From the rise of wearables and wellness apps to the use of AI in radiology, health technology is making advances across many areas. For Johnson & Johnson Innovation, one of our major priorities is to source the most promising health tech startups and support their development where they most need it.
As part of doing so, we visit many international conferences to seek out new partners. Of those, Slush is one of the most prominent. Slush 2018 marked ten years since the first event back in 2008. In the decade since, Slush has grown into one of the most exciting gatherings of start-ups and investors across the globe. The 2018 event in Helsinki welcomed 20,000 attendees, including more than 3,000 startup companies.
At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, with our status as the largest and most diversified healthcare company in the world, we have a responsibility to lead the next frontier of health and wellness. One key part of doing so is connecting great ideas to the resources needed to make them a reality. That’s why attending events like Slush is so important for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, as we can discover exciting new opportunities for collaboration. By helping our partners change one thing in their specialised areas, we can collectively change everything, unleashing the power of science and technology to advance the health of everyone, everywhere.
At Slush 2018, we put this into practice. Johnson & Johnson Innovation hosted a range of activities to meet the dynamic health tech startups in attendance. As part of our commitment to connect our partners with what they need, we worked with Dr Anna Ploszajski, an award-winning materials scientist and communicator, in hosting icebreaker and storytelling bootcamps. Under Anna’s tutelage, startup representatives were trained on how to incorporate humour into their pitches, how to effectively break the ice in meetings and how to get audiences emotionally invested in a company’s narrative. With their newly acquired skills, attendees had the opportunity after the bootcamps to pitch to Johnson & Johnson Innovation executives.
We also held live demonstrations of various technologies including our Medical Devices virtual surgical training and partner products, Dreem and Skin360. Johnson & Johnson experts and company leaders showcased these technologies and applications, such as how the Dreem headband can boost sleep and how Skin360 analyses skin health with dermatologist grade technology. Combined, the bootcamps and demonstrations drove awareness of Johnson & Johnson Innovation within the health-tech innovation ecosystem, built our reputation as a partner of choice and allowed us to meet interesting companies with new technologies.
Meeting and supporting companies is vital, especially now with healthcare issues becoming more complex and requiring innovative solutions. Health technology has the potential to revolutionise the healthcare space, being able to make improvements in quality of life, treatment and care. It also has the potential to ensure greater cost savings and reduce financial pressure on patients and healthcare providers.
At Slush 2018, we met many promising companies. Now, looking ahead to the future, we will keep finding and working with start-ups, giving them the support they need because we believe that anything can be solved when committed people put their resources and resolve together.