There is no question about it, digital health is helping shape the future of healthcare. Patients are becoming proactive and are now weighing their options when it comes to finding the most cost effective and high quality healthcare solution on the market. On the other end of the spectrum, health insurance companies, providers and health tech product companies are all competing to deliver cutting edge tech solutions to solve a variety of industry wide problems.
One of the best perks of having been in the field of healthcare IT for over 15 years is the opportunity to watch the evolution of healthcare first hand. From ground breaking health tech innovations to digital health trend tracking, we obtain our insight from healthcare events we attend throughout the year such as conferences, summits, expos and festivals nationwide. We love being inspired and at these events we get to meet a lot of really passionate individuals, hear innovative ideas and disruptive projects. We also get to contribute to the changes happening throughout the healthcare industry.
Over the years Vicert has attended too many conferences to count, which is why we finally compiled a list of our Top 20 Health Conferences of 2017. Of course some events are better than others, but keep in mind this an insider view of events with a focus on digital health. Expect our comments, tips and general info about the event as you read our first 10 picks for 2017.
This summer all the tech buzzwords will hijack the digital health space. AI, chatbots, machine learning, blockchain and cloud platforms are successfully being integrated in health tech processes and have solidified the support needed to enable the digital health revolution. For us it all started during HIMSS earlier this year, when we met with IBM and established a premier partnership. Since then we have been busy implementing the Bluemix Cloud Platform, collaborating with Watson Health and building digital health chatbots.
Summer is famous for its flings, and our R&D department (basically our devs having fun with new tech) chose their first week of summer crush – AWS Lambda (before another one catches their eye next week – IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk).
In just a couple of hours in a relaxed summer atmosphere (courtesy of our HR department for providing these amazing lounge chairs) our devs were able to test AWS Lambda by making a Slack Bot. The idea was to check how we could automize and build a development environment for a healthcare client – meaning it needed to be HIPAA compliant (whence AWS Lambda and Slack).
Or How to Setup an API Framework for a Client that Serves a Million Users Monthly Without Disturbing Them
Our client serves a million customers monthly. Over the years they have worked with multiple vendors who have built apps on top of the legacy code system, which overtime has made it extremely complex and unstable. All the services in the client’s portfolio were developed by different vendors/teams who had various architectures and patterns. Every service had it’s own login and monitoring, plus they all were mutually dependant.
This year we decided that visiting partners and clients on the East Coast was not enough for us given all the activity springing up there, so after being contacted by the Personal Connected Health Alliance we are thrilled to come back to Washington D.C. this year – this time as a sponsor.
The Connected Health Conference offered us cutting edge sessions with innovative companies participating and attending and a truly proactive setting perfect for tackling a number of the industry’s complexities.
2016 has brought many challenges to the health industry. Difficulties with reimbursements and increases in medical costs has driven up the bottom line. Additionally, significant increases in funding of digital health startups over the past three years have brought an onslaught of companies disrupting segments of the payer business model. Fortunately, the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand is a household name that can carry member companies into Health 2.0.
Over the past 15 years we have been working in digital health, including with BCBSA member companies. Based on our observations here are the six areas BCBSA member companies will be focusing on in 2017:
Every new healthcare app or fledgling technology is like a sunny window into the future: Could virtual reality replace opioids for pain relief, as proposed by startup DeepStream VR? Might smart contact lenses, under development by Verily (aka Google) and Novartis, soon measure blood sugar levels in tears, eliminating painful finger pricks for people with diabetes?
This optimistic focus on innovation is what makes the upcoming Health 2.0 conference a driving force in an industry dogged by numerous problems—from a lack of care coordination and wasteful practices to a lack of IT interoperability and workforce shortages. Every year, the conference offers some of the tech industry’s best ideas for solving these problems—or making them disappear altogether.
Developers and coders are a hot commodity and the boom in start-ups around digital health combined with increased health IT spending is making qualified developers harder to find. It’s a classic example of supply not keeping pace with demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1.4 million computer science jobs are expected by 2020, but only 400,000 new computer science graduates to meet the demand.
With the increase in mobile device applications and further implementation of electronic health records, privacy and security is a growing concern. Naturally, patients expect healthcare organizations to take the necessary steps to safeguard their personal information.