A Look into the Future of Healthcare at HIMSS 2017

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March 9, 2017

Along with more than 40,000 other healthcare experts and professionals, we recently bid farewell to Orlando, unpacked our bags, caught up on the work we missed, and- most importantly- reflected on our experiences at the #HIMSS17 Conference.

At the conference, we joined business executives, physicians, software providers, and other industry experts in the latest discussion around health IT and the future of healthcare innovation.

We took away several key learnings from this experience:

  1. It’s all about data.
    Angst about the security of patient data has long been – and will continue to be – a hallmark of healthcare development in this day-and-age, but the discussion is maturing. More than 28 educational sessions within the CyberSecurity Command Center alone addressed everything from cybersecurity strategies to hacker practices to security in the cloud. Beyond the security aspect of data, the conversation continued, with an emphasis on data analytics – how patient data can be aggregated and leveraged into insights to inform and drive innovation in population health in the days ahead.
  2. Interoperability is possible, but not yet.
    The Interoperability Showcase reflected the collaborative efforts of more than 60 vendors to bring 17 case studies to life, reflecting how their individual products can be integrated through the use of standards-based transactions –both inside and outside of payor, provider, and third party walls. The showcase demonstrated what’s possible – but the level of effort (i.e., investment) needed to make these systems connect is still prohibitive for a large number of organizations in today’s dynamic environment. The introduction and wider application of new data-sharing standards (e.g., HL7 FHIR, Blockchain) will help accelerate these critical connections, but that takes time.
  3. Something hurts? There’s an app for that.
    New smartphone applications are proliferating at an alarming pace, including healthcare-related apps. Offering a mobile channel is a prerequisite for any new “engagement” approach rolling out, with new apps hitting app stores from health plans, providers, third party information sources, wellness tools, wearables, and the list goes on. The question as to how to engage – and keep the attention – of patients and physicians has not been cracked yet, but there are a lot of companies bringing their solutions to the market. It can be overwhelming for healthcare decision makers, not to mention consumers. Differentiated providers are focusing on the creation of more open platforms and aggregation of useful apps to simplify the experience for the patient.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll unpack each of these observations, and in the process, offer additional insight into the future of Health IT. We welcome your comments and questions as we continue to highlight our #HIMSS17 experience.

This article was co-authored by:

vtVince Trujillo is an Expert Practitioner at North Highland.  He has fifteen years of experience delivering and implementing operational and strategic consulting services across various industries. Specific expertise includes: organizational change management, strategy and roadmap development, organizational and operational transformation, program / project management, corporate finance, process improvement, business continuity planning.

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