HIMSS19 – This was my Oscars!

What a show it was in Orlando…45,000 attendees, at least a dozen (the number I attended) useful educational sessions, and more than 1300 vendors on the exhibition hall floor. I left with more than a dozen leads with whom HCP might do business bringing technology to healthcare.

One of the most exciting sessions attended was a speaker from Ochsner Health Systems in New Orleans presenting “remote health” outcomes data. The medical group distributes low cost low tech devices such as blood pressure sleeves to patients who can take their own BPs at home and submit outcomes via text. The outcomes are easily tabulated. The results are stunning. “It turns out BPs collected at home by the patient are as good as those collected by a med assistant in the doctor’s office.” Fewer than two BPs collected when the patients come to the office increased to more than 90 with a home monitor. Now apply this model across chronic illnesses.

Folks were very excited about the presence of the EHR giant EPIC. Judy Faulkner was “in the booth on the floor” for hours. She also was present in the daily HIMSS mag and as a topic in numerous “leadership” sessions. Subliminal message? EPIC will solve the interoperability problem when EPIC is the last standing EHR!

The breadth of companies and orgs showcasing booths was stunning. I was pitched at Tableau and Qlik, competing analytics apps that are pushing the healthcare industry into the future (the present?). Sometimes the message was beyond me. Uber healthcare had a decent booth. After 15 minutes I did not understand their business model beyond carting patients back and forth to the doctor’s office or the drugstore.

Next year I will be able to target the educational sessions more craftily. Two sessions that delivered more than I expected involved companies with VR and AR solutions. Both seek to enhance training for providers; one for training surgeons – Proximie – and the other for training healthcare providers who work with Alzheimers/dementia patients-  Embodied Labs. Here is an Embodied Labs video from 2016:

I expect to see much more AI in 2020. This is clearly the next wave that will place outcomes control squarely in the hands of patients, creating technology to achieve the triple aim.

The HIMSS20 show will also be in Orlando.