HealthBlog

Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

HIMSS was a blast! What was your best bit?

HIMSS was a blast! What was your best bit?

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Well, my first HIMSS was truly a fabulous experience. The team did themselves proud and it was really interesting to talk to hundreds of customers and partners who want to do something new in health and can see ways in which we can help. I also learned a lot from those conversations, and will feed that back into our product groups – so thanks to all the folks that came over to see us and told us what they wanted. It does make a difference, you know.

WP_20130306_002We thought long and hard about how best to engage with customers at HIMSS this year and decided that the best thing we could do would be to let as many people touch and use as many devices as possible. We got all the latest and greatest Windows 8 devices from our partners like Acer, HP, Dell, Asus, Sony, Motion and Lenovo, and installed a bunch of great Windows 8 health apps like Greenway’s PrimeMobile, CDC, AHRQ, UpToDate, and Johnson & Johnson’s Digital Health Scorecard, as well as all the latest Office 365 information. We also took the decision not to tether the devices to the desks as that really does ruin the enjoyment of a truly mobile device, and I am very pleased to say we left with all the devices we arrived with :)JACO UltraLite 100 with Microsoft Surface Win 8

We spoke to hundreds of customers and partners over the 3 days, and it was very rewarding to hear everyone talk about the requirement for mobile devices to be secured and managed, as well as being engaging to use by clinicians and other health users. A simple thing like the Lenovo Thinkpad 2 fitting in a standard white coat pocket always reminds me of how important it is to think about the specifics of the real users who are going to use a device.

It was also interesting to see the acceptance that new mobile devices are starting to get in health – see for example the Jaco UltraLite 100 Tablet (right) that was specially set up for Microsoft Surface devices – quick to click the device in and then click the device out later when you need to take it with you. These sorts of accessories are critical in health – so it was great to see.

WP_20130303_002There were many other things that caught my attention at HIMSS, apart from the pure scale of the place (which still astounds me). Following on from Dr Bill’s observations last year – big screens were still huge (if you excuse the pun) – we had an 82” touchscreen that we were demoing on – and it was a really useful tool to be able to show things to big groups of people. We had a number of comments how it would be a great teaching aid, and particular interest from teams who were setting up new “showcase” wards or facilities. I also lost count of the number of times we were asked if you can play Angry Birds on it (the answer is yes, btw). On the left is a photo of me in front of a new and interesting Windows 8 EMR from Pariscribe that we showed to quite a few customers. Again – interesting to see the reaction to applications that are much more visually immersive than clinicians have previously seen.

The most surprising question I got in the 3 days of booth duty was from a guy who wanted to know if we were the company who had “digitized” the human body – prompted by an anatomy picture we had on the wall in one part of our booth. Clearly Microsoft is not as familiar a name as I thought!

What was the most interesting thing you saw at HIMSS? I would love to get your insight as seasoned HIMSS attendees.

Thanks 

Gareth

 

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