San Francisco this week hosted the HealthBeat 2013 conference, a new event exploring “smart hospitals” and “smart practices” in an effort to determine where old technology is disrupting healthcare. According to the event website, the event was aimed to help decision makers, including hospital and other physicians, chief information officers, and insurers understand what technologies are transforming healthcare.
Themes of the conference included The ROI of Health Information Technology: Going Digital in a Reformed Health Care System, The Next Generation of EHRs/EMRs, The Health Care Cloud: Data Warehousing, Big Data Analytics: Business Intelligence for Smart Health Care, Patient Engagement & Activation/mHealth for Smart Patients, and Intelligent Technology, Tools, & Teams for Smart Hospitals and Practices.
Despite emerging technologies, a Washington Post article about the event points out the unique challenges that come with Health IT and HIPAA laws. The law is meant to protect confidential patient information, which means that some standard and relatively inexpensive technologies are out. File transfer and storage company Box however, has proved that new technologies can work within the law by receiving HIPAA certification.
The conference also featured an “innovation showdown” where healthcare industry startups competed to pitch their ideas in front of more than 400 health care executives, leaders, IT decision makers, venture capitalists, and press. Some of the ideas included an online community for cancer patients with a built in clinical trial search engine, a technology that makes any compiled application HIPAA compliant with proximity-based security, and several different ideas of how to improve communication and maximize efficiency in hospitals.