In specialty forums in Orlando, Healthcare IT News and its sister brands will be co-hosting in-depth sessions on today’s hottest health IT trends and topics.
Among the day-long (and half-day) specialty forums and summits offered at HIMSS19 on February 11 and 12, there are six – co-hosted by Healthcare IT News and other HIMSS Media brands Healthcare Finance News and MobiHealthNews – that offer deep dives into some of the most important tech topics facing the industry today.
Each of them will offer and up-close and interactive opportunities to learn from IT leaders and healthcare decision-makers about how they're putting information and technology to work to drive lasting healthcare improvements. They take place in Orlando's Rosen Centre, and cost $350 with the advanced registration discount until Jan. 15. Register here
Healthcare heads to the cloud
At the Cloud Computing Forum (Monday at 8 a.m. in Rosen Centre - Executive Ballroom I), attendees can gain insights about how best to leverage the cloud to drive clinical improvements and operational efficiencies.
From security to interoperability to analytics and workflow, the cloud offers huge opportunities but must be deployed with deliberation, with special attention paid to specific organizational needs. Other sessions at the event will include a presentation from Rush University Medical Center experts, who will show how it has implement a mix of cloud IaaS and PaaS offerings (as well as Hadoop distribution and a cloud data lake), and one from infosec leaders at Cleveland Clinic, Wellforce ad UMPC, who'll offer their perspectives on ensuring provider organizations move safely to cloud-based hosting.
Artificial intelligence, genuine opportunities
At Machine Learning & AI for Healthcare (Monday at 8 a.m. in Rosen Centre - Junior Ballroom), HIMSS19 attendees will have a full day of sessions showing how these still-emerging but fast-evolving technologies are already leading to fundamental changes in all corners of care delivery.
Starting with a keynote from Dr. Anthony Chang, chief intelligence and innovation officer at CHOC Children's, focusing on the "Synergies Between Man and Machine," the schedule of events will also feature sessions from experts from a diverse array of leading healthcare organizations – Duke, Hackensack Meridian, Optum, WMC Health and many others – showing how machine learning is helping drive efficiencies with predictive analytics, AI is boosting the value of imaging data, cognitive computing is improving oncology applications and much more.
Better experience for bigger engagement
For the second year, in a row, our Patient Engagement & Experience Summit (Monday at 8 a.m. in Rosen Centre – Grand Ballroom C) adds that all-important third word – "experience" to the equation. After all, as Cleveland Clinic Chief Experience Officer Adrienne Boissy will surely be showing in her opening keynote, "Empathy by Design," you can't have one without the other: A positive healthcare experience helps build and sustain greater engagement for patients and clinicians alike.
Other sessions during this summit include: tips on incorporating AI into the patient experience from digital and consumer experts from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; advice from the CIO of Yale New Haven Health System for "extending empathy into the digital era," and perspective from a Cleveland Clinic psychologist about best ways to incorporate and make use of "co-designed" patient information.
Pharma: a new face at HIMSS19
At the inaugural Pharma Forum (Tuesday at noon in Rosen Centre – Grand Ballroom C), we'll be focusing for the first time ever on one of the most crucial triads in healthcare: pharma-provider-payer collaborations. HIMSS19 Champion of Health Dr. Rasu Shrestha, soon to be chief strategy officer at Atrium Health, will host the event.
The pharma business model is changing, after all, and the industry is now appreciating the need to collaborate with providers, payers – and patients – with IT as a key enabler. At this half-day program, leaders from across those industries will compare notes and best practices and explore new ways to drive synergies among them as value-based care continues to gain traction. Among the topics to be explored: What do providers want from the pharmaceutical industry? How is digital technology impacting pharma's new imperatives? And how can silos be broken down to encourage collaboration and innovation on all sides?
Making precision medicine work in practice
Longtime Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO Dr. John Halamka is scheduled to keynote the HIMSS19 Precision Medicine Summit (Monday at 8 a.m. in Rosen Centre – Executive Ballroom H). He'll outline the promises and challenges of personalized care – drawing not just from his own clinical and technological experience, but also the journey of his wife Kathy, whose breast cancer was treated with help from these emerging techniques.
The day will also be filled with detailed presentations and panel discussions, exploring the many facets of precision med: applications for chronic care management, challenges related to interoperability and data exchange, strategies for assessing value and potential ROI of precision medicine programs, advice for moving genomic techniques into general practice, legal considerations and much more.
