Friday Five – HLTH Recap
HLTH 2022 recently took place in Las Vegas and the event did not disappoint. HealthcareNOW Radio was out in full force at this year’s HLTH Conference so our Friday Five has some reflections from our hosts who attended, highlights from some of the booths they visited, and a taste of an episode to come about HLTH.
HLTH did not disappoint! The event over doubled in size this year with many discussions around the value of HLTH versus HIMSS. The exhibit hall layout was easy to navigate and refreshingly energized in comparison to other, more boring, healthcare events. Everyone seemed open to talk, share and engage.
While I registered to support clients and meet media, the panel sessions across multiple unique stages were the highlight of my time at HLTH. I especially enjoyed the insights shared by chief innovation officers during Monday’s UC Davis Innovation Summit.
HLTH is certainly the premier venue to showcase digital health innovations and start-up companies. Many brilliant ideas were on display. However, these companies need to remember that healthcare provider organizations demand proof. Healthcare is a pragmatic industry. I look forward to seeing successful implementations, proven outcomes, and full integration of the “disruptors” with the “incumbents” at ViVe in March 2023.
I thought the HLTH conference was terrific this year. It was a powerful assembly of innovators, providers, payers, investors, patients and in that mix, hundreds of industry thought leaders.
There was a great focus on innovation regarding care delivery and care strategy as well as interoperability. Also, you could not go 5 feet down any aisle and not hear a focus on patients, patient engagement, or patient empowerment.
I heard there were roughly 10,000 attendees, which was great from the standpoint of being able to see everyone, navigate all of the booths and have enough time to have quality conversations with old friends and many new friends.
I will certainly be back next year and look forward to VIVE this spring in Nashville. We will be broadcasting our show “LIVE from VIVE” so stay tuned!
HLTH 2022 was a great return to normality or whatever we consider our new normal. It was normal in that we were able to attend without testing ourselves for infectious diseases and people generally were not wearing masks although there were some, myself included, at certain points in the conference, when I felt the need to mitigate my risks as much as possible (and stymie the mass surveillance that takes place in Vegas 😁)
Let’s start with burnout – I expected to see and hear more about solutions to address this. If you are not able to take care of yourself you certainly are not able to take care of other people effectively. I am witnessing firsthand the overwhelming workloads and the distraction of technology between the carers and the carees (is that a word…it sounds a whole lot better imo than patients). There were some companies and solutions directed at reducing administrative burdens like speech enablement and automating clinical documentation but I heard much less about them than I expected.
There was no surprise to me that telehealth and home health featured prominently and many solutions addressed these areas either directly or indirectly. I called out the ‘leak’ of Amazon clinic when it took place and was reported on Nov 9 just days away from the HLTH22 show
Questioning if this was a leak or test of the market/response before announcing and was proved right as they announced 6 days later on Tuesday mid-show their offering “Amazon CLinic”
They have the customer base and I’m thinking (hoping) they can apply their chops of friction-free experiences to this space. But more importantly, will it be economical – everyone is facing a big strain on their finances and the conference took place just as many health plans in the US go through open enrollment which I suspect produced some unpleasant and expensive surprises to many people as more and more costs shift to the individual
The backdrop of the Bankman-Fried-induced debacle of the FTX implosion, which according to those with better financial chops than me, will have a big knock-on impact across many areas as there are so many funds and organizations left swinging in the wind with nothing in their pockets was muted. Better yet the real bonus for me of the HLTH conference was it filled my optimism tank. I had multiple conversations with companies and leaders who understood the need to focus on returns and economics. There is money and investment available it is just a little more discerning. Customers likewise are focused squarely on the cost savings
There is real disruption out there and I saw several flashes of it in my walking of the halls and interactions with people and listening to sessions. Clever innovative ideas, some de-novo but most, and you won’t be surprised to hear this from me, incremental and additive in nature. We can and will change healthcare one incremental step at a time. What we need is a faster cycle time from innovation, to testing to refinement and roll out and return back again to the next incremental innovation to get what I term radical incrementalism. HLTH 2022 offered me lots of hope and optimism that we can and will see some real changes in the system coming from a variety of sources that will shake up the space.
As I said to many that I met – I strongly believe everyone comes into healthcare with good intentions (aside from a very small minority who let everyone else down badly and drag us all into the mud and the inevitable knee-jerk responses). Everyone top to bottom starts with the desire to do good and many are driven by an origin story that pushed them into this space. They are thwarted by systems and processes that inhibit their ability to deliver on their promise and that’s what we need to fix. A lot of this is not about technology but about the people and processes or workflow. The companies that stood out to me were the ones that started there and built solutions on top of real problems vs the other way around. I’ll be following up with some interviews I did on the show floor and look forward to having some of the people and companies I met on my upcoming shows.
The organizers of HLTH2022 did a good job – I called out the positive impact of the great food choices and the easy access to many areas and integrated stages and by all accounts, the final night was a blast for many.
I look forward to the next event from this group – Vive in Nashville next year
HLTH 2022 Live from Las Vegas with Dr. Nick
Want a glimpse into some of the happenings and innovations seen at HLTH? Our own Dr. Nick stopped by a few booths and recorded some of his discussions for our viewing pleasure. Did you know there is technology out there that can be used by anyone to perform an ultrasound? Dr. Nick stopped by the Caption Health (@CaptionHealth) booth to show us a device that can do just that. Next he spoke with Current Health (@HeyCurrent) about their interesting partnership with Best Buy and then Eko (@Eko_Health) to find out about their digital stethoscopes using AI to analyze the patients heartbeat which is again helpful for non-experts. And finally, Dr. Nick visited FarmboxRx, a patient engagement company that teams up with health plans to deliver healthy food along with nutrition education to improve members health.
— Ñick van Terheyden, MD -Dr Ñiçk 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇮🇪🇳🇬🌍 (@drnic1) November 18, 2022
Upcoming Special HLTH 2022 Episode of What’s My Tagline
On this special episode, Carol Flagg once again reunites with James Aita, the Director of Strategy and Business Development for Medicomp Systems, and Grace Vinton, a seasoned PR expert at Amendola Communications. The three turn their attention to HLTH, which just concluded in Las Vegas, to share their musings and give some raw feedback about the conference. Coming soon!
The band is back together! @HITeaWithGrace and myself getting interviewed by the amazing @carolflagg for her podcast #WhatsmyTagline recapping @HLTHEVENT #HLTH2022 – look for it soon on @HCNowRadio or wherever you get your podcasts pic.twitter.com/1klFyGK16w
— James Aita, HMBA (@healthtechjames) November 16, 2022
BONUS: PopHealth Week: HLTH2022 Roundtable: Impressions and Takeaways
Host Fred Goldstein convenes a roundtable featuring Douglas Goldstein, Managing Director, Salt Flats Capital, Neal Sofian, CEO, Tuzag, Inc., and Dr. Nick Van Terheyden, ‘The Incrementalist’, Principal, ECG Management Consultants. They discuss their impressions at the HLTH conference and key takeaways.