HIMSS18 Debrief: 5 Impressions

HIMSS18 Debrief: 5 Impressions


Over 43,000 attendees and 1300 vendors. And like a wedding day, long anticipated, HIMSS18 came and went in the blink of an eye. The premier of HIMSS.tv provided non-stop coverage of the event for those starved for video play-by-play analysis, and the advanced release of education session handouts somewhat alleviated FOMO. Below are our top takeaways:

  1. Artificial intelligence & machine learning were seemingly everywhere, but most solution providers lacked the ability to articulate practical application. As is popularly quipped, the technology doesn’t matter unless it is available and impacts the point of care without creating additional workflow burden.
  2. While AI & ML gain traction through marketing hype, the population health management market gains further clarity and definition. In the words of John Moore, population health is a strategy, not a technology. More healthcare delivery organizations are embracing this notion, using technology to augment strategy through population segmentation & risk stratification, and clinical interventions through patient engagement, all predicated on integration with the EHR.
  3. Consolidation remains a constant, as Chilmark Research predicts rural hospitals will become hubs of decentralized care delivery through telehealth. They forecast that by 2025, M&A will lead to 70% of care at one of 12 national healthcare provider organizations. Eliminating the technical debt and risk that legacy systems pose will be on the forefront for healthcare delivery organizations.
  4. Critical access, community & rural hospital CIOs are the unsung heroes of healthcare IT. In interviewing 3 CIOs from these type of organizations, it is clear they must rely on nimbleness and innovation to balance the competing initiatives faced while trying to remain competitive in the transition from fee for service to value based care. Add in limited budget, with emerging security threats, and the need to act as a broker with IT, administration & clinicians, and its evident why its one of the most critical jobs in health IT.
  5. Blockchain is already embedding into and impacting healthcare, as evidenced by a remarkable conversation with Rishi Madhok, CEO, BitMed, while at the Chilmark Research Executives’ Breakfast. He described a complex business model with palpable value proposition which provides incentives for engaging in health. In addition, Chilmark adds blockchain to research domain, as they predict it will be a linchpin to contract management & security.
  6. BONUS: Anticipating release of  Frightful 5 report examining Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, & Google’s potential in healthcare information technology, watch for Amazon to make splash in core areas of supply chain and distribution, and while Microsoft is not a disruptor, demonstrates more of enablement through its vast VAR network. As expected, there is a lot of focus on the Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan partnership, its potential, and next steps.
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