HIMSS 2013


Day one at HIMSS was an afternoon spent trying to make sense of the enormity of the exhibit hall. The number of vendors and size of the booths tells you that there is a lot of work, excitement and opportunity/money in health IT. So I stopped by Alere, Truven, Intermountain, QualcommLife; looked at WebMD’s proposed system with QualcommLife, reviewed a PHR vendors product with some mHealth connectivity, walked around some more and ran into friends like Doug Goldstein (no relation that we can determine), an eFuturist, expert in health games, user engagement, author and member of the Press and we walked the floors.

Doug invited me to an interview with Cisco discussing their Lake Nona project, a wired community being built outside of Orlando. Thad Seymour is SVP of Lake Nona and someone I had not seen in seven years. Thad walked us through some of their partners and how they hoped the 1GB wiring to homes and amazing wired infrastructure including hospitals and clinics would lead to a better planned community of 8,000 people. Interesting concept, and if they can provide some real usability to community members besides just moving data, should create some unique results.

We then traded ideas with Dave Evans, Cisco’s Chief Futurist (now that has to be one cool job.) Dave believes

that its the number of connections that will make a difference. We discussed the smart phone as a supercomputer due to its connectivity to the web and the concept of building a digital nervous system. All leading to a question of whether or not this would create Skynet from the Terminator movies. Dave feels that these systems will never have the unique human capability to do that and will always be under our control. Anyone care to provide their thoughts on this below??

One interesting and very bad experience was going through a demo of an unnamed companies system to manage data for hospitals and physician groups and having them drill down as I asked for more detail…. System Name and data…. Facility Name and data…. Doctor Name and data…. PATIENT NAME and DATA…. OMG.. So I calmly asked if her demo was set up with real data. “Yes it was” she replied professionally and proudly, it is was the real stuff downloaded to her computer; with no thought at all to the HIPAA breach she had just incurred, no they were not dummy names. I had spent the flight into New Orleans reading about the Evernote breach of the past few days, they say your biggest security risk is your people. Well there you go..

While all of this building of infrastructure and systems is good, I still did not see really smart cloud based intelligent systems that will radically change behavior built upon these platforms, I guess they will come.

My next piece will be a deep dive into some more of the ideas and technology at HIMSS 2013 and my continuing search for the cloud based intelligent systems.

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