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Drive Innovation April 17, 2015

#HIMSS15: Harbinger of HIT Bubble or of Boundless Innovation?

Partner, Health and Life Sciences, Oliver Wyman
Partner, Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman’s Charlie Hoban and Steve Filler were among the more than 38,000 healthcare IT professionals, clinicians, and executives from around the world who converged in Chicago this week for the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition. Keynote speakers included Walgreens President Alex Gourlay, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard, and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Karen DeSalvo. More than 1,200 health IT vendors lined the McCormick Place Convention Center, prompting speculation from Hoban that either a tech bubble is about to burst or a ton of innovation is on the verge of adoption, with many more waves to come. “Maybe both,” he concluded. More takeaways from our team plus some social media highlights:

  • Consumer engagement as discussed at HIMSS is still mostly from the provider out. The solutions typically begin with the idea of the patient portal and then extend communication and touchpoints around that. Very few ideas were presented that really are focused on engaging the consumer in their broader set of needs, motivations, and behaviors in the 95% of their lives spent when they are not accessing healthcare. The big consumer companies weren’t really as present as they need to be.
  • Analytics and population health management are becoming meaningless phrases. The IT industry isn’t helping customers sort this out, instead it is confusing and conflating the issues by throwing everything into a big messy soup. Industry associations haven’t really stepped up in this regard either. Was also hard to find solutions that connect the dots between the big-picture transformation change agendas and the health IT tools needed to accompany and facilitate them.
  • The large electronic medical record (EMR) play is officially slowing down significantly. Each of the big players mentioned a major slowdown in the large system transformations. Notably, not all of the EMR vendors can meet the Stage 2 meaningful use standards. Those that can really pushed this as integrated into the clinical workflows.

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