HIMSS15: Buzzwords, Hot Topics and the Future of Health IT

Last month more than 40,000 healthcare professionals flocked to Chicago for HIMSS15, the biggest health IT event of the year. MCIRCC was there to find out what’s in store for the future of health IT to better align its strategic goals with marketplace realities. And HIMSS did not disappoint. Big topics included interoperability, analytics and population health.

Last year it was “meaningful use," this year the buzzword was “interoperability.” It’s a topic that is hard to avoid after the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released its “Health Information Blocking” report to Congress and its draft interoperability roadmap earlier this year.

While there are differing opinions on how to achieve interoperability, the general consensus from HIMSS15 was that continued innovation in healthcare technology will require cooperation between industry and government to create better transparency and interoperability.

This especially includes innovations in data analytics, another hot topic at HIMSS15. While data analytics is a top priority, most are stumped on where to start, and subsequently healthcare has only touched the tip of the data analytics iceberg. As illustrated throughout the HIMSS15 exhibition hall and with the flood of industry announcements released during the conference, there are a myriad of opportunities for improving healthcare delivery through cloud computing, the ‘Internet of Things’ and patient-generated health data collected by apps and devices.

MCIRCC is capitalizing on these advances through its Analytic for Hemodynamic Instability (AHI), a clinical decision support tool that leverages streaming patient data and cognitive computing to predict hemodynamic instability (blood flow decline) for early intervention. Project AHI is the first use case to demonstrate the impact of MCIRCC’s big data analytic platform.

Largely undiscussed, but a key focus for MCIRCC, is the critical care ecosystem. “It’s clear that there’s a real opportunity for MCIRCC to lead the way and define this market. Right now there’s a lot of focus around chronic disease management and population health but we see critical care as a major area of potential impact,” said Mark Salamango, MCIRCC’s chief information officer.

Recovering from information overload, and nursing sore feet and hoarse throats, MCIRCC left with the clear impression that it is well equipped to play an active, transformational role in health IT at U-M.