Revenue cycle management means consumerism, cybersecurity and more
At the Revenue Cycle Solutions Summit (Monday at 8 a.m. in Rosen Centre – Grand Ballroom DE), the age of consumerism will be a major focus of discussion, as hospitals and health systems adjust to a new era of technology-enabled patient empowerment. In his keynote, Karl West, chief information security officer at Intermountain Healthcare, will offer an interesting twist on that new paradigm, with a talk titled "Securing the Consumer-Driven Revenue Cycle."
With more consumers engaging directly with healthcare providers, after all, there's a whole lot more more data. And that can come with a big potential cost for health systems that prioritize access and convenience over security. Other presentations planned for this rev cycle event will explore tips for patient-centric financing strategies; best practices for reengineering check-in to improve the patient experience and perspectives on how AI and automation are reshaping all aspects of revenue cycle management.
The largest players in cloud computing are looking to Asia for further expansion – Google has announced it is building a new data centre in Singapore, while Alibaba Cloud has announced a second infrastructure zone in Malaysia.
Google’s expansion will take the company up to three data centres in Singapore, taking its overall investment in the country to $850 million. The facilities will also be built in line with Google’s environmental policy; back in April the company announced it had achieved its long-standing goal of becoming 100% renewable.
According to Google’s location map, the company now operates 61 open and provisional zones across 20 regions and five continents. Singapore is joined in Asia Pacific by Japan – an open facility in Tokyo and a future region in Osaka – Mumbai, Taiwan, Sydney, and another future facility in Hong Kong. “We’re looking forward to growing our small team at the data centres here, as well as expanding our ties with the local community,” wrote Joe Kava, VP data centres in a blog post.
Alibaba, meanwhile, is launching a second availability zone in Malaysia to expand its cloud footprint in the country. Among the new products to arrive are DDoS protection, as well as elastic computing, database, networking and monitoring services. In line with Alibaba’s recent partnership with SAP, the zone will also be certified for SAP hosting.
“The success of our trade on a global platform with assistance of companies like Alibaba Cloud depends on an efficient Internet environment,” said Gobind Singh Deo, Malaysia minister of communications and multimedia. “The advanced technology afforded by Alibaba Cloud opens new opportunities, which I believe will quite substantially benefit Malaysia in its efforts to raise competition and efficiency in this new industry.”
There is a major audience for cloud technologies in Southeast Asia – indeed, Google said that in three years more than 70 million people had gotten online for the first time. This has been reflected in recent industry research into the area.
According to the most recent study from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), out of 14 Asia Pacific countries, Singapore was considered the most ‘cloud ready’. The country was praised for its broadband quality, cybersecurity and levels of business sophistication. Malaysia was ranked at #8, noting the government’s cloud-first strategy as a potential indicator of future success.
Developers using Google’s new Cloud Build will now have access to the GitHub code repository Microsoft acquired in June.
Google and Microsoft’s GitHub announced a new collaboration to integrate their cloud offerings for application developers. The deal comes after Microsoft revealed plans to acquire GitHub for its code repository last month.
Now, the vendors are integrating Google’s Cloud Build, unveiled earlier this week at its Cloud Next 2018 conference, into GitHub’s software development platform’s workflow, Melody Meckfessel, vice president of engineering at Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post
The GitHub platform hosts a network of developers in nearly every country, according to company executives. The developers represent more than 1.5 million companies across healthcare, manufacturing, technology, financial services, retail and more.
Meckfessel added that the companies will also share principles and practices around open source and have worked together on improvements to the Git client and protocol to focus on making developers more productive.
“Bringing our continuous integration to the GitHub platform will provide fast, frictionless, and convenient CI for any repository on GitHub,&rrdquo; she wrote.
GitHub platform hosts a network of developers in nearly every country, according to GitHub executives. The developers represent more than 1.5 million companies across healthcare, manufacturing, technology, financial services, retail and more.
Integrating with Google Cloud Build signals that GitHub will retain a measure of independence after the Microsoft acquisition.
“We’ll keep working with our partners to create an open platform,” GitHub senior vice president of technology Jason Warner wrote in a blog post.
Next-gen cloud computing: How healthcare can prepare for the future
Don’t leave it up to tech vendors to drive the next phase of integrated data that gets channeled between doctors, payers, providers and patients.
There has been a notable shift in healthcare clouds from simple data storage to using the technology to lower costs, gain efficiencies and even move on to tasks such as personalizing patient care
Black Book Research, in fact, found that 93 percent 93 percent of hospital CIOs are actively acquiring the staff to configure, manage and support a HIPAA-compliant cloud infrastructure.
