Feb 24 2017

HIMSS 2017: Innovation, Security Leaving their Mark in Healthcare

From interviews to education to the showroom floor, here’s a look back at what you may have missed.

More than 42,000 people descended upon Orlando, Fla., this week to attend the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s 2017 conference, and while innovation in artificial intelligence was among the show’s hottest themes — highlighted by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s opening keynote address — it was hardly the only technology trend worth following.

Cybersecurity Challenges and Advice

Cybersecurity issues, which continue to plague the industry, were also a much discussed topic. During one interactive education session led by Fortinet Senior Security Strategist Ladi Adefala and Barnabas Health CISO Hussein Syed, attendees were asked to share their opinions on current and growing vulnerabilities. Hussein also talked about his organization’s efforts to try to keep up with such threats.

Meanwhile, another discussion on cybersecurity featuring digital-health entrepreneur Shahid Shah, health IT blogger John Lynn and Neal Clark, a cloud client executive with CDW Healthcare, drilled down on the challenges around cloud security in the industry. Clark’s advice to organizations considering making a move: Do your homework before jumping in with both feet to ensure your cloud partner can meet your needs.

Additionally, HealthTech talked with several healthcare industry leaders, including Great Lakes Health Connect Executive Director Doug Dietzman and Satchel Health CTO Jay Politzer, about some of the best ways organizations can work to improve their cyber safety. Among their feedback: Provide updated and continual training to employees to recognize the signs of phishing and hacking.

Seniors and Wearables

Several sessions at the conference were dedicated to the increased use of IT to improve the lives of seniors. For instance, Moulay Elalamy, vice president of IT for Benchmark Senior Living, and J. Patrick Bewley, CEO for Big Cloud Analytics, discussed how, through a combination of wearables and analytics software, they’re assessing better ways to monitor activity trends, and therefore potentially predict adverse events with more efficiency.

“There is the opportunity … to begin to be on the predictive side of the equation,” Bewley said. “There is a lot of work and a lot of rigor that has to go around that and we’re a long way from that today, but at least in the check-engine kind of mindset, I think there’s some promise there.”

Ken Smith, a senior research scholar and director of the mobility division at the Stanford Center on Longevity, also talked about the need for an evolution in wearable tools, which could potentially monitor people 24/7 in order to provide more holistic information on a user’s health status.

Innovation and Engagement

Many stakeholders at the conference shared how, through innovation, they are better able to streamline care for patients. Michael Joslin, a healthcare product manager with Lexmark, talked to HealthTech about the company’s latest NilRead enterprise viewer, which he noted boasts very elaborate real-time collaboration tools.

Meanwhile, Holy Redeemer Health System’s Chris Holt shared how her organization is using both software and hardware to better engage patients, ultimately building better relationships with them.

“At Holy Redeemer, we really feel we’re in the life and the health business,” Holt said. “That sets the tone for our vision when we talk about things like patient engagement and experience.”

For our full array of articles and videos from the conference, check out HealthTech’s coverage of HIMSS 2017 here.

HIMSS Conferene

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