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HIMSS16: Thought leaders preview this year’s event

A glimpse into the future of health IT



Philips reached out to thought leaders who are attending this year’s HIMSS16 conference, which brings health IT professionals and industry leaders to Las Vegas from Feb. 29 to March 4. We asked them three questions:


  1. What are you most interested in seeing at HIMSS?
  2. What do you think the main conversations will be around?
  3. What do you expect to get out of HIMSS this year?


Read on for their previews of what to expect at HIMSS16.

Nick Adkins

Co-founder & CEO at ReelDx

I’m most interested in seeing tech re: virtual/augmented reality, 3D printing, telemedicine & AI (lots of AI I hope) – go @IBMWatson go!


We’re probably going to continue to hear more about patient engagement, interoperability, big data and population management. I’m predicting a notable buzz and ripple effect from the forward motion that @SusannahFox and the @HHSgov team have created with the innovation being spun out of @HHSIDEALab.


There’s expectation, then there’s hope. What I’m hoping is that 2016 is the year that the patient voice is heard – that there’s an embrace of co-operation between manufacturers, developers, systems, payers, providers and patients all aimed at a common goal of delivering the best care available. Letting go of expectation, just going to be present and open to the experience. Looking forward to the path unfolding.

Bill Bunting

Director, Healthcare Solutions at EMC

In general, I think we have to start thinking about healthcare differently, and we have to put the patient (the person) back at the center of everything we do. But as the patient-consumer plays a bigger part in their care, we as an industry must quit fearing change. Improvement and progress in our industry is not inevitable, but rather it will come as a result of choices we make to move forward into the future. And we have to recognize that change and innovation will only accelerate for us as we have lagged behind other industries far too long. This is precisely why we need to overcome fear and make change work for us, instead of continuing to view change as a hindrance.

With that, I believe patient engagement will dominate HIMSS16, and digital will be a large part of that conversation. But too, I believe there will be an increasing conversation on re-engineering and re-tooling the various technologies in our industry so we can let doctors be doctors again, and actually start to engage their patients.

Jennifer Dennard

Founder of #healthITchicks

I'm really looking forward to sitting in on "A Special Session with ONC and CMS" on March 1 featuring National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD and Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt. They seem to have become quite the tag team since working together to outline what's next for the EHR (electronic health record) incentive programs. I'm looking forward to hearing their thoughts on interoperability progress, and how their teams are working to address the numerous anti-meaningful use campaigns that seem to be gaining steam, such as #LetDoctorsBeDoctors and AMA's Break the Red Tape.


I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention several sessions I've got on my calendar featuring women in health IT:


- Disruptive Women in Health Care, Tech & Management: Business Savvy & Swagger

- Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Lessons Learned for Aspiring Female Executives

- The HIMSS Women in Health IT networking reception

- (Shameless plug alert!) the #HealthITchicks Meetup


[What the main conversations will be around is a] tough question because providers have so many shifting priorities right now. Everyone will be talking about security and how to avoid the next breach. I also think chronic-care management will be more buzz-worthy than it was last year. More companies have dipped their toes into those waters, and now I think providers are more willing to take a chance on taking advantage of the still somewhat new incentive dollars, particularly as it relates to telemedicine. I wouldn't be surprised if the ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information) dropped some sort of big news at the start of the conference, as has been their wont over the last several years. Time will tell…


I'm really hoping to come across conversations about ways to better integrate mental healthcare with primary care. It's an issue that is slowly getting some play in the press. That type of integration, in which technology has a big part to play, is where I think we'll see the biggest push forward in positive population health management outcomes.


HIMSS is an experience unto itself. This will be my fifth or sixth event, and I am at the point in my career where it is just so much fun. I'll catch up with old friends, make new ones, enjoy a few networking receptions and gain a better understanding of where this industry is headed – all squished into less than four days! It's a bit of a whirlwind. Ultimately, though, I always try to take away one insight I can use when I put on my "patient" hat – the next time I go to the doctor or take my children to the doctor. How can I use what I learn at HIMSS to become my own best patient advocate? That's my laundry list of expectations for HIMSS16.

James “Jamey” B. Edwards

CEO, Language Access Network
CEO and co-founder, Carenection

Besides Super Bowl Champion QB Peyton Manning and Dr. Robert Heyer’s discussion three weeks post-game, I am intrigued by the combined potential of big data and artificial intelligence, and their broad-reaching impact on finding cures as well as helping us create new behaviors that allow consumers to take more control of our own healthcare. Bots that remind us to eat healthy, work out and take our meds will be our new care advisors.


I am also excited about the disruption in the place-space relationship healthcare has had with hospitals and doctor’s offices with the acceptance of telemedicine as simply the new medicine. The integration of new technologies into healthcare has sometimes been met with fear due to the high stakes and risk aversion in our industry. But the resulting improvements in access, efficiency, customer service and outcomes are welcome in a healthcare system with too few doctors and nurses supporting an ever-growing and diverse patient population. I look forward to checking out all the companies in the #digitalhealth space and seeing the creativity with which they are attacking some of healthcare’s fundamental issues.


