LISAvienna: A review of HIMSS 2017

LISAvienna represented the Austrian umbrella organization LISA – Life Science Austria, at the HIMSS 2017 in Orlando, Florida from February 19-23, 2017. The goal was to make it easier for domestic companies to enter the US market. Helping these companies identify new trends in healthcare IT was also on the agenda.

HIMSS is the largest healthcare IT exhibition and conference in the world. The importance of IT in the healthcare market was underscored with more than 42,000 visitors and over 1,300 exhibitors who attended the conference in Orlando this year. In comparison: The spin-off of HIMSS in Germany, conhIT, welcomed approximately 9,000 visitors and 450 exhibitors at their most recent conference.    

This was the second time Austria was represented at the HIMSS in the USA at a booth organized by LISAvienna under the umbrella brand LISA – Life Science Austria. Nine companies presented at the LISA booth between the CareAllies and the “Intelligent Health Pavilion” booths. All of the Austrian companies enrolled in the conference had the opportunity to display documents and to use the booth as a point of contact and information. Along with presenting their own products and services, the eleven-member Austrian delegation placed priority on developing a better understanding of their competitors. Behind-the-scenes discussions were held with important decision-makers of leading healthcare IT companies.

The exhibition began on the second day of the five-day HIMSS and clearly attracted the largest audience. With an exhibition space of approximately 200,000 m2, most of the exhibitors were U.S. companies. There were, however, also European delegations representing their companies. Along with large companies such as Cerner, Agfa, and Epic, several small companies were present who are trying to meet the dynamic challenges faced in healthcare IT with their individual solutions.

As in the previous year, a large exhibition area was reserved for the “Intelligent Health Pavilion” and had been turned into fully functional testing rooms. This gave visitors the opportunity to try out healthcare IT solutions in real-world applications. A special terminal allowed booking guided tours through home care facilities and an OR for example. Visitors were also able to learn about technical solutions for in-home healthcare, or to learn more about the complex interaction of software and hardware in the OR.

Segments including 3-D printing, gamification, mobile healthcare, cloud computing, standardization, and security once again had a strong presence at the convention. Many companies displayed different applications for virtual reality glasses. Many examples of applications, ranging from calming a patient before a procedure to supporting doctors during an operation, were provided. A complete list of all exhibition categories and all companies can be found here.

In addition to the exhibitions, 74 presentations, workshops and networking events provided a tightly packed schedule of continuing education and networking programs. In addition to classic topics such as interoperability, many presentations were offered around the increasingly important topics of population health, business of healthcare and new payment models, as well as consumer and patient engagement. The networking events also offered something for everyone – from the welcome reception for all exhibitors, to a special international reception, insurance meetings, and get-togethers with different interest groups.

This year, LISAvienna and the Austrian companies were part of the HIMSS DACH Delegation. In addition to lectures held specifically for those interested from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, a private tour was held through the displays and presentations of selected companies. The highlight for LISAvienna was the tour of Florida Waterman Hospital. The hospital has reached the highest stage of HIMSS EMRA (Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model) validation. Using a scale from 0 to 7, it determines how far advanced the paperless hospital administration and the technological support for optimized patient care is. Florida Waterman Hospital is part of the Adventist Health System and is considered a leader in the level of quality, safety, and satisfaction of patient care in the USA. It operates 46 hospital locations with cutting-edge technology in ten US states. More than 8,300 beds are available with over 4.7 million patients being treated per year. Clinical research is also conducted here. The treatment of sepsis is an impressive example of how technology and special software can rescue the lives of patients: With the introduction of the “Sepsis 3-hour resuscitation bundle” method and a seamless electronic monitoring of symptoms and treatments, the mortality rate for sepsis was reduced by 75%.

Take away:
The HIMSS is an essential event for anyone involved in the healthcare IT arena planning to enter the North America market. The event also offers an ideal opportunity for companies that may be currently focused on other markets to meet possible partners or to gain insight about competitors and new products.
Next year, the event will take place from March 5th to the 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada. For any questions about HIMSS 2017, or if you would like to participate in the event in 2018, please contact Martin Mayer for a no obligation, one-on-one consultation!

The next important eHealth event for Austrian companies, the eHealth Summit Austria, will take place May 23rd and 24th, 2017, in Vienna.

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