The Health.Tech 2024 conference, held on the 5th and 6th of June at the Munich International Conference Centre, brought together some of the brightest minds and innovators in the digital health sector. Powered by Bits & Pretzels, this marquee German/DACH conference, affectionately known as the Roche/EIT Health show, provided a platform for insightful discussions and forward-thinking strategies in healthcare technology. After days of heavy rain and inundation, the much-welcomed sunshine rendered the ice cream bar a popular spot among attendees, adding a light-hearted touch to the event. 2024 conference
The 2024 conference was held in Munich on the 5th and 6th of June 2024

A Time of Reflection and Anticipation

As we near the halfway mark of 2024, the conference came at an opportune time. The year’s first half was marked by high-profile failures, such as those of Sensely and Akili, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the sector. The overall mood at the conference was one of cautious anticipation, with many stakeholders appearing to be in a holding pattern, staying busy while awaiting clearer directions.

Digital Health Startups: A Strong Presence at Health.Tech 2024

A notable aspect of the conference was the strong presence of digital health startups. These ventures showcased innovative solutions, reflecting the sector’s dynamic and evolving nature. Galen Growth’s comprehensive analysis and report on these startups detailed their activities and impact.

EIT Health took the opportunity to announce the opening of its DiGinnovation programme, highlighting its commitment to fostering digital health innovation. Galen Growth’s ongoing analysis of EIT Health’s digital activities since its inception underscores the significance of such programmes in driving the industry forward.

High-Level Discussions and Key Takeaways

While the speaking sessions were primarily high-level and occasionally felt like pure infomercials, they nonetheless provided valuable insights. Key takeaways from the conference included:

The European Ecosystem

Discussions delved into how healthcare is embedding new technologies and the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping the future of mental health. A significant focus was on the European Health Data Space and its role in fuelling the deployment of AI. However, there were concerns that Europe’s principal focus on regulation, rather than building blocks for innovation acceleration, could negatively impact the healthcare ecosystem.

Clinical Safety and Trust in Digital Health

A critical theme was the importance of clinical safety and building trust in digital health and AI. This aspect is crucial for the sector’s credibility and efficacy. Galen Growth conducts a valuable annual assessment of the status of clinical evidence in digital health globally, and their in-depth analysis is highly recommended for understanding the progress and challenges in this area.

Cardiac Disease Management

Another significant topic was the transformation of cardiac disease management through technology. Despite being the leading cause of death worldwide, cardiac diseases often receive less attention. The conference highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between care settings through innovative technologies.

TechBio: A Much Favoured Topic

TechBio emerged as a favourite topic, reflecting the integration of technology and biotechnology. Sessions covered various aspects, including:

– Exploring the rise of TechBio and its future prospects.

– Highlighting innovations in this critical area.

– Discussing the merging frontiers in HealthTech and BioTech.

– Leveraging AI and technology in the pharmaceutical sector.

Galen Growth’s analysis emphasises the critical role digital health will play in the future of biopharma drug pipelines, making this a key area of interest.

Health System Overhaul and Future Visions

Another major focus was overhauling the full provider value chain to create resilient health systems. Discussions included:

– Improving Staffing, Patient Experience, and Sustainability: How technology can drive improvements in these areas.

– Providers’ Visions for the Hospital of Tomorrow: Charting the course for future healthcare facilities.

These topics form the second of the two Centres of Gravity for digital health scaling. To further explore these themes, Galen Growth will co-host a panel with FINN Partners at HLTH Europe in Amsterdam on 17 June 2024.

Galen Growth’s analysis of US health systems’ activities in leveraging digital health innovation is highly recommended for those interested in a deeper understanding.

Looking Ahead

Julien de Salaberry, CEO of Galen Growth, was among the thought leaders invited to share insights, and he extends his gratitude to the organisers for the opportunity.

The next key event in digital health in Europe is the HLTH inaugural Europe conference in Amsterdam from the 17th to the 20th of June 2024. This conference promises to continue the momentum visible at Health.Tech 2024. See you all there.

Read our short blog on all marquee conferences in 2024.