Why eMerge Americas is putting healthtech innovation front and center at 2024 conference

By Nancy Dahlberg

When you enter the Miami Beach Convention Center for the eMerge Americas conference next April, you are going to see “a very expansive pavilion” made up of large, interactive experiences along with a showcase of startups all within healthtech. A special stage in the pavilion area will feature talks by healthtech experts throughout the two days, explains eMerge CEO Melissa Medina. “I don’t think you can miss it.”

She’s describing plans for the new Healthtech Innovation Hub coming to eMerge Americas. Together with partners with Jackson Health System and UHealth – University of Miami Health System, eMerge announced the Healthtech Innovation Hub will bring together healthcare providers, companies and investors to explore the intersection of technology and medicine through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations and discussions.

In an interview today with Refresh Miami, Medina said this innovative experience will provide a platform for companies and individuals across the healthcare spectrum. “So it’s healthcare executives from across the US and Latin America, payers, healthcare solution providers, startups innovating in this space, investors, we are bringing together stakeholders within the healthtech innovation system for a very interactive experience throughout the two days of eMerge.”

eMerge Americas CEO Melissa Medina

A theme that will be front and center is how important the patient experience is in delivering better health outcomes. “The Patient Experience” experience will explore at-home wellness, outpatient/ambulatory care, pharmacy, lab/diagnostic imaging, acute care, hospital at-home and inpatient/outpatient rehab using the latest advancements in technology like telehealth and remote monitoring; AI-driven patient engagement, personalized medicine, smart rooms and more.

“By collaborating with the tech industry giants at eMerge Americas to create the new Healthtech Innovation Hub, we will bring together healthcare leaders, innovators, and change makers to tackle some of the industry’s greatest challenges and opportunities to continue improving the patient experience,” said Carlos A. Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System, in a statement.

Why now? “The data is showing that in terms of healthtech, it’s becoming one of the most enticing sectors for investors in our state,” Medina said. “In South Florida, it’s second right after FinTech and it’s catching up. And we’re just seeing that so much movement and activity within the sector. Being able to partner with two of the leading healthcare institutions, we felt that this was the right time to launch it.”

Indeed, investors put $591 million into South Florida-based medtech companies last year, second only to fintech, according to the 2022 eMerge Americas Insights Report. This year, South Florida VC funding across all sectors will likely be down by more than 50% with deal sizes on average sharply lower, according to my research, but funding in the medtech space will likely come within 15% to 20% of matching 2022’s results, with deal flow largely holding up.

What’s more, amid a strong healthcare industry in South Florida serving a large population of seniors, medtech innovation has long been a leading sector for the region, with companies like Insightec, Neocis, CarePredict, ModMed and others leading the way. A strong indicator for the future is that more than a third of all the pre-seed or seed rounds into South Florida companies this year have gone to medtech concepts.   

Next year at eMerge Americas, in addition to the talks in the pavilion, healthtech will also be explored on the main stage, with a handful of speakers to be announced after the new year, Medina said. But one big name has already been announced: Peter Diamandis. “He’s the perfect example of a global thought-leader in both tech, specifically AI, and health, as his focus is on longevity and prevention. He is co-founder of several companies who are using advanced technologies to provide early detection and prevent disease before they happen,” Medina said.

The HealthTech Innovation Hub will also feature an executive track for up to 50 health system executives who will participate in private breakouts and roundtable sessions facilitated by eMerge, “connecting the dots between these executives, so that there’s a transfer of knowledge happening,” Medina said.

The 2024 eMerge Americas conference, which will take place April 18-19 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, will also be a 10-year celebration for the organization. Medina said the healthtech hub is something they hope to continue to grow annually.

“In the phenomenal feedback we’ve had in less than 24 hours since we’ve pushed out the press release, it seems like there’s definitely a huge appetite for this. For our 10-year anniversary, we wanted to make sure that we’re adding new, exciting components and I think this is definitely one of them.”


Nancy Dahlberg