This is happening as the service offerings of cloud technology vendors such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure, in particular, are constantly changing. What’s more, 91 percent of CIOs in the Black Book survey report cloud computing is allowing more agile, nimble products and services with the proliferation of healthcare data.
So healthcare CIOs and other executives have to be prepared for the changing cloud landscape. Here’s a look at what to expect in the near future.
Security and Blockchain
For the next generation of clouds, security is a big consideration moving forward by cloud technology vendors and healthcare organization clients alike.
Webinar: How Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative migrated to AWS
“The cloud provider must ensure through regulatory audits that physical security requirements are effectively met, therefore, they are employing strict facility and asset access controls through a combination of biometric and token-based security protocols,” said Black Book President Doug Brown.
In addition to security, multiple EHRs within the same health system can cause problems in patient identification and patient safety. At the same time, the promise of Blockchain technology for security and records is getting riper, and can meld into the cloud.
“The need for cybersecurity measures has never been more critical, and it’s organic in the evolution of healthcare cloud computing,” Brown said. “As more hospitals get serious about their unique needs for increased governance, risk management and business continuity measures, national organizations are working to see how Blockchain could be best applied and are about to open the floodgates.”
"Forward-thinking healthcare organizations must embrace technology at every point of the patient’s care. Specifically, those web-based technologies that allow us to comprehensively engage at the clinical level with the provider and the patient."
Brian Owens, Bendcare
State of the art: real-time data
Moving into the next generation of cloud computing, healthcare organizations will have to embrace the knowledge that state of the art patient care requires state of the art data in real time, said Brian Owens, chief technology officer and CIO at Bendcare, a national rheumatology group practice that uses cloud technology from CareCloud.
“Simply put, forward-thinking healthcare organizations must embrace technology at every point of the patient’s care,” Owens said. “Specifically, those web-based technologies that allow us to comprehensively engage at the clinical level with the provider and the patient. This must include EHR strategies certainly but should also extend to complementary mobile applications and Internet-based access points that integrate information from the entire clinical ecosystem to capture and support the needs of the patient.”
Hospitals also will need to commit to data partnering and information sharing, he said. Data is out there, but too often in the healthcare industry it is fragmented, incomplete and siloed. To truly understand what is best for a patient, and most importantly to allow providers to comprehensively understand how their treatment plan is affecting the patient’s disease state, providers must have the entire picture – and here, cloud computing can help, Owens said.
“This means finding ways to obtain, integrate and channel information from the physician, pharmacies, insurance companies, test providers, and even the patients themselves to create a holistic view of the patient journey,” he explained. “In addition to building and managing our own infrastructures and tools, we must create partnerships that allow information to deliver value in ever greater and ever more creative and immediate ways.”
"Efficient and crisp adoption of cloud IaaS/Platform/SaaS models in healthcare require adaptation from both the cloud service provider and the healthcare organization."
Jim Fitzgerald, CloudWave
Adapt, collaborate and optimize
Jim Fitzgerald, chief strategy officer at CloudWave, a cloud technology vendor that focuses on healthcare, believes the next steps for the evolution of cloud technology in healthcare are for cloud services vendors and healthcare organizations to adapt, collaborate and optimize.
“Adapt is a simple term with a lot of technical depth behind it,” he said. “Efficient and crisp adoption of cloud IaaS/Platform/SaaS models in healthcare require adaptation from both the cloud service provider and the healthcare organization. The cloud service provider needs to take a step outside strict auto-provisioning and one-size-fits-all models of provisioning compute, storage, networking, platform and security and adapt to the unique needs of healthcare applications that have a collected depth of industry content but are often not well-suited to cloud implementation.”
Using their technical expertise to create a bridge to cloud technology is a way cloud services providers can help the industry. Healthcare providers can assist and enable this adaptation process by doing inward-looking technology reviews and assessments that analyze their existing platforms and consider means of consolidation and aggregation that will allow successful, efficient adoption of a cloud model, Fitzgerald said.
“On another note, collaboration is essential to adaptation and essential to helping the healthcare industry take best advantage of cloud IT models,” he added. “From the vendor perspective, it means that signing an agreement and then leaving design and provisioning solely in the hands of the customer is not an acceptable or helpful practice. From the healthcare provider perspective, it means letting go of the ‘we’ll fix it in hardware’ paradigm and considering the overall needs of systems that might benefit from cloud migration.”
