Abbott CEO Robert Ford Discusses COVID-19 Testing and Health Tech Revolution at JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Originally published at Abbott ranked No. 4 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.


The COVID-19 pandemic launched Abbott to the front lines. And a diversified business portfolio kept the company strong throughout 2021 even as virus rates yo-yo’ed between spikes and dips before cresting with an end-of-year surge.

As 2022 kicks off, Abbott Chairman and CEO Robert Ford participated in the virtual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and shared insight on COVID-19 testing, the company’s leading role in the health tech revolution, its diversified business model and growth opportunities in the new year.

Here are several highlights from the session:

  • COVID-19 testing remains a critical tool to tackle the virus together with vaccines and other public health measures. Abbott has established a global leadership position in COVID testing — particularly rapid testing. Mr. Ford noted that across Abbott’s manufacturing operations, the company is making more than 100 million tests per month globally. In the U.S., Abbott is producing 70 million BinaxNOW rapid tests in January.
  • Abbott made history at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Jan. 6 as the first-ever healthcare company to keynote the world’s largest and most influential tech event. Abbott represents the breakthrough convergence of healthcare and tech with its portfolio of smaller devices, which are less intrusive, more remote, better connected and automated, helping create a future where healthcare is more personal and precise.
  • Abbott is developing a new category of consumer bio-wearables called Lingo, designed to track key signals in the body — such as glucose, ketones and lactate — and turn these into actionable data and personalized insights.1
  • Strong growth continues for Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system, which is approaching 4 million users globally thanks to the accessibility and affordability built into the technology’s design. The FreeStyle Libre system is the world’s most affordable glucose monitor2 and most widely used.3
  • Abbott’s robust pipeline includes a great balance of transformational and incremental opportunities underway. These opportunities include Nutrition, which is continuously expanding its portfolio; Diagnostics, with its ongoing roll-out of new Alinity systems and expansion of test menus across the company’s rapid diagnostics platforms and Medical Devices, which has a number of new approvals on the horizon.

For more information, listen to Mr. Ford’s presentation at the conference.



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