the obstacles for growth we have outlined in the past. Or will investors and analysts ignore the real-world realities these companies face and fall in love with more way cool whiz bang.
While we doubt Medtronic who presents on Monday morning will say anything outwardly negative about their struggling diabetes franchise it’s likely they will face some hard questions on what the future holds. They no longer have the coolest toy in the toy chest, by their own admission their CGM system needs work and for the first time in a very long time that goose that lays the golden eggs is in real danger of becoming a dead duck.
One breakout session we’re sure to attend will be after Abbott presents on Tuesday morning. Biggest question everyone has is simple, what the heck is going on with the Libre2 and the FDA.
Yet before any of this begins, we’re actually very excited for CES as this is the ultimate toy fair. Considering the explosion in digital health we expect to see a ton of way cool whiz bang. Granted 95% of this way cool whiz bang will never have much of an impact but damn it is cool. Unlike JPM which has more to do with the harsh realities of actually running a company, CES is filled with excitement and optimism.
And the fact is you never know which one of these way cool whiz bang toys might actually be for real. That’s what makes CES so exciting as every once in a while, you find something that actually might work.
So off we go …..