The future keeps changing fast in healthcare, which means we need to not just redo, but rethink.

The future keeps changing fast in healthcare, which means we need to not just redo, but rethink

A big thank you to HIMSS for putting on another stellar conference this year. The energy in the conference halls and on the streets of Vegas was almost overwhelming with roughly 42,000 attendees roaming around.

When I consider what was discussed and shown at HIMSS this year as a reflection of our industry, though, I will say it felt a bit like back to the future. By that, I mean, we were back to discussing the same future we discussed last year. And the thing is, the future of healthcare keeps changing fast. For true transformation, we need to keep up. We need to not just redo what we’ve been doing, but constantly rethink our approaches.

One of the new ways Microsoft approached HIMSS this year was to organize our presence in the form of the patient journey. We wanted to show the impact of technology on the patient and were supported by many talented partners from around the world. Visitors to our booth experienced how technology and process can be joined to create a more seamless experience for the patient not only inside health organization walls, but also outside those walls.

We also had a lot of great conversations with our partners at their booths, which you may have seen on Twitter during the show. It was wonderful to walk the halls and see how the partnerships we’ve been nurturing are blossoming into technology that empowers better health.

Infosys was talking about its next-generation healthcare analytics platform, CGI about machine learning and analytics for payment fraud detection, and Allscripts about the incredible momentum of its FollowMyHealth system. And these are just a few examples. In addition, with our partner GE Healthcare, we invited people to share their viewpoint about the future of healthcare in video booths in both of our stands.

At HIMSS16, I saw some new faces: exciting health IT startups. And I saw some old faces: incumbent big health IT suppliers who, to their credit, are working to evolve as fast as healthcare is. I also noticed increased noise about the need to improve population health and some new ways to do that.

However, I was surprised that I didn’t see more focus on the growing need to defend against cyberattacks health. Because, as Leslie Sistla, Chief Information Security Officer, Worldwide Health at Microsoft, recently wrote, “It’s time for a security intervention in healthcare.”

And I didn’t see enough examples of how technology will support the new healthcare world brought about by accountable care organizations and the shift of payments from volume to value.

The expression may be what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but not in the case of this year’s conference, where we started many conversations we get to continue away from Vegas. So let’s keep advancing our efforts ever faster to keep up with the changing future of healthcare. To tackle the challenges of health systems the world over—whether it’s proactively improving population health, adapting to new payment models, or beef up our cybersecurity—we need to not just redo, but constantly rethink.

What’s your idea for a rethink? Let us know via email, Facebook, or Twitter.