LISAvienna: HIMSS 2015

LISAvienna attended the annual conference of the Healthcare Information Management System Society (HIMSS) from April 12 to 16. The aim was to find out if the event could be a suitable platform for making it easier for Austrian companies to enter the US market. The identification of new trends in the Health IT sector was also on the agenda.

HIMSS is the world’s biggest Health IT exhibition and conference. This year again, the event in Chicago clearly outdid similar events, attracting around 44,000 visitors and 1,344 exhibitors. A comparison: The industry event conhIT held at the same time in Berlin attracted 7,500 visitors and almost 400 exhibitors.

Appropriately for an IT exhibition, there was also a special HIMSS app which made it possible to search for events, exhibitors and visitors and also to send appointment requests on the spot.

HIMSS is arranged into three areas: Exhibition, training and networking

The exhibition began on the second day of the five-day HIMSS and clearly drew the biggest crowd. Mostly American companies presented themselves on an area of around 110,000 m2 (1.2 million square feet) divided between 2 halls. European delegations were also represented, including a strong interest group from the Netherlands which has formed over the years. This uses the annual delegation to present its products on the innovation-friendly US market, but above all to gain an advantage on the domestic market through the impressions gained and competitor analyses.

Apart from the big players such as Cerner, Agfa and Microsoft, numerous smaller companies were also present, which try to satisfy the dynamic requirements in the area of Health IT through customized solutions. Products and services regularly described in past years as trendsetting in Austria were already a fixed part of the product range at HIMSS 2015. That can be clearly seen in a number of areas for the topics of Mobile Solutions, Healthcare Gaming and Smart Hospital. It has also long become the norm in the US for stroke patients to be prescribed apps or computer games for rehabilitation purposes. That could be due to the special attitude of insurance companies, which were represented at the event as exhibitors and visitors, and sought as well as presented solutions for optimizing diagnosis, treatment and administration.

A large area of the exhibition venue was converted into fully functioning test rooms for the “Intelligent Health Pavilion”. Special guided tours could be booked for each room via a terminal. It was possible, for example, to get an idea of the technical equipment used in home care in a nursing room and learn more about the necessary interaction between software and hardware in the operating theater of the future.

In order to make it easier to understand the different product groups that the exhibition dealt with, an extract of the product list is given below - the number in brackets indicates the number of exhibitors in the respective category: Hardware (129), Mobile Healthcare (377), Network Solutions (78), Cloud Computing (182), Analytics (227), Interoperability (177), ICD-10 Compliance (114), Telemedicine Solutions (121), Executive Search and Recruitment (27), Insurances (50), Portal Solutions (168), Scheduling Systems (59), Electronic Health Record (220), Home Health Information Management (205), ePrescribing Solutions (86), Decision Support (193), Health Education and Wellness Information (95), Education (50), 3D Visualization (45), Cardiology (33), Radiology (33), Image Management (77). You can find a complete list of all exhibitors here.

Lectures and seminars are another core element of the HIMSS. The latest findings and challenges in the field of Healthcare IT are presented and discussed here simultaneously in over 20 lecture rooms. The lecturers are leaders in their respective disciplines and drew audiences often in excess of 1,000 interested listeners to individual presentations. They spoke on topics that have not yet been technologically implemented, but are set to play a big role in the future. These include, for example, the expansion of the electronic health file with the genetic profile of the patient - the next big step toward implementing personalized and efficient medicine.

A wide range of networking events were held on the fringes of the exhibition. On the one hand, for example, there were special offers for different professional groups, such as doctors, insurers and service providers. On the other, specially organized meetings were offered at which to exchange experiences within the individual areas of technology. For international guests, there was also a special reception - where the delegation from Bangladesh lost the prize for having traveled the farthest to the guests from Australia by about 2,000 km.

The HIMSS is an essential event for all players in the Health IT sector planning to enter the North American market. For everyone who is currently focusing on other target markets, the event is also the ideal place to meet potential partners or to learn all there is to know about the competition and new products. In 2016, the event will be held from February 29 to March 4 in Las Vegas.

Do you have any questions about HIMSS 2015 or would you like to attend this event in 2016? Then contact Martin Mayer

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