Phoenix Children's CIO David Higginson on 'walking the fringes' at HIMSS17

Entrepreneurs and upstarts in the show floor nooks and crannies are a great place to find new ideas, insights and technologies that foretell coming trends. 
By David Higginson
08:18 AM
Phoenix Childrens CIO HIMSS17

One of things I do every year at HIMSS is walk around all the vendors on the edge of the hall or in the secondary hall. I have come to appreciate this time as “walking the fringes.”

These are the small startups, the entrepreneurs who define the next breakthrough ideas, products and services that are at the core of healthcare technology ingenuity.

There are a few ideas that I am particularly intrigued about in 2017, and am interested to see addressed in various facets by the participants, vendors and patrons.

One trend that is forthcoming is the evolution of various electronic communication tools that are replacing the phone call in patient and consumer interaction with providers. Not patient portals, not social media, but innovative ways to interact with the patients and families in real time without using a phone … in the way that they want to interact with their provider. As an example: live chat.

Another development, research data automation. These are complex tools to automatically de-identify, synthesize and compile large research data sets. The upshot for health systems is that these technologies can be used by researchers to commission complex datasets  in an automated way in order to  make use of large amounts of real patient data organizations have in a safe and appropriate way.

By walking the fringes every year I see at least one company that is truly exciting and ground breaking, and I always follow up with them. This is where I get a lot of my own new ideas and insights.

David Higginson is CIO at Phoenix Children’s. 

HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.

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