HIMSS is officially in the rearview mirror, yet we’re still finding ourselves in conversations around everything we saw and learned. Among the worthy trends of patient-centric interoperability and security, were hidden gems that CoverMyMeds employees discovered during their time in Orlando.
In this post business development associate, Jordan Hilsher, engineering manager, Mark Harris, and product manager, Mark Gilicinski, shared thoughts on what they discovered!
CoverMyMeds: Now that you’ve had some time to process, what are your thoughts on the whirlwind that was HIMSS 2017?
Jordan Hilsher: I don’t know how, but every year the conference seems to get bigger and better. New technologies such as artificial intelligence, new focuses; it was an extremely productive conference to say the least. The days flew by and suddenly it was over. There is so much to do and learn, and it’s an opportunity I look forward to every year.
Mark Gilicinski: Overall, there is a tremendous amount of innovation happening in HealthIT. What’s remarkable about walking the aisles of HIMSS if the multitude of approaches taken by so many companies and organizations. It also reflects the enormous fragmentation of implementations that ultimately makes it harder to scale solutions for better patient care. In the end, I wanted more time to go to everything.
Mark Harris: There is so much content that no one person could see it all, or even a significant portion of it. You just have to pick what you’re interested in and stick with that. I chose to focus on interoperability which would loop back to some new projects we have in the works. With 9000 plus booths and hundreds of sessions, it is information overload… in a good way!
CoverMyMeds: What was your main reason for attending the conference? What provided the most value?
MG: To learn! This was my first year attending, and being involved with product development for CoverMyMeds, HIMSS is the ideal place to get detailed information on industry trends and vendor capabilities. There were a number of areas vendors focused on, some of which were Connected Care, Population Health, AI/Machine Learning and Data Analytics.
MH: I enjoy seeing the new products and new thinking in the health care space every year. I also like to see how far established products have come and what might be possible now with them. We are starting work on a Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)-based application, and I was interested in the FHIR updates, to see what other companies were doing with it. The breadth and depth of new products and services at this year’s conference was overwhelming.
JH: From a business perspective, HIMSS is a great venue to have many meaningful meetings with important decision makers. Since this is THE health care IT conference, many of our top prospects and key clients exhibited or attended. We had very productive meetings with well over a dozen existing or prospective clients. We’re working on some pretty cool stuff at the moment and it was exciting to have introductory discussions and provide our value proposition for new solutions were exploring to continue solving the problem of prior authorization.
CoverMyMeds: What were the most innovative things you saw this year? Did anything truly surprise you?
JH: Where to begin? A couple big items I saw were artificial intelligence & virtual reality machines. I can’t remember the vendor, but in passing I saw a robot that people were lined up interacting with; shaking hands and having conversations. It was crazy! During one of my jaunts across the exhibit floor, I was able to stop for a few minutes and learn how virtual reality is making its way into health care as a training and educational too. But what’s exciting is that’s only scratching the surface and there are some initiatives to imbed this technology deeper into the health care fabric.
I also stumbled across a giant “Operation” game. That was one of my favorite games growing up and if I wasn’t rushing back for a meeting, I definitely would have waited however long it took to play!
MG: One of the more interesting vendors I saw was Salesforce and combining a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool with health data in the form of Salesforce Health Cloud. It hadn’t occurred to me before, but in some ways an EHR is the ultimate CRM that is meant to house all the health records about a patient so that providers can deliver the best care possible. Salesforce adds a relationship layer on those records to enable a better patient/consumer experience.
MH: There were some amazing products this year, like every year. There were a number of exhibitors showing off natural-language processing (NLP) systems for data analytics. ThoughtSpot is one exhibitor that demonstrated a natural-language data analytic system. Typing “diagnoses for patients by month” or “cancer diagnoses by county and month for year 2016” instantly brought up graphs and charts of the information in question. For most people, those reports would be either a pivot chart or a request to their data analytics team, with a return in a few days. These charts came up immediately — with drill-down capabilities! NLP and artificial intelligence are only starting, but have great potential.
Another great HIMSS in the books. Catch everyone in Vegas next year!