A Look Back on HIMSS17

It’s been a couple weeks since my return from HIMSS17 in Orlando – just enough time to catch up and get back into the normal swing of every-day life.  I also find myself going back and reviewing notes and conversations, and remembering the great folks that I was able to meet, reconnect with and learn from during our time in the sunshine state.  Here were some of my take-aways:

The pitch has changed…over the years, it has been interesting to hear booth spiels and educational sessions evolve from technology-centered through clinician-centered to patient-centered. For me, this year more than my previous years at this event, the “patient-centric” story was at the forefront. But, it was not focused on something as important as improving patient outcomes, but more around how to better gain the patient’s attention.  Buzzwords like “consumerism”, “patient experience” or “consumer engagement” were plastered on booth graphics and dotted the educational session syllabus.  Marketing companies and big CRM players like Salesforce were out in droves, talking about how they have been capturing and automating consumer information for years in the sales/marketing space…and it makes sense if you think about it.  With all the competition and segmentation in the healthcare market, organizations must start treating their patients like consumers – measuring brand interactions, crafting persona-driven marketing campaigns and thinking about how to engage this audience differently…i.e. outside of episodic care. One quote I heard during a presentation on this topic that I thought was interesting:

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Patients win…patients today have so many more tools to better manage their care and that’s only IMG_2792going to continue – no surprise.  With the thousands of mobile applications to track activity, vitals, etc. and wearable tech getting more advanced with what and how they track, the patient is certainly in the driver’s seat.  As mentioned above, the industry is turning their attention on how to make care easier (more consumer driven) – providing patient services when and where it is needed/desired.In the Innovation Pavilion, I was able to speak to an innovative company called TytoCare.  They have developed a home exam kit that allows caregivers and patients the ability to complete a comprehensive exam within their home – heart, lungs, skin, ears, temp, etc. and provide the results to a physician electronically or speak with a physician via a telehealth visit.  From there, they can receive the next steps in their care whether it’s receiving a script or referral for additional services –  all without leaving the home…really cool stuff.

Integration, integration…several companies at the show this year were touting their ability to be “the integrator” for all the tools out there with new platforms, API and EDI management services.  With EHRs continuing to open up APIs, and the multiple layers of disparate systems that organizations must manage, companies like MuleSoft are wanting to play the middle-man and get everyone sharing information.Even the bigger players like Dell are throwing their name in the hat with their Boomi platform (BTW-thanks for the funky socks!).

All in all, a great experience seeing some of the amazing work coming out of extremely smart companies and finally seeing (tangibly) the shift to making it easier for the patient to get the care they need, when they need it and be more in control of their health. The team here at Engage Mobile came back re-energized and extremely excited to be a part of this fast-paced and dynamic industry.

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