HITLAB attended the HIMSS conference last month in Orlando, Florida.  Here, two of HITLAB's staff members - Cole Manship and Sandeep Burugupalli - share their impressions:

It is always a valuable experience to listen and exchange thoughts and ideas with colleagues from all over the world who share a common goal to bring health technology and innovation to the forefront of patient care.  We heard from a number of healthcare organizations and their leadership about how they are addressing key issues in healthcare. It was great to get cutting-edge industry perspectives on these issues and to hear how stakeholders are using technology to solve these problems. We have highlighted our three takeaways from this year's HIMSS conference below:

Value-Based Care

The driving factor of many discussions seemed to be value-based care in the United States.  This was very apparent with many of the keynote speakers. In particular, Hillary Clinton emphasized that decisions in healthcare policy need to be evidence-based so we can begin making better decisions that will provide more access to healthcare, better outcomes, and less cost to the system. Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, also gave an inspiring speech about adapting insurance to a new model.  This new model would enable patients to take control of their healthcare though digital tools and to look at the healthcare industry as an investment. If patients are invested in their health, it will: improve health outcomes, reduce frequency of disease, bring costs down, and better manage chronic illnesses. Patient investment would be a "win-win" proposition for all parties.

"Big Data" and "Data Analytics"

These were the big buzz words this year.  Many major initiatives at the conference highlighted providers’ attempts to gather thorough and reliable data and how they analyze data to improve care, outcomes, and healthcare costs. By doing this, healthcare organizations and providers can analyze the patient's data and intervene when necessary to improve the patient's behavior and overall health.

Patient Engagement & Remote Monitoring

A recurring theme throughout was moving healthcare into the home through patient engagement and remote monitoring. Many exhibitors discussed their efforts in telehealth, connected devices, and patient engagement platforms. There was an exhibition hall devoted to the topic called "Connected Patient Learning Gallery." The exhibit included four kiosks of interactive learning: health management, social and behavioral wellness, financial health, and home health.  As we say, “knowledge is power" and if we provide patients access to their data, this will allow them the ability to monitor symptoms and vital signs, empowering them to take charge of their health.

Cole and Sandeep at HIMSS.jpg

These are just a few of our takeaways from the conference.  What were yours? We'd love it if you shared your thoughts and takeaways with us here or on Twitter @HITLABnyc.