HIMSS18 Conference Recap

by Healthbox03-14-2018

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HIMSS18 Conference Recap

HIMSS18 Conference Recap

Healthbox was thrilled to attend and participate in HIMSS18 as the newest member of the HIMSS family. Our team attended educational sessions, walked the exhibit floors, and took part in the many networking events and socials across the conference week. 

“You cannot do research without innovation and you cannot do innovation without research” – Claus Duedal Peterson, CIO, Odense University Hospital, Denmark at HIMSS18

An opening keynote by Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc. and former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, kicked off the conference on a high note with a rallying cry inciting healthcare to catch up to other industries in our use of technology. The momentum of this talk and the opening remarks from HIMSS President & CEO, Hal Wolf, carried attendees through the rest of the conference, invigorating health systems, insurers, pharmaceuticals, medical device and technology companies, consultants, startups, students, and all others in attendance. The week helped demonstrate and explore what each and every one of us is doing to propel the industry forward.

Healthbox team members attended sessions covering a wide breadth of topics. Patient engagement, autonomy, and freedom of information as well as collecting and leveraging new and existing data emerged as clear themes throughout the week. Speakers and panelists highlighted the importance of innovation with a purpose, a resonating topic for Healthbox, as we emphasize the need to develop innovation intent and build it into the core of organizational strategy. 

Out of the hundreds of sessions available to HIMSS conference attendees, we wanted to highlight a key few that engaged our team:

  • In “Standardizing Collection of Social Determinants Data”, speakers Andrew Hamilton, Chief Informatics Officer and Deputy Director, Alliance Chicago and Michelle Proser, Director of Research, National Association of Community Health Centers, talked about the fragmentation of social and clinical services including the technology, if any, used to deliver those services and engage the patients that are most in need;
  • In “Blockchain 101 for Healthcare”, speakers Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger, Linux Foundation and Corey Todaro, Chief Operating Officer, Hashed Health, led the conversation with an emphasis on system interoperability and the potential for blockchain in increasing transparency as well as improving data aggregation and migration capabilities;
  • In “Advancing Digital Health in Canada” speakers Michael Green, President and CEO and Susan Sepa, Director of Clinical and Change Leadership, Canada Health Infoway discussed the global nature of healthcare and the fact that every country is experiencing similar key challenges, including interoperability, access to care, and clinician burnout; and
  • In “The Adoption Gap: Challenges and Strategies in Emerging Technologies”, speakers Trey La Charité, Medical Director for Clinical Documentation Integrity and Coding, University of Tennessee Medical Center and John Showalter, Chief Product Officer, Jvion, asserted that doctors are willing to accept change, but we need to convince them — not by compulsion but by persuasion. 

While we acknowledge that we did not even scratch the surface in attending all the remarkable sessions at the conference, it was apparent that patients, data, and the adoption of new technology stood at the core of the week’s messaging, particularly as the industry moves to a consumer-focused, value-based system of care. From both sessions and conversations had throughout HIMSS, the Healthbox team saw that organizations seemed ready to take on new challenges in improving care, lowering costs, and improving the patient and provider experience. 

There were many booths that stood out on the exhibition floors. The Google Cloud exhibits, for example, were thoroughly explored by members of the Healthbox team. Forming partnerships with other organizations, the Google booths gave spotlight to companies, such as Augmedix and TempTraq, that incorporated the cloud into their offerings. From taking selfies wearing Google Glass, a product that aims to improve transparency and the patient experience, to exploring new ways to monitor patient vitals and to learning about the ways the Cloud will serve to give us a new way to examine and interpret patient data, these exhibits served as a spotlight for organizations taking health technology to new heights. Exhibitors that focused on the patient experience, including improved patient wayfinding (Jibestream), disease prevention (Wikaya), physician communication (IM Your Doc), and mental health (Feel) also made a significant impact on the exhibition floors.

In addition to visiting sessions, booths, and events, the Healthbox team maintained a significant presence at the conference. Highlights at our time at conference included co-supporting a digital health happy hour in partnership with Redox; seating a panel on New Roles for Healthcare Organizations in Innovation and Investment; and hosting the VentureConnect reception on the Innovation floor. Notably, Healthbox President, Neil Patel and Director, Matty Francis both held speaking sessions on the Innovation Live floor, talking about the evolution of innovation strategies and successful mash-ups in healthcare. The Healthbox team used the conference as a platform to meet with, learn about, and inspire others also interested in empowering the reinvention of healthcare by making innovation accountable. Now as a proud member of the HIMSS family, we look forward to driving these shared insights from HIMSS18 into action.

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