The ‘digital-first health care system’ is coming: Excerpts from day two of Fortune Brainstorm Health

May 12, 2022, 10:20 AM UTC
Updated May 12, 2022, 2:41 PM UTC

Good morning.

I spent much of day two at Brainstorm Health in conversation about connected health—or as Cigna CEO David Cordani put it: “harnessing technology and data to bring health care to people, rather than them having to go to get care.” The end goal is a world where people can manage their health and wellness on a smartphone, much as they do their finances. The trend got underway before COVID, and was accelerated by the pandemic, when telehealth and on-demand services became the norm. But obstacles still abound. Organizing the data from various tests, wearable devices, and other sources on a single platform is one. Getting payers to reimburse for telehealth and virtual care is another.  

Some excerpts from the daylong conversation:

“There is a dramatic shift in what consumers are expecting from health care. Health care in the future will be digital. It will require big advances in digital technology.”
Karen Lynch, CEO, CVS Health

We have been seeing this convergence of health tech and electronic tech accelerate during the pandemic. We see this as the next frontier, that will bring more democratic power to health care.”
—Robert Ford, CEO, Abbott

The pandemic brought care into the home.”
Diana Gelston, vice president of virtual care sales, Best Buy Health

“You need an operating system of health care…that will let you take these useless things called wearables and attach them to your doctors and to other data, to bring your health care to life.”  
—Adrian Aoun, CEO of Forward, a health-tech company

“Within five to seven years we will have a digital-first health care system.”
Ron Emerson, global health care lead, Zoom

“Consumers are demanding something different. They want care on demand, whenever, wherever, and however they want.”
—Dr. Fatima Paruk, chief health officer, Salesforce

Also yesterday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian was on hand, talking about his company’s decision to hire a chief health officer. He reported demand for air travel today is greater than it was pre-pandemic, and the industry, as a whole, is desperately trying to catch up.

The day ended with a conversation between Arianna Huffington and singer-songwriter John Legend about the importance of sleep. Legend’s take:

“As a singer, I must say, I sing better when I sleep. My body is very much in tune with my voice. If I’m not well rested, I know the difference, and my audience knows the difference.”

More coverage from Brainstorm Health here. Other news below.

Alan Murray


Crypto meltdown

It’s a bad time for “stablecoins” and hence the rest of the cryptocurrency world. The “dollar-pegged” TerraUSD coin “depegged” to below $0.30, and even the mysterious Tether, also supposedly backed up by real dollars, fell to $0.95. Bitcoin fell more than 10%, dropping below $26,000 at one point. Ethereum’s fall was more like 17%. (Bonus read: Bitcoin’s steady plummet has erased all the gains made by Elon Musk’s Tesla since he bought $1.5 billion worth with the car firm’s war chest early last year.) Fortune

Musk probe

The SEC is investigating Elon Musk’s late submission of a public form notifying the agency of his purchase of a large stake in Twitter. He crossed the 5%-stake threshold on March 14 and should have therefore disclosed the stake by March 24, but it took him another 10 days to do so. The delay reportedly saved Musk over $143 million because, had the market known about his growing stake, Twitter’s share price might have risen. Wall Street Journal

Moderna CFO

Say goodbye to Moderna’s new chief financial officer, Jorge Gomez, who just stepped down after one day on the job. Turns out his former employer, Dentsply Sirona, is investigating both current and former executives over their use of incentives with dealers. Bloomberg

Plane fire

A Tibet Airlines plane burst into flames during a failed takeoff, leaving more than 40 injured, though no fatalities have been reported. The plane had veered off the runway. It’s the second aircraft disaster in China in as many months. Fortune


NATO expansion

Finland’s leaders have decided the country should join NATO ASAP. The application is expected next week, after Prime Minister Sanna Marin gets the permission of her party and parliament. Sweden may make its own application at the same time; stay tuned for decision-making this weekend. Reuters

Fed tightrope

Fortune’s Will Daniel on the tightrope that the Federal Reserve is now walking: “Some experts argue that fighting inflation, which remains near a four-decade high, must come first…Others are concerned that fighting inflation will only lead the economy into a recession.” Fortune

Northern Ireland

The unresolved issue over where customs checks between Ireland/the EU and the U.K. should go is back on the agenda, big-time. The U.K.’s attorney general claims it would be legal to override parts of the post-Brexit treaty that put the checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K., because of the social unrest this is causing. Showdown time, then. BBC

Housing switch

“As data trickles in for April, it’s becoming clear that the historically hot housing market has flipped trajectories,” writes Fortune’s Lance Lambert. “It’s now in cooling mode. The number of homes listed for sale is rising again. Fewer shoppers are scheduling tours…This softening is by design.” Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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