The annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)  conference was held last month in Orlando, FL. In this post, I highlight some of the topics discussed, including the role of AI in healthcare, the creation of a World Health Data Hub, and the importance of cybersecurity in healthcare.

The AI in Healthcare Forum highlighted how AI is revolutionizing tasks such as clinical and administrative workflow optimization, revenue cycle management and even mortality risk prediction. The forum provided insights from leading healthcare organizations that have harnessed AI's power to enhance patient outcomes, stimulate revenue growth and tackle workforce challenges, including employee burnout.

A session titled "AI's Role in Modern Healthcare: The Wins, the Woes, and What's Next" discussed assessing viable business models, setting and achieving clinical objectives, navigating adoption hurdles, and pinpointing key metrics for measuring AI performance and calculating ROI. The presenters also pointed out that healthcare systems need to review their current state of data maturity, governance, IT infrastructure, and they need experienced resources who can execute. 

The World Health Data Hub session discussed the goal of creating equitable access to accurate health data. An expert from the World Health Organization discussed an ambitious mission to build and launch a secure World Health Data Hub. They tackled data fragmentation and the burden of data collection, and they addressed the need to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and reliability of data collection, harmonization and dissemination. 

The Healthcare Cybersecurity Forum discussed the importance of securing medical, IoT and OT devices within a healthcare organization, particularly as it relates to protecting against cyberattacks such as ransomware. The forum shared insights into how industry leaders can safeguard healthcare's expanding digital landscape.

Hackensack Meridian Health CISO Mark Johnson shared firsthand lessons from the aftermath of a 2019 ransomware attack. The attack prompted increased cybersecurity funding and a more proactive security approach from leadership. The health system also implemented third-party risk management.

Overall, the 2024 HIMSS conference provided valuable insights into the latest developments and trends in healthcare technology.