And optimization is the end goal, allowing the power of the cloud model to improve availability, security and recoverability for the healthcare enterprise while also developing new efficiencies – but new efficiencies compared to a secure, highly available environment, not necessarily what the healthcare provider was used to operating on premises, Fitzgerald explained.
“As in the prior steps, there is work here for both the cloud services provider and the healthcare provider, and both need to engage collaboratively,” he said. “A major wild card in this process is the vendors of healthcare software buying into migrating their underlying software architecture from 2000’s era client/server models to cloud native platform capabilities. This shift is slowly underway, and it is encouraging over the long term.”
"A huge barrier to cloud adoption is that healthcare organizations want to run their own private environments and do not trust public cloud providers to secure their data."
Michael Robinson, Vmware
On another front, a hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud technology to facilitate a secure cloud computing environment. Some experts believe next-generation cloud setups are going to rely heavily on hybrid technology.
For the next generation of cloud, healthcare organizations will need to embrace the hybrid cloud, said Michael Robinson, vice president of healthcare, North America, at Vmware, a subsidiary of Dell that specializes in cloud infrastructure.
“This may sound very basic, but a huge barrier to cloud adoption – and tapping the efficiency and security gains that come with it – is that healthcare organizations and clinical labs want to run their own private environments and do not trust public cloud providers to secure their data,” Robinson said. “Healthcare IT is understandably security-focused, but the security risk to an organization is more heightened from a lost device or stolen password than it is a cloud breach of patient information.”
Trusting external cloud experts – who specialize, research and invest in developing a capable and secure cloud – will remove a lot of the burden of building and securing entire environments from the healthcare organization, allowing them to focus elsewhere, he added.
Additionally, healthcare organizations looking to the next generation of cloud technology will have to design with flexibility in mind, Robinson advised.
“While many graphics portray the move to cloud with a bridge, this image is not 100 percent accurate,” he explained. “Bridges are static structures and it takes a disruptive reconstruction to change the destination of that bridge. IT leaders must build flexibility into their cloud architectures so that they can take advantage of future circumstances, such as beneficial financial offerings, changes in business priority, and emerging or as yet to be defined technologies.”
This means that the cloud destination must be easy to add on to or change, without disrupting IT or business operations.
“Think of the cloud bridge as having many different on-ramps and exits that can be built in a matter of days without completely rebuilding the entire bridge,” he said. “IT leaders must consider many possible scenarios. Will cloud services always be in the cloud, or will there be a need to provide cloud analytics at facilities or remote locations? Building with flexibility is critical, and taking a platform-centric approach is foundational to enabling it.”
Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate the cloud computing infrastructure-as-a-service market, but Microsoft's Azure is growing fast.
The worldwide infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market grew 29.5 percent in 2017 to total $23.5 billion, up from $18.2 billion in 2016, according to calculations by tech analyst firm Gartner. Companies are increasingly handing over their data and applications to cloud services providers; the analyst group recently predicted that, as a result, 80 percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers by 2025 -- up from just 10 percent today.
SEE: Special report: The art of the hybrid cloud (free PDF)Amazon Web Services was the top vendor in the IaaS market in 2017, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Rackspace.Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, said spending on cloud computing now accounts for more than 20 percent of the total IT budget for organizations which are using it, and cloud services are now being used to support production environments and business-critical operations.
In the IaaS market, the four big players are also grabbing a larger share of total revenue as the market starts to consolidate. AWS, Microsoft, Alibaba and Google represent nearly three quarters (73 percent) of the total IaaS market and 47 percent of the combined IaaS and infrastructure utility services (IUS) market.Source: Gartner
Amazon is the clear leader in the worldwide IaaS market with an estimated $12.2 billion revenue in 2017, up 25 percent from 2016. Gartner said customers migrating from traditional data centers to cloud IaaS, and customers working on digital transformation projects helped boost AWS revenues.
But Microsoft saw rapid growth in its Azure service, with revenue nearly doubling to reach $3.1 billion in 2017. Alibaba held onto the third spot, which Gartner said reflects the company's successful investment in research and development.SEE: Cloud v. data center decision (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)
"Alibaba has the financial capability to continue this trend and invest in global expansion, giving the company potential to become over time an alternative to the global hyperscale cloud providers in select regions," Gartner said.
Separate figures for the worldwide public cloud infrastructure market from Canalys last week also showed AWS grabbing most of the revenue but with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud growing faster than the market leader.
AWS still leads in cloud, but Microsoft Azure is catching up.Source: Canalys
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