The conference world was abuzz with energy earlier this summer as it looked like in-person events were making a comeback. And then along came Delta. While the insidious COVID variant certainly scotched many peoples’ plans the organizing team for HIMSS 21 decided that the show, quite literally, must go on.
Still feeling the impact from the cancelation of the event at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the consensus from industry leaders was that it was important that the healthcare IT community be given the opportunity to reconnect in person. Using all of the best practices and knowledge available to them, the HIMSS team pulled off a remarkable event both for those who could attend in person and those who chose to be their virtually.
Here are some of the best reflections on this year’s event.
What Were the Big Stories at HIMSS 21?
Despite the smaller crowds and absence of fanfare there were many important announcements and big stories coming off the HIMSS 21 show floor. The team at GovDataDownload spent the week combing social media to identify the stories that health IT professionals needed to know about, whether or not they were in attendance.
You can catchup on their top picks – covering AI, telehealth, healthcare equity, public health, and more, here.
HIMSS 21 was Definitely Worth Attending
Healthcare industry marketing guru, Colin Hung was one of the people who put concerns about the Delta variant aside to attend HIMSS 21 in person. For him, the vaccine requirement, the mandatory masking, and the plan put together by the conference organizers to keep attendees safely spaced made the attending in person a relative non-issue.
While the most important healthcare IT conference was certainly not the same as it was back in 2019, Hung shared in a post for HITMC that the smaller, more intimate event had some unforeseen benefits. For starters he noted that while foot traffic was lower at the booths, the quality of conversation was much higher as there were fewer attendees looking to nab the coolest tchotchkes and booth swag.
You can read more of Colin’s reflections on HIMSS: COVID Edition here.
A Different Take on the Big HIMSS 21 Stories
For a different take on the big HIMSS 21 stories we found interesting insight from Artur Olesch of About Digital Health. As well as touching on the predictable stories around the advances in healthcare driven by AI, Olesch did a great job of capturing the stories behind the headlines. For example, telehealth was certainly top of mind at HIMSS 21, but what about the change in the regulatory environment that’s going to be needed cement telehealth’s status a fundamental part of healthcare over the long term? That’s where Olesch’s wrap up of HIMSS is invaluable.
You can find more of his insights, here.