HIMSS 2013 kicked off with an invigorating performance by a very talented New Orleans high school band, followed by an introduction by Mayor, Mitch Landrieu. The energy was vibrant as a mix of over 34,000 healthcare professionals, scholars and Health IT solutions professionals settled in for the 5 day event kick-off.
The participant stats for HIMSS13 were quite impressive:
- 34,696 total attendees
- 13,985 professional attendees
- 1,158 exhibiting companies
The event that is known for improving healthcare through the promotion and use of information technology played host to an array of healthcare concerns, topics and solutions. Here are the ones that made the biggest impression on me:
- Patient Engagement
- Evolution in IT Solutions
- Big Data
- Meaningful Use 2
Although there were many useful sessions and keynote talks, the highlight for me personally was attending Dr. Eric J. Topol’s keynote delivery. Talk about a dynamic speaker. His patient engagement mantra, “nothing about me, without me,” set the tone for an exciting presentation that focused on a wide range of healthcare topics, from sensor devices to granting patients access to their own medical data. See the crowd-pleasing video ‘Show me the Data’ that had the audience laughing – It’s a mash-up of the famous scene in the movie Jerry Maguire. He and a colleague provided the voices.
Mr. Topol went on to speak about how HealthIT is creating tools that enable health management on an individual level, saying, “We practice medicine today at a population level. We do everything the same. We don't recognize each person as an individual. We now have the tools to do that. We didn't before.”
HIMSS events always elicit new found enthusiasm for change, and this year was no different. One key theme, patient engagement, played perfectly to Next IT’s vision for a more connected, patient-centric healthcare system. There was much to learn at HIMSS13 – both from successes and failures, but walking away from the event gave me the sense that we are on the brink of a truly improved ecosystem, where each patient is at the center of his/her own healthcare destiny. Today, we have the technology and foresight in place to build the sustainable, patient-driven healthcare system we crave – it’s now just a matter of putting the puzzle pieces together to form true interoperability.