From Global Health Conference to the Real World: Turning Ideas Into Action

When the more than 42,000 attendees from around the world left the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, they began applying the insights gathered to their areas of expertise—from artificial intelligence to population health and everything between. We asked our Champions of Health to share how the discoveries made at Global Health Conference are now helping them create a healthier world through information and technology.

What concepts from the HIMSS Global Health Conference have you been able to implement in your work?

Aashima Gupta

Aashima Gupta, The Transformer: Too often in our industry, we can take a siloed view of the landscape, focusing on our sector of healthcare or technology, and forget to take a step back and grasp what can be done together. It’s been wonderful to take from the HIMSS Global Health Conference some of the broader ecosystem approaches toward advancements in analytics, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, and then to refine needs for skills enablement.

The health IT workforce is experiencing its own transformation, with unprecedented speed and resource constraints. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we all reach our full potential. That means giving tools to the health IT community to enable it to understand how to effectively and efficiently manage, analyze and interpret complex healthcare data with its unprecedented growth.

RELATED: Big Data, Big Picture: Pain Points and Action Plans

I work for an AI-first organization—we have capabilities that we are engaged in bringing to the healthcare community. One of the ideas we have embraced for healthcare solutions is meeting our customers where they are and bringing forward a multitude of learning assets, including qwiklabs and playbooks—how-to guides to ease the journey into the brave new world.

Blake Marggraff

Blake Marggraff, The Researcher: The HIMSS Global Health Conference brings to light many of the new opportunities in the health industry, but it also reveals some of its undeniable shortcomings. This year's conference balanced optimism with awareness of real issues. For example, my team and I have embraced the increased need for and availability of true EHR integration and interoperability in our product offerings.

RELATED: Interoperability of the EHR in Europe: Facilitating Cross Border Cooperation

Lygeia Ricciardi

Lygeia Ricciardi, The Communicator: A theme I heard a lot about at the HIMSS Global Health Conference was the move to value-based payment models. I have always been committed to better engaging patients in their own health—it just makes logical sense—but the economic barriers against doing so in a fee-for-service environment are sometimes tough to overcome. I’ve heard objections like, “We don’t get paid to do that,” or “If patients don’t come into our office, we lose money.”

With an increasing proportion of healthcare provider organizations on a path toward value-based care models, at my company, we are able to provide them the tools to engage patients, leading to better health outcomes and profits. The HIMSS Global Health Conference helped us sharpen this approach by finding organizations that are already committed to transforming care in a patient-centric way and helping set them up for financial success.

David Chou, vice president and principal analyst of Constellation Research, talks with HIMSSTV about the move to value-based care and looking at tech mega-trends through a healthcare lens to operationalize them.

What’s next for you and your work in health information and technology?

Mohammad Agha

Mohammad Agha, The Trailblazer: I’ll continue in my role as the HIMSS Midwest Gateway Chapter advocacy chair to enhance initiatives regarding interoperability, prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)—Missouri’s the only state in the U.S. without a PDMP—and enhancing the use of technology to improve healthcare access for rural Missourians.

PDMPs are essentially forcing providers to get used to putting data into a state system and getting information out to inform care decisions, New Jersey State Officials Shereef Elnahal and Nancy Pinkin shared on HIMSSTV.

Yolande Greene

Yolande Greene, The Gamechanger: Through my current work as a population health manager, I will be leveraging people, processes and technologies to help healthcare providers transition from fee-for-service to value-based care.

Gupta: Most recently, I have been honored with a seat on the HIMSS board of directors. I believe this is a tremendous opportunity that will allow me to contribute back to the community that has been so important to me over the past several years. Through this platform, I look forward to a much deeper industry collaboration.

We as an industry and a society are now moving toward a more patient-empowered approach that prioritizes prevention and wellness over sick care. Solutions such as clinical data warehousing and cloud healthcare application programming interfaces can enable healthcare for communities, leveraging telehealth capabilities—whether at home, at work, or in the doctor's office or hospital.

RELATED: The Consumerization of Health: Patients Take More Ownership of Health Outcomes

Marggraff: I'm most excited about the role of subclinical predictive models: machine learning that can improve the clinical user experience and drive product value without increasing liability or raising new regulatory questions. More broadly, I'm confident that as leading, battle-tested technologies emerge across the full spectrum of applications in healthcare, those solutions will be judged less by the number of buzzwords and more by clinical and financial value.

Putting AI to use in the clinical setting requires curated data, supercomputing infrastructure and the ability to model algorithms on neural networks, shared Jörg Aumüller, head of digitalizing healthcare marketing, Siemens Healthineers with HIMSSTV.

Janne Pitkänen

Janne Pitkänen, The Visualizer: The next step is to take our company to the next level with an international reach commercially. In addition, I will continue, together with our team, to pursue research and development opportunities for comprehending intelligence of our solution in EHR optimization, usability and patient safety.

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Ricciardi: I’m excited to work further on leveraging technology to help people change their behaviors in healthy ways at scale. So much of our health depends on what we do every day—what we eat, how we move, whether we take our medications.

While it’s very possible to use technology to connect patients to a real-live health coach at times when they may need it, for example, during an asthma flare-up, it’s less practical and desirable to have a human weighing in on every tiny decision. Instead, we can use technology to better understand each person as an individual—not just their vital stats, but what motivates them and how they like to interact. Then we can use technology to apply behavior change science through nudges, reminders and encouragement.

There is so much potential to use technology and science to counteract the many unhealthy cues most of us get from our environments—from processed food to sedentary work styles. Technology can help us achieve our health goals in the moment by reminding our present and “future selves” of the good intentions we set in the past.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

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