Abbott Laboratories (ABT) will be the first health care company to headline one of the largest technology conferences in the country in 2022.
The keynote speech by CEO Robert Ford is slated for CES 2022, which will return to being a live event in Las Vegas in January.
The announcement puts an emphasis on the growth of health technology as a sector, a trend which grew out of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think it's very timely that a health care company does deliver a keynote," Ford told Yahoo Finance in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
The convergence of health care and technology has been occurring over the past several years, as seen by the efforts of Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (APPL), and Samsung. But the past year and a half has given the sector a huge boost.
"We've been through this incredible experience with COVID and the pandemic, and the importance of health is front and center for sure," Ford said.
In the first half of 2021 alone, for example, digital health saw a record-breaking $14.7 billion in funding, according to RockHealth.
“Technology improves lives, and now more than ever, we are witnessing technology’s incredible impact on health care, allowing us to take better control of our health,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the conference's parent entity, CTA. “We’ve seen a rapid shift in health-care innovation, with technology leading the charge to bring quality health care to all global citizens. We are thrilled to welcome Robert to the CES keynote stage to share more about Abbott’s vision for the future of health care.”
Shapiro noted that health in technology has grown significantly in recent years, as evidenced at CES. The annual multi-day show includes Digital Health Summit, which takes places alongside the main event.
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