I hope the main conversations are around addressing some of the regulatory issues still holding healthcare from making real change such as the portability of physician’s licenses for telemedicine or a patient’s right to their own healthcare data. Fixing the house of healthcare means fixing some of the governmental foundation on which it’s built. In addition, the innovation being driven by healthcare entrepreneurs today is staggering. It has never been easier to start a business and healthcare, due to its current state, is attracting capital and talent at an unprecedented pace. Discussion on how to maintain that momentum and support will be interesting.


This year, I expect inspiration and some “a-ha" moments. Networking with healthcare leaders and innovators who could become potential partners. A chance to reunite with folks who are out there trying to make an impact and disrupt the status quo (shout out to the #pinksocks crew!). Most importantly, learning. Very rarely do you get a group of really smart people focused on relevant issues on this scale in one place. It’s a unique opportunity to gain insights, get engaged and hopefully contribute to a very important dialogue that pertains to each and every one of us, whether you work in healthcare or not.

John Nosta

Lead Thinker,

First off, at the heart of this idea is that information is really nothing unless filtered through a brain that is tuned to a creative frequency. And the simple reality is that information, in its raw context, may be closer to a pollutant than a valued resource. And it begs the question as to whether data is more akin to the idea of water or air pollution. I think we’re seeing this now as data become ubiquitous to the point of being more of a problem than a solution.


And here’s the point. Data trumps the device yet we still love the device and hold a certain disdain for the data. And as the richness of technology makes sensors smaller and more passive, data and its partner analytics will grow and move from an abstract mass of zeros and ones to a rich fabric that establishes a new “data homeostasis” that will define the human condition. Just as our genetic code exactly and perfectly (most of the time) precisely defines us, data will be transformed into knowledge and into an actionable reality that becomes as vital as the air we breathe.


Data, and in this case, big data will become the third fundamental window into humanity after the microscope and the telescope. It’s that important.


The epicenter of this convergence is HIMSS. For me, I’m looking for the magic of data empowerment that comes from sophisticated algorithmic analysis. I’m looking for the 1 +1 = 1,000,000 and the emergence of real exponential innovations.


The main conversations, however, will be practical. Interoperability, uniform standards, the “big gun” companies and actionable solutions will dominate the conversation. And as important as that is, I’m looking a litte higher than the clouds to find more of a “moon shot” or even a “mars shot”!


I expect to see an eclectic combination of thinkers and doers – all with a vision of changing the world. Yet many may follow the path of the apologist, focusing on the dilemma and not the delight. Yet I also expect to see one simple thing – the future. We are moving into the world of information that is the fruit of profound data acquisition and analytics. HIMSS is less a meeting and more a launching pad for change that will enlighten, disrupt and transform. HIMSS is the focal point of innovation that will empower the digital health revolution.


Senior Manager, Consumer Health IT for HIMSS

Because I am responsible for staffing the Connected Health Experience at HIMSS16, I am looking forward to the variety of presentations and exhibitors there who are defining the future of connected health. In addition, the Patient Engagement pre-conference symposium will provide a great variety of current trends in this area including a perspective from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on patient access to health data, a presentation on how providers are developing and using apps with patients, a discussion on usability of patient-facing apps and two patient hackers who are changing the approach to Type 1 Diabetes. There will also be the Connected Patient Forum, with three back-to-back sessions including one on the future of telehealth and e-visits by leaders in patient engagement.


I definitely think that connected health will be a topic of conversation. As providers move from their initial investments in EMRs (electronic medical records) and are faced with value-based care, many are looking to apps and devices that can help manage patients with chronic conditions. Population health is on everyone’s mind and solutions in both analytics and care coordination will receive a lot of attention. Interoperability will continue to be a key topic with the Interoperability Showcase including personal connected health devices using Continua guidelines and discussions of FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) as a solution for moving data securely.


As always, I expect to absorb as much as possible, particularly about trends in connected health and patient engagement. Keeping an eye on national US policy drivers is always a priority for me, and HIMSS16 offers many opportunities to hear from the federal government agencies both in keynote sessions as well as more intimate listening sessions. Another focus for me is seeing innovations presented in sessions like the Venture+ Forum. Finally, networking is a top goal, both seeing colleagues I have known for years and making new contacts for the year to come.

Jeroen Tas

CEO Philips Healthcare

This is the largest healthcare informatics event in the world. 37 percent of high-level decision makers ranging from CIOs through to directors will be there. Philips has a large presence at this event and this is our chance to be viewed as an IT company, not just the modality experts providing MRI based machinery. We need to change the perception of our customers so they can see us as a consultative company with many notches to our belt. This is our chance to differentiate and provide value across the care continuum and show as many proof points and customer testimonials as possible.


What we're showcasing at the event will definitely tie-in with our strategic plan for our businesses. We're showcasing hospital to home, interoperability, patient monitoring, population management capabilities and how we're providing value. The government mandates on healthcare reform are enabling us to get the most out of our systems, like we have done at Banner Health in Arizona, but there are so many more health systems we could help.


There are a multitude of KPIs we will be keeping our eyes on. We are looking to increase our leads, interest, awareness and customers. We’re all over the conference and it's going to be very exciting. We have put some serious physical investment into HIMSS 2016: we will be involved in forums with top leaders in healthcare, working the connected health pavilion and taking part in the chime event.

Keep up with all the #HIMSS16 happenings by following @PhilipsLiveFrom on Twitter.

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