“Reimagining Health” and Other Perspectives from HIMSS 2022

The theme for this year’s HIMSS conference was “Reimagining Health,” an apt one for a conference that is back on track after a scaled-back and delayed meeting in 2021, and full cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19––which has prompted us to reimagine so much.

The theme of reimagining not only underscores the opportunities before us in digital health, but also the achievements over the last decade that make it possible: the tremendous progress achieved in electronic health record (EHR) adoption, interoperability, artificial intelligence and many other Health IT endeavors.

It was great to be back in person at the largest global meeting of healthcare IT professionals. HIMSS reported that it had over 26,000 in-person participants at this year’s meeting, which, while not as high as pre-pandemic years, is an impressive number.

Representing BrightInsight at this year’s conference, I was impressed to see seamless and wireless communication between medical devices being demonstrated at the “Interoperability Showcase.” Multiple examples of remote patient monitoring and “hospital at home” deployments were discussed and demonstrated in education sessions and exhibition booths.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning had heavy coverage throughout the conference. A frequently discussed example was the use of AI-based tools, in conjunction with remote patient monitoring, to help avoid hospital readmissions in patients with congestive heart failure. Hospitals are heavily incentivized to deploy tools like these due to the penalties associated with hospital readmissions.

Despite the impressive digital health progress demonstrated throughout the conference, we are still in the early days and plenty of challenges exist. I spoke with representatives from several medical device companies who are looking to partner with digital health solution providers like BrightInsight to help address some of these challenges.

One of the biggest topics of this year’s HIMSS conference was the challenge of managing cybersecurity and privacy—it was top of mind for many of the companies I spoke with. President Biden’s recent warning about the threat of cyber-attacks associated with Russia’s war in Ukraine takes this concern to another level.

Kerri Webster, vice president and chief analytics officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado shared a great insight. At a pre-conference forum on machine learning and AI for Healthcare she told us, “technology moves at the speed of trust.”

The medical device company customers that BrightInsight works with understand the importance of building and maintaining trust in their technology. If their customers don’t trust the technology, it won’t be used. Medical device companies rely on BrightInsight for the “heavy lifting” and the trust we build for them through the regulatory, quality, privacy, and security compliance of our cloud infrastructure and the solutions managed on our platform.

Our customers see the value of BrightInsight’s expertise and focus on cloud-based digital health development. They know that developing and maintaining such an infrastructure internally would take way too long and cost too much money. They’d prefer to focus on their core expertise like algorithm development, physiological measurement, and other clinical use cases. This kind of strategic partnership can help garner the trust needed from the end users of their technology.

You can learn more about how we're supporting medical device companies with their digital health solutions by reading our white paper, Harnessing the Power of Cloud Computing in Medtech. And my most recent previous BrightInsight blog post provides my perspectives on the Three Digital Health Challenges Successful Medtech Companies Must Get Right.

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