By Bill Borden
More than 40,000 people are expected to gather next month in Orlando at HIMSS20, the nation’s largest healthcare IT conference, as the industry comes to terms with emerging technologies to improve efficiency, access and the quality of patient care, while protecting their valuable information.
Vince Vickers, KPMG’s healthcare technology leader and a veteran of a couple of decades of HIMSS conferences, offered his take on what to expect March 9-13 in Orlando.
What is different at HIMSS this year versus prior years?
Among the attendees at HIMSS, leading healthcare executives not only look to be buyers of technology, but to “sell” technology, as well. Prompted somewhat by more chief information/technology/digital officers coming from outside traditional healthcare providers that have entered the industry, there is a greater desire to uniquely partner, package data offerings or bring to market new technologies to help recoup their tech investments and to continue to find ways to creatively control costs.
We’re seeing more clients talk about creating an innovation function that is separate from traditional IT. Traditional IT is still running projects and ensuring operational support, but leading organizations are also looking for new solutions to differentiate themselves and potentially create new revenue streams.
What technologies do you see gaining traction this year?
Artificial intelligence, cyber security and cloud computing will be the most significant trends at this year’s conference, based on my discussions with alliance partners and c-suite executives at our clients. Data protection is always a priority, but the prospect of 5G and the Internet of Things greatly amplifies cyber risks.
At the upper end of AI, we’re seeing machine learning and self-learning to uncover medical breakthroughs and go through the human genome. More basic roles of AI can improve efficiency in labor-intensive functions such as billing. We are now seeing some exciting tangible examples of using cloud and AI that are no longer conceptual.
We are at a really important inflection point for the industry, where the products/technologies themselves are proven. However, the risk has shifted to implementation, change management and in failing to innovate to remain competitive.
How does this fit with consumerism in healthcare?
Consumerism isn’t about shiny new technology at the front end of a portal any longer. It’s about improving the entire patient journey through the digitization of healthcare. To do this at an enterprise level, this means delivering the services differently. It’s an important, and refreshing change, because too often the focus is on the products/technologies alone.
Technology needs to create a seamless patient and customer experience. That has been the missing piece of consumerism overall in healthcare. We have a much greater expectation for ease of use of technology in our daily lives.
The move toward consumerism in healthcare will require a true transformation to include not just high-levels of satisfaction with individual care and its quality, but to “improve the overall patient journey.”
For more information or to speak with Vince Vickers, please contact Bill Borden.