March 7, 2018

HIMSS18 — healthcare IT is a team sport. But where are all the players?

Walking around HIMSS18 you see a lot of noise and taglines about interoperability, connectivity and other great buzzwords including current…

Walking around HIMSS18 you see a lot of noise and taglines about interoperability, connectivity and other great buzzwords including current healthcare industry favorite, population health management. But how will any of this actually work? And more importantly, who is delivering it?

These are great ambitions and will make an enormous impact to the quality of healthcare — and most important of all, make the health of people better. But the current healthcare landscape is too fragmented.

Healthcare IT is a team sport. But where are all the players?

There is certainly no evidence of a team approach unfortunately here at HIMSS18. And to compound that, a lack of understanding about how companies actually deliver interoperability — the very taglines on their booth!

With this inherent lack of understanding and awareness, how they expect to deliver on their taglines and succeed is unknown. You can only imagine this must be extremely frustrating for clinicians, who need working solutions.

Who are the team players?

As you walk around the exhibit hall, there are very few of the main players who are actively engaged and taking action to be part of the team. Two notable exceptions are athenahealth and Allscripts:

athenahealth have their MDP — More Disruption Please — partner program and the clue is right there in the name for them as to why their program works! They’ve managed to maintain that entrepreneurial disruptive attitude which is awesome.

Allscripts have their ADP — Allscripts Developer Program — an open platform which has now performed 3.5 BILLION data shares using their APIs. This is a great metric they measure and evidence their open platform is delivering.

But where are the others?

Instead it’s being left to disruptive startups to bring the teams together. Relaymed is one such startup, as are our friends at Redox. It is being left to entrepreneurs like us, to come in and make the taglines and buzzwords of others a reality.

At the end of the day, it’s all driven by data. Without the right data, in the right place, at the right time, nothing will work. You can’t very well deliver population health management if you don’t have the data to deliver insight.

Data of all kinds needs to go to a central repository — and that is the EHR. And to get there, the EHR needs to play nicely with everyone. And everyone needs to play nicely with everyone else! That could be imaging, vitals, lab results or activity from your Apple Watch. And the EHR vendor definitely can’t do all of that on their own, which Allscripts and athenahealth have recognized.

How do Relaymed play?

Relaymed play a small, but crucial part of the healthcare team, in making sure lab results (UAs, A1c, flu for example) are saved as structured data in the EHR so they can then be used to drive data analytics. As you definitely can’t drive any analytics if it’s a scan of a paper print out as is currently done! We’re working with the major point-of-care device vendors and EHR vendors to bring the players together and make the statements of interoperability, that others here at HIMSS18 just throw around, become an actual reality.

And to repeat — where are the others? This is a team sport people and we need more players!

That’s my main personal takeaway from HIMSS18. Let’s work together to make it different at HIMSS19. Get in touch — it’s not too late to join the team.

Neil, CEO at Relaymed.


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