Earlier this month, we joined the 45,000 healthcare enthusiasts at HIMSS in Las Vegas. Rather than covering the obvious themes of interoperability, blockchains or the cloud, here are some of our not-so-obvious key takeaways.
The tech giants had many representatives who flew undercover – Apple had no booth. Amazon’s booth was not labeled Amazon, but “AWS”, their cloud platform. Google’s messaging was somewhat opaque. Despite the secrecy, these companies appear intent to bring the Silicon Valley innovation culture to healthcare. We may even see one or two mega acquisitions of HIT companies in the mix.
Voice is having a renaissance – We have come a long way since the early days of dictation software for documenting clinical encounters. We are excited about “Ambient voice documentation”, the next generation of speech recognition technology. Imagine the potential productivity uplift, when the machine can automatically populate the EMR by listening to the doctor<>patient interaction.
Consumers want their medical records now – We saw some interesting companies that through a healthcare proxy, aggregate, store and normalize medical records in the cloud for the consumers. This is patient empowerment on steroids.
The emergence of AI-driven bots – The hope for this technology, which uses AI and NLP, is a closer patient engagement. Use cases vary from medication adherence to virtual therapists or symptom checkers. Industry needs to work through the abilities of the more complex apps, but we believe the technology has great upside.
According to McKinsey, the headroom for improvement in healthcare is over $500B within the $3.5T of spent. We don’t know when we see the benefits of new technologies, but we do know that many of the 45,000 enthusiasts who showed up at HIMSS see that as their daily quest.
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