17 Mar 2017

What We Learned at HIMSS17: Exploring Japanese Heritage and the Impact on Health IT

Vital Images explored its Japanese heritage during the recent HIMSS 2017 conference in Orlando, Florida, and gained many insights along the way.

HIMSS 2017 image.

Japanese culture is characterized by a balance of modern technology juxtaposed with ancient tradition. Bustling modern cities, exhibiting towering high-rises, technological innovation, and a sea of billboards and neon signs, coexist alongside traditional Japanese architecture and tranquil, ceremonial tea gardens modeled to capture the essence of nature, spirituality and philosophy. Japan is a place where city meets nature, tradition meets technology, and chaos meets tranquility, ultimately creating harmony with seemingly opposite forces interconnecting and complementing one another.

At HIMSS 2017, Vital gave a nod to its ties to Japanese heritage through Toshiba Medical. In a sea of 40,000 attendees and 1,334 exhibits, HIMSS can induce sensory overload to say the least. Vital set out to emulate the remarkable mix of tech and tradition by showcasing industry leading health IT innovation in a serene escape from the usual HIMSS chaos.

A highlight of Vital’s HIMSS experience was Dr. John Halamka’s presentation of the traditional chanoyu or “The Way of Tea” ceremony, an elegant, peaceful ritual to represent mindfulness, harmony, tranquility, and respect.

We created and celebrated relationships with customers, partners, industry thought leaders and our new colleagues at Karos Health. We celebrated Japanese culture and the exceptional unity of health IT and peaceful tradition. We gained powerful insights to continue to lead the market with innovative technology to move health IT forward.

So, what exactly did our leadership take away from the show?

Jim Litterer, President and CEO, Vital Images

Jim reflected on seeing increasing numbers of imaging vendors at the conference over the past 10 years resulting from a growing need to deliver more complete, patient-centric healthcare content closer to the point of care. Specialty physicians and patients want the right information available at the right time to make the best-informed decisions. Where Vital comes into play, imaging has traditionally not been available for this purpose. Solutions that can simply integrate or translate information successfully across heterogeneous IT systems will be key wins for these hospital systems.

He also noticed that, in addition to IT friendly solutions, hospitals are placing a great deal of focus on information security. The companies that demonstrate leadership in both interoperability and cyber security will rise to the top.

Rick Stroobosscher, CTO, Vital Images

Rick was encouraged to see that there remains a high level of interest in enterprise-wide PACS. While many hospital corporations have invested in these systems to manage their medical imaging and information needs, many have yet to make the leap.

He also observed that Electronic Health Records (EHRs) cost enterprises millions to set up, and store countless data points, but little of this data is actually used or manipulated by their owners due to proprietary applications that prevent access. This is a missed opportunity to improve healthcare, he asserts.


*John D. Halamka, MD, MS, is Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN); Co-Chair of the HIT Standards Committee; a full Professor at Harvard Medical School; and a practicing Emergency Physician.