HIMSS is the largest healthcare IT exhibition and conference in the world.The importance of IT in the healthcare market was underscored with 42,000 visitors and 1,300 exhibitorswho attendedthe conference this year. In comparison: the spin-off of HIMSS in Germany, conhIT,welcomed a total of 7,500 visitors and 400 exhibitors at their most recent conference. After a fact-finding visit in 2015,Austria was represented at a booth organized by LISAvienna under the umbrella brandLISA – Life Science Austria. All of the Austrian companies enrolled in the conference had the opportunity to display documentsand to use the booth as a point of contact and information. Along with presenting their own products and services, the eight-member Austrian delegation placedpriority on developing a better understanding of their competitors. Behind-the-scenes discussions were held with important decision-makers of leading healthcare IT companies.
Since this was the first time that Austria was represented with its own booth, the LISA booth was placed in the “First Time Exhibitor Area”. This area of the exhibition received top billing and was heavily promoted by the organizers.The extra attention which this generated, and the reduced registration rate, which LISAvienna was able to pass on to the participating companies, were two important advantages for the Austrian participants.
Dell founder Michael Dell presented the keynote speech in which he shared his vision of the future of IT in healthcare services with 7,000 visitors. It became clear that, despite the many innovations already implemented, there still remains an enormous market for the acquisition, analysis, and processing of health data just waiting to be tapped. This includes, in particular, the real-time analysis of health data and the resulting guidance of processes in the healthcare system. Both areas will be playing an increasingly greater role in the future.
The exhibition began on the second day of the five-day HIMSS and clearly attracted the largest audience. With an exhibition space of approximately 90,000 m2spread over five stories, the majority of the exhibitors were North American enterprises.There were, however, also a number of European delegations representing their companies. Along with the big players includingCerner, Agfa,and Epic,a number of small companies were present along with their individual solutions to the dynamic challenges faced in healthcare IT. Since the HL7-Initiative originated from the HIMSS community, standardization is, of course, an important topic for many exhibitors. Along with the methods for transfer and storage of data which are already in use, the meaningful use of this information was the main topic of HIMSS 2016. Ever-increasing types of equipment and processes allow for the large-scale collection of data. This is a good reason for many companies such as Google, Microsoft, or IBM with their famous Watson-Machine,to allow data analysis to flow into the healthcare system. The topic “predictive medicine” and individually tailored treatments were a main focus. Many exhibitors, for example, displayed different methods for genetic analysis and specific treatments based on the results.
A large exhibition area was reserved for the "Intelligent Health Pavilion" and had been turned into fully functional testing rooms. This made it easier to understand in which areas healthcare IT solutions areimplemented in medical practices. A special terminal allowed booking guided tours through home care facilities and an OR for example. Visitors were able to learn about technical solutions for in-home healthcare, or to learn more about the complex interaction of software and hardware in such a setting.
Segments including 3-D printing, gamification, mobile healthcare, cloud computing and security once again had their own exhibition areas at the convention. 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, and 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.
The HIMSS is an essential event for anyone involved in the healthcare IT arena who is planning to enter the market in North America. The event also offers an ideal opportunity for companies who may be currently focused on other markets to meet possible partners or to gain insight about competitors and new products.
Albert Kriegner, CEO of Platomics GmbH in Vienna, about the specific usefulness of the event: “In review, we learned through discussions with high-level contacts in leading American companies, including Dell and Amazon, that personalized medicine represents an interesting addition to existing medical information systems. This confirms an important potential sales channel. An additional positive aspect of HIMSS in comparison with European conventions was the high number of startups present. We were able to exchange experiences and lessons learned along with new ideas and impressions. The group trip with the LISA delegation also served to solidify our presence in our local biotech environment. “
Next year the event will take place from February 19th to the 23rd in Orlando, Florida.
For any questions about HIMSS 2016, or if you would like to participate in the event in 2017, please contact Martin Mayerfor a no obligation,one-on-oneconsultation!
The next important eHealth event for Austrian companies, theeHealth Summit Austria, will take place May 24th and 25th, 2016 in Vienna. You will receive a 30 euro discount when registering through LISAvienna. Again, please contact Martin Mayer if you have any questions about this event.