Trends at the HIMSS 2019 Conference

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PaleBlue has recently participated in the 2019 Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference in Orlando, Florida, joining over 43,000 health IT professionals from 90 countries in one place, at the same time, to see and learn what is happening in today’s healthcare world.

HIMSS is very unique since you are in a setting where everyone is moving around, talking, interacting, and of course drinking a lot of coffee. This year, one of the surprises was seeing how society is driven by the need for a “better customer experience” that the healthcare community is experiencing – a huge shift. Just like other industries, the IT modernization in healthcare aren’t slowing down in 2019 either.

At HIMSS, there is a large amount of organized events, 1000+ exhibition booths, and you meet with a lot of people in the exhibition hall, conferences, and the social events. While we observed a lot of new inventions and technologies, for this article, we would like to “keep it simple” and focus on the main trends we noticed for healthcare in this year’s meeting.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – This is one of the emerging healthcare technology trends that was discussed. Developing Artificial Intelligence machines that can process information and help providing decision-making data has given a surge to an entirely new sector of innovative health technologies. AI applications are predicted to increase the speed and accuracy of the diagnosis process. With true analytics being used, it can also point out unique identifiers to be concerned about early on, and allow practitioners to start looking at possible approaches for early treatment.

Image result for himss conferenceThe potential for AI and other technologies to create synergies that yield digital transformation in healthcare is very broad. Mobile devices, Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), and modern healthcare providers will drive increases in the sizes of available data sets for AI software to analyze. The large ecosystem is expected to become significantly more interdependent as the industry moves forward.

2. Consumer-Driven Reformation – Consumers are demanding greater access to better solutions and will increasingly favor those offering convenience, choices, and, most importantly, usability by everyone. Basically, consumers are pushing for changes and they are forcing industries to make them, and healthcare is leading.

Felix Gorbatsevich, Managing Director of PaleBlue, was asked his opinion about this trend. He said “Consumer pressure is driving for a technology shift in today’s healthcare environment. Digital health technologies are in the early phase of helping healthcare professionals understand consumer preferences and provide personalized care that effectively help both parties, the patient and the providers. By fully realizing the potential of Information Technology, we are developing solutions that are helping the global health community.”

3. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) – The arrival of virtual and augmented reality solutions has led to significant advances in healthcare technologies. Advances that could only be imagined 10 years ago are now being implemented. These range from educating new students to planning procedures to explaining results to patients – similar to PaleBlue Vue AR tools for healthcare. The field of AR and VR in healthcare shows unquestionable growth.

VR and AR in healthcare offer one of the most intuitive options. One of the trends that was discussed was how rendering 3D information on real-world scenes. AR permits surgeons, doctors, nurses, and support staff to stay grounded in actual procedures while having ready access to all the data available through other emerging technologies.

Users can use overlays to access information in an interface where they can quickly explore all aspects. Healthcare professionals can compare data to what they’re seeing in the real world, in order to make diagnoses and plan for procedures. Many argue that it’s Healthcare that will be the driving force in development of new VR/AR technologies.  

4. Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – Realistically, medical wearables have been around for quite a while, and the collection of data via the IoT is not something new. It is naturally expected to significantly increase in 2019 and beyond. What’s new is that the trend of wearable devices continues to grow. The healthcare industry can start to use this data in some amazing ways, including important sectors like preventative medicine. Currently, the data is only being used for some research to advance different medical fields but it is expected to grow.  

Various devices and mobile apps have come to play a critical role in tracking and preventing chronic illnesses for many patients and their doctors. By combining IoT development with telemedicine and telehealth technologies, a new Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has emerged. This approach includes the use of a number of wearables, including ECG and EKG monitors. Many other common medical measurements can also be taken, such as skin temperature, glucose level, blood pressure readings, and training instruments like exercise bands.

5. Interoperability was a hot topic this year, since the unveiling of sweeping and highly anticipated rules aimed at reducing information blocking and allowing patients easier access to their health data. Pressure is rising on providers to increase the efficacy with which digital patient information is shared across all systems and the functional teams that use them, which would enable increased efficiency in care and improved clinical decision support.

Indeed, IT has revolutionized every industry. In healthcare specifically, technology is helping us live longer and lead safer, healthier, more productive lives.