By Heather Hogstrom
HIMSS will return to Las Vegas for its 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibition, March 5–9. As the “entertainment capital of the world,” Las Vegas provides a plethora of pastimes, from gambling in casinos to taking in shows like Cirque Du Soleil. Visitors can even get a bird’s-eye view of the city from the 550-foot High Roller, which is currently the tallest observation wheel in the world. Conference attendees can check the HIMSS website for exclusive discounts on these attractions and more.
There’s also plenty of entertainment to be had at HIMSS18. The HIMSS18 Opening Reception will provide attendees with an old-school arcade experience, offering refreshments, live music, and, of course, arcade gaming. And attendees can discover ways to become more involved within HIMSS while mingling at the HIMSS Communities Carnival, featuring a fun night of carnival snacks and beverages as well as games and gambling. The Exhibit Floor Social Hour on Wednesday will allow attendees to enjoy complimentary drinks while exploring the massive show floor, which will be filled with approximately 1,300 exhibitors displaying an array of products and services. New exhibit floor features include the Solutions Lab, which will showcase solutions for both health care administration and population health, and Lightning Sessions, which are 20-minute presentations covering hot topics. Other specialty sections will have demonstrations and sessions for cybersecurity, interoperability, connected health, and more.
It may be a challenge for attendees to choose which of the hundreds of education sessions to observe. HIMSS18 will cover nearly two dozen education topics, from compliance and data analytics to population health and telehealth. For a subject that’s out of this world, check out the session “Caring for Astronauts in Space: The Role of Telemedicine at NASA,” which will discuss NASA’s current use of telemedicine to meet the unique health care needs of astronauts at the International Space Station, as well as future opportunities and challenges.
For those interested in a way technology can impact process improvement, workflow, and change management, “Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: Better Health Outcomes With Ridesharing” will explain how Lyft can be utilized so that lack of transportation doesn’t prevent patients from keeping their medical appointments.
Eric Schmidt, technical advisor and former executive chairman of Alphabet Inc (parent company of Google), will kick off the keynotes with a presentation on the potential of technology such as machine learning. Friday’s lineup of keynote speakers features Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, director at the Defense Health Agency, who will discuss medical care for veterans and advancements in military health; Keller Rinaudo, founder and CEO of Zipline and a robotics and health care innovator, who will explain what robotic technology means for the future of health care; and basketball legend and entrepreneur Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who will close HIMSS18 with insights on leadership and health care advocacy.
Social media offers another way to engage in the conference, even for those who can’t attend in person. New this year, the HIMSS Facebook page will livestream six sessions throughout the week. And as usual, attendees can tweet or post about the conference with the hashtag #HIMSS18. In addition, there are more than 20 other featured hashtags to help social media users follow specific topics of interest. These include #Aim2Innovate, #GovHIT, #HITsecurity, #PopHealthIT, #RethinkRCM, and #WomenInHIT.
With the free HIMSS18 app, available on the App Store and Google Play, attendees can build a personal schedule, view information about sessions and speakers, locate exhibitors and networking opportunities, and get up-to-date notifications.
For more information or to register, visit www.himssconference.org.
— Heather Hogstrom is an editorial assistant at For The Record.