A guide to blockchain at HIMSS18

Our look at the events to expect at the upcoming health and IT conference around one of the most exciting technological developments right now.
By Jack McCarthy
12:03 PM
Blockchain in healthcare

Blockchain effectively broke into healthcare last year at HIMSS17 and has since been picking up steam. 

Whether its promise of enabling secure access to medical records, streamlining hospital revenue cycle, improving information exchange and interoperability or enabling a new era of precision medicine and value-based care, the distributed digital ledger technology holds promise to disrupt any number of healthcare aspects.

At HIMSS18 in March, blockchain’s various capabilities, specific applications will be on display as will factors to examine when considering blockchain and best practices for applying the technology.

What follows is a roundup of blockchain sessions at HIMSS18:

Blockchain 101 for Healthcare
Despite all the excitement around Blockchain, start with the basics. Experts will offer a look at what it is, just as importantly what it’s not, discuss how it can be applied in healthcare-specific use cases, cut through the hype and also offer alternative solutions for the situation where blockchain is perhaps not the best fit. 
Speakers: Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, HyperLedger; Corey Todaro, Chief Operating Officer, Hashed Health
When: 10 to 11 a.m. March 7
Where: Venetian Galileo 904

Blockchain in Healthcare
This session will concentrate on using blockchain to manage appointment pre-visit tasks and follow-ups and patient surveys. See one vendor’s approach to managing that in a decentralized but verifiable fashion to advance doctor and patient interactions.
Speaker: Karthi Narayanaswami, CEO, Trbhi
When: 11:30a.m. March 8
Where: Sands Hall G, Booth 9900

Is Blockchain Right for Good Health?
That is an important question for hospital IT executives to answer from the onset. This hour will touch on Blockchain adoption and advancements relative to healthcare, gauge progress made among applications including health records and medical data interoperability, as well as provide a look toward the future and emerging needs, such as securing sensitive data and medical devices.
Speakers: To be announced
When: 10 to 11 a.m. March 7
Where: Venetian Palazzo E

Blockchain DLT and The Provider Data Challenge
The three-letter acronym DLT, as in distributed ledger technology, might not be every hospital IT shops lexicon just yet but now is a good time to get used to it. If blockchain lives up to half the hype, before long everyone will know exactly what you mean by DLT. This speaker will delve into how a distributed network can enable data sharing among payers, identify components necessary to blockchains, including cryptography, and explain how the technology supports the permissioning of provider data to automate internal quality control tasks. 
Speakers: Dan Gietl, Principal, Ernst & Young
When: 10 a.m. March 6
Where: Las Vegas - Sands Convention Center, Hall G Booth 9947

The Use of Blockchain to Improve Quality Outcomes
With value-based care and alternative payment models on the upswing, blockchain can be used to collect patient and encounter data and, in turn, the exchanging of digital health assets. 
To that end, National Quality Forum Senior Director Jason Gloldwater will explain how the tech can transform quality measurement into a more dynamic model. 
Speaker: Jason Goldwater, Senior Director, National Quality Forum
When: 1 to 2 p.m. March 7
Where: Las Vegas - Venetian Convention Center, Delfino 4004

The Convergence of Healthcare’s Emerging Tech Alphabet Soup with Blockchain
Remember that TLA DLT? Well, it’s joining a number of others, namely AI, IoT, ML and VR/AR. (For the uninitiated, those are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, respectively. This session will dig into how all of those technologies are on a convergence course to yield cognitive systems for diagnosing and treating patient by using data in innovative ways.
Speakers: To be announced
When: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. March 7
Where: Venetian Palazzo E

Blockchain Partners Breakfast
This morning event, which requires a separate registration, is an opportunity to network with health IT pros also working on or interested in learning more about blockchain.
When: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. March 8
Where: Venetian Toscana 3803 Boardroom

HIMSS18 Preview

An inside look at the innovation, education, technology, networking and key events at the HIMSS18 global conference in Las Vegas.