BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
The HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, one of the largest health IT conferences in the industry, is fast approaching and there are a lot of new features to the conference this year.
In a press webinar, Joyce Lofstrom, senior director of corporate communications at HIMSS, noted that this year there will be two keynotes in one session with Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS secretary, and Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, as the speakers.
"That's a highlight, I think, of this year," Lofstrom said.
Other highlights at HIMSS this year include new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing in healthcare. Also highlighted will be the EMRAM, an eight-stage model that measures healthcare organizations on their progress towards Journey to Stage 7, which will address "how hospitals and ambulatory practices [can] reach stage 7," Lofstrom said, and the SANS Cybersecurity session, which will address cybersecurity and how to secure patient health information.
On the exhibition floor, Kelly Wagner, coordinator for corporate communications at HIMSS, said, "Some things you might want to stop and see are the Intelligent Health Pavilion, University Row, Population Health Knowledge Center and the Revenue Cycle Knowledge Center."
The Intelligent Health Pavilion
Harry Pappasfounder and CEO, Intelligent Health Association
"We're building out a complete operating room, an ICU, labor and delivery, pharmacy, outpatient pharmacy, ED, physicians exam room [and] patient office," Pappas explained. "[On] the other side of the pavilion we built out an iHome, a smart home with layers of consumer-oriented technology, medical technology and clinical technology."
The goal of the pavilion, Pappas said, is to educate the healthcare community on the new and upcoming technologies in the industry.
Attendees can stop by the pavilion and learn how to use barcodes throughout a hospital or how to use biometrics, RFID or RTLS, for example. They also can learn how to weave all these technologies into the EHR and also how to then integrate this technology into the "wireless backbone of the hospital," Pappas said.
"We demonstrate in a vendor neutral manner to our visitors," he added.
Pappas explained that visitors will be given headphones to listen to pre-recorded audio as they watch "actors and actresses" move equipment around, set up alarms and demo the various technologies. Pappas said there also will be a monitor for visitors to watch as the presentation is happening. "[It's] a multimedia presentation," he said. Adding that, "during these presentations [we] do not name the vendors."
IoT, 3D printing in healthcare to be demonstrated
Of the technologies that will be showcased at the Intelligent Health Pavilion, Pappas said he thinks 3D printing in healthcare will be a "big wild factor" for a lot of people.
At the pavilion, Pappas said that companies specializing in 3D printing technologies, along with physicians from medical schools, will be demonstrating this technology by printing out human body parts.
In addition to 3D printing in healthcare demonstrations, the Intelligent Health Pavilion will also be demonstrating Internet of Things in healthcare and IoT in the home.
For example, a Stryker iBed will be demoed at the pavilion, Pappas said. He explained that as a patient lies in this bed, the bed is able to read a person's bio data and it can then transmit that data through the wireless connection in a person's home to the caregiver or a family member.
"We're trying to wake up the industry and say, 'This is where it's going. Are you ready for it?'" Pappas said, adding that taking an educational approach has been successful "because people come in, C-suite executives from all the major hospitals in Europe and in the United States make an appointment to come in and take a tour because they want to see what's going on."
The Cybersecurity Command Center
Also new at HIMSS this year is the Cybersecurity Command Center (CSCC) where HIMSS attendees can not only learn about healthcare cybersecurity but also test to see how prepared they and their healthcare organizations are for an attack.
"Visiting the CSCC is an immersive experience," Lee Kim, director of privacy and security of technology solutions at HIMSS North America, wrote in an email. "Not only [will] the look and feel of the booth take you into the realm of cybersecurity, but so will the interactive challenges."
For example, the Cylance "Find the Cyber Threat" challenge will test participants' ability to identify the points of compromise that may exist in an operating room or doctor's office, Kim wrote. "After you take this challenge, you may be surprised to learn all of the potential attack surfaces which are out there."
Or the Intel interactive challenge that will help participants identify their healthcare organization's security maturity level compared to other healthcare organizations.
And last, the FairWarning "Catch Me If You Can" challenge will test participants' healthcare cybersecurity expertise in terms of detecting advanced threats to protected health information that exist today.
"The challenges are upon us in healthcare cybersecurity," Kim said. "Healthcare organizations are quickly ramping up their cybersecurity programs to stay ahead of the ever evolving, sophisticated cyber threats."
Kim added that healthcare cybersecurity experts will be on hand at the command center to offer advice and different perspectives on how to stay ahead of threats -- whether internal or external -- to the healthcare organization.
Stay up-to-date with live coverage from HIMSS16
HIMSS 2015 was delightfully chaotic
Consumer health and wellness big part of HIMSS15