HIMSS 12: Presenters Urge It’s Not About Technology, But Connecting People

February 23, 2012
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Intel’s executive breakfast session on the opening morning of HIMSS ’12—where 200 brave and surprisingly sober souls arrived for a refreshing 6:30 a.m. start—was a great use of time. This was a nice reward where time is more valuable than money (don’t tell the casinos that…) at this information-rich conference that just gets bigger and better each year (early estimates predict 35,000 are in attendance).

Intel’s executive breakfast session on the opening morning of HIMSS ’12—where 200 brave and surprisingly sober souls arrived for a refreshing 6:30 a.m. start—was a great use of time. This was a nice reward where time is more valuable than money (don’t tell the casinos that…) at this information-rich conference that just gets bigger and better each year (early estimates predict 35,000 are in attendance).

Jason Hwang, MD, co-founder and Executive Director of Healthcare at Innosight Institute, and Eric Dishman, Intel Fellow and Global Director of Health Innovation and Policy for Intel, discussed some hard realities:

  • Facilities will need 20 times the PC capability and 16 times the storage capacity by 2015—and those needs increasing exponentially in years to follow.
  • How will we provide care for an aging global population that will double the number of people over 60 years of age by 2050?
  • There simply will not be enough healthcare professionals at any level to manage this.

Both presenters explained there is no big-win-solution that will make everything fall neatly into place and urged that healthcare needs to move beyond a central paradigm approach to more personalized, outpatient care with more patient involvement at every level to create a more coordinated and improved care model.

This model, where healthcare IT plays an even greater role, can lead to greater access to care. Decentralization through disruption will enable healthcare providers to do more on their own while creating opportunities for people to make empowered decisions involving their health.

Now, this does not portend the end of the hospital as we know it. If I am going to have heart surgery, I am still going to the best hospital I can find as that is exactly where this level of care needs to be provided. But there are many services provided at hospitals that can be delivered in a decentralized manner, and doing so can provides greater access for broader segments of the population. Mr. Dishman used the term “Brickless Clinic,” where primary care practices, the home and the community play a greater role, supported by a healthcare IT infrastructure that enables its success.

I found this executive breakfast to be a great lead into HIMSS’ opening keynote session (as told through tweets curated by Health IT News below) by Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, where a packed house heard the personal inside story of the creation of Twitter. But a statement from Biz early in his presentation rang true with this audience of health IT professionals:

 “Remember it’s not about the technology, it’s about bringing people together to do things for humanity.”

This echoed Intel’s session – technology alone does not lead to better patient care.  Health IT is the connection. It can bring physicians and patients together, connect specialists and speed information sharing between individuals for greater access, more collaboration and faster decision making.

At an IT show like HIMSS – it was great to start with a focus on humanity.

Did you attend either of these sessions? What’d you think? Stop by at booth #2614 to share your thoughts. 

[View the story “Twitter Recap: Biz Stone Keynote” on Storify]

      

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