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Michael Blumental

Key Topics from HIMSS that Dominated the 2010s

Last week we happily announced that we’re attending HIMSS20, the largest health-technology conference in the world.

As the excitement here at Hyro ramps up and our calendars fill with meetings, we decided to take a short break from the madness to revisit the trends and ideas that have captivated previous HIMSS events, along with most premier healthcare conferences over the past few years. Without further ado, let’s examine the themes that remain relevant today, and decipher what the lessons of past HIMSS tell us about the future of healthcare transformation.

Patient Engagement and Consumerism — HIMSS15

The Consumerism/Patient Engagement Pavilion, which will be making its HIMSS debut this year, signals an undeniable industry-wide desire for patient-centric technologies and strategies. Thought leadership sessions such as Improving Revenue through an Enhanced Patient Experience clearly indicate the interest health providers have in improving the patient journey and the creative ways various companies are racing to become the default engagement-solution.

But a survey conducted during HIMSS15 demonstrates that this was already a significant pain point for healthcare leaders back in the mid-2010s. Out of the 330 respondents (CEOs and CIOs), nearly three-quarters (72%) indicated that consumer and patient considerations, such as patient engagement, satisfaction, and quality of care would be the business issue that would most impact their organization over the next two years (2016–2018).

In the interim, there have been considerable improvements and rampant innovation in this field, but new decades bring about new challenges, and every step gained opens the door to new obstacles. It is safe to assume we’ll be hearing about patient engagement and consumerism in healthcare for many more years to come, including at HIMSS20.

Information Security — HIMSS12

Perhaps one of the most urgent global threats of recent times, cyberattacks, hacking, and malware breaches are exposing the vulnerabilities of health systems in trying to safeguard their patients’ PHI. But when it comes to medical services, the consequences of cyber-crimes can be much more dangerous than divulged personal information. A 2017 ransomware attack at Maricopa Medical Center, almost resulted in tragedy when a hacker disabled a CT scanner just as the patient in need of it was having a stroke.

In hindsight, It’s almost amusing to think that the data breaches that most alarmed HIMSS12 attendees were attributed to paper records. At the time, electronic medical records accounted for only 2 % of all reported breaches from Sept. 2009 — Dec. 2011.

To draw a stark comparison, Sutter Health was hit with 87 billion cyber threats in 2018 alone. What’s most striking about this almost inconceivable disparity is the way in which it highlights the speed-of-light advancements made in technology in such a short span of time.

With more than 80 exhibiting cybersecurity companies showcasing their wares in HIMSS20, it would seem that the healthcare industry is at war with cyber-crime and is arming itself against future threats.

Artificial Intelligence — HIMSS18

AI was the top trend of HIMSS18, introducing the concepts of machine learning (ML), deep learning, and cognitive systems to the world of healthcare. Naturally, there was some concern among participants that the potential of AI is nothing more than overinflated hype. With HIMSS devoting an entire day to exploring the disruptive capabilities of AI and Machine Learning, including a keynote from former Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt, it’s easy to understand why the fanfare raised some eyebrows.

Fast forward to 2020, and AI is still top of mind for healthcare leaders looking to empower change in clinical innovation, digital transformation and beyond. With almost 40 different sessions, all revolving around AI — including one our Head of Marketing, Aaron Bours, highlighted in his recent blog post — it seems that the trend has become a reality, symbolizing a wider cross-industry movement towards AI as a catalyst for transformation and growth.

As innovators in the field of conversational AI, this helped us realize that the moment is ripe for us to carve our own piece of history at HIMSS, and bring our revolutionary solution to the forefront of the most important event in health IT.

Are you also heading to HIMSS20 this March? Let’s chat about the intersection of technology and healthcare over coffee (or beer). To find out how our conversational AI is transforming the way patients engage with their healthcare providers through cutting edge Natural Language, come check us out at Booth 8200–101 — Innovation Live, shoot me an email at or schedule a meeting with me in advance.

See you there.

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Michael Blumental
February 25, 2020
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