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The Top Three Trends from HIMSS18 for Improving Digital Care

Fritz Haimberger
March 15, 2018

Each year at HIMSS, the conference seems to surpass itself in attendance as well as in the enrichment of knowledge around the halls. This year, among the roughly fifty thousand attendees, I enjoyed conversations with several fellow healthcare professionals around a variety of industry topics. Among them, these three trends emerged as the most valuable for improving care in today's digital environment.

Breaking Through the Hype of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Traditionally, the healthcare industry providers and payers alike have been less adventurous with AI technologies than those in other fields. Now, after years of focusing on electronic medical records (EMRs) and connecting various sources of big data, many providers have reached a level of maturity to consider the implementation of AI.

However, setbacks persist. A critical component of AI is the quality of data the intelligent agent is fed. Healthcare providers are struggling to standardize and improve the quality of their data. This will continue to be a focus area, especially considering the mass amounts of data produced by wearable and other connected wellness devices.

Delivering Across the Digital Care Continuum

Another theme from HIMSS18 was a focus on the entire patient journey, as opposed to the fragmented approach that is often the status quo. Finding the right digital health technology is vital to improving the patient journey and ultimately retaining patients.

The industry must also consider the entire spectrum of activities and actors in the patient journey. Application development platforms can help with many areas, whether it be managing claims status checking with payers or monitoring clinical trials in collaboration with biomedical and pharmaceutical companies.

Realizing the Importance of Process Automation

As the market continues to advance beyond EMR optimization, healthcare IT leaders can finally focus on automating the important steps in their back-end operations. This year in particular, the HIMSS crowd seemed to rally around the business process management space as the next stage of their health IT transformation.

Robotic process automation (RPA) was one of the most popular topics under the process automation umbrella. This was evident in our highly-attended RPA demos conducted with our partner, Blue Prism, at our booth during HIMSS.

Appian also used another "vehicle" to demo a literal use of our appreciation for speed and power when we rented out the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during HIMSS for a night of dream racing with some of our customers and partners. Appian racecar

HIMSS18 was a great time in Las Vegas. The knowledge exchange was invaluable and the dream racing event was an unforgettable experience. Each year HIMSS grows even larger, and time is scarce to meet with everyone you want to see. If you were unable to meet with us in Las Vegas, we'd love to show you how Appian's low-code platform can accelerate your healthcare environment's digital transformation. Send me an e-mail at, and we'll set up a time to discuss how Appian can help navigate the digital care continuum throughout 2018 and beyond.

Fritz Haimberger

Vice President, Industry Leader Healthcare Providers