The HIMSS 18 Conference was an inspiring experience.  With over 47,000 attendees and 2,000 businesses in attendance, understanding and reviewing the takeaways after the show is a necessary and effective way to ensure you gain and retain the most from the experience.

What Were Some of the Most Important Takeaways from HIMSS 2018?

1. There is a large chasm in the opinions held on the role of new technologies in healthcare. Having experienced the trend of high promise and low delivery, healthcare providers are demonstrating an increase in their desire for studies and statistics to prove the worth of technologies, before implementation.

2. Interoperability, the extent to which different IT systems can communicate, exchange, and use data, was presented at the forefront of many exhibitor pitches. Several emerging technologies were showcased, along with the stories of 47 year old Shira, 2 year old Bryson, 20 year old Richard and countless other stories. “Whether it is the ability to share DICOM images of MRIs, CT scans across the globe using telehealth, or the ability to remotely control the infusion pumps in critical care units, Healthcare technologies facilitated by the fundamentals of cloud, wireless, Bluetooth, and data analytics is enabling seamless access and intelligent decision making to not only save patient lives, but also speed up their recovery” (Srinivasan).

3. Cybersecurity remains a core topic to every healthcare delivery system. As outlined by Vergauwen and Luethi of Strata Decision Technology, the top ways to improve the odds to your organization include:

  • Building capital with key stakeholders
  • Focusing on being a business enable rather than a business block
  • Establishing and communicating a vision and working with security to implement it

The key of cybersecurity for an organization, is to have a clear vision and take active steps to manage security, proactively, with the buy-in of the business

4. Amazon, Apple and Uber moving into healthcare could be positioning the industry for a massive disruption. With these companies’ prominent histories of disrupting business models and creating new technologies, they might very well change the industry of healthcare as we know it.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement: “Hard as it might be, reducing health care’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort.”

Dan Michelson, CEO of Strata Decision Technology writing for Becker, also collected a number of intriguing and actionable insights for healthcare providers as well. Some that came up consistently, in order of how actionable they are right now for most organizations, are the following:

  • The cloud is not the destination for seemingly every provider, for everything
  • Advanced cost accounting is now an absolute requirement to support value-based contracts
  • Telehealth is now mainstream, with every health system at various stages of deployment
  • Cybersecurity is now a board level imperative with providers looking to collaborate
  • predictive analytics is now driving both operational improvement and clinical decisions
  • Artificial intelligence is now possible because the data set is now accessible
  • Voice-driven hospital rooms are actively being tested
  • Blockchain is being tested for contracts, sharing patient information and managing supply chains
  • Virtual reality is finding practical use cases for everything from improving clinical training to patient rehabilitation



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