Key Takeaways

1. I.S. Partners attended the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) global conference from March 11 to 15, 2024, in Orlando, Florida.

2. With the theme “Creating Tomorrow’s Health,” this year’s HIMSS global conference focused on using artificial intelligence to achieve health equity.

3. The conference tackled concerns looming over the ethical use of AI and other technology in healthcare and compliance with proper regulations.

Overview of HIMSS 2024

The annual HIMSS 2024 Global Health Conference Exhibition kicked off last March 11, 2024, in Orlando, Florida. The 5-day conference attracted more than 36,000 people, including professionals from startups, industry leaders, senior executives, mid-tier firms, and Fortune 500 companies from the healthcare field.

At least 1,000 exhibitors were accounted for during the conference, showcasing their latest developments in healthcare technology. Exhibitors ranged from small to mid-sized companies and several major game players who are all part of the healthcare cybersecurity industry. HIMSS 2024 was graced by over 500 speakers who were experts on healthcare and cybersecurity.

As expected, it provided valuable insights into the latest trends and developments in healthcare and cybersecurity.

Key Ideas and Highlights From the Conference

The annual conference serves as a platform for experts in healthcare, information technology, and cybersecurity connect. This year, all eyes were on artificial intelligence’s emerging benefits and threats.

Below are some of the key topics highlighted by this year’s I.S. Partners representatives.

AI in Healthcare

One of the most surprising trends noted by our team was the huge increase in the presence of AI-based companies compared to the HIMSS conference in 2023. AI applications were the central focus for many exhibitors, with companies showcasing how they leverage machine learning in various aspects of healthcare, from patient diagnosis to data entry and analysis.

Technology was emphasized to improve access to prescription drugs and healthcare affordability beyond AI applications. This application is a step closer to health equity. The topic led to a discussion about the use of generative AI in diagnosing patients based on conversational chat and taking patients’ vitals, potentially reducing the need for certain medical professionals in specific situations.

Discussions also highlighted the transformative impact of AI on service technician roles. Presenters emphasized how AI implementation significantly reduces the overall cost and manpower required for data entry tasks. Through AI technology, organizations can effectively double their workforce capacity in a single operation.

This key topic puts focus on regulations, such as AI compliance, which I.S. Partners is fully equipped to tackle.

Telehealth at the Forefront of Patient Care

The HIMSS global conference also shone a light on telehealth and its integration with AI. Experts discussed how AI can personalize patient care through telemedicine, making healthcare more accessible. Remote monitoring tools powered by AI now allow doctors to track patient health in real-time, offering proactive treatment plans.

Healthcare Data Security

Healthcare data security was another hot topic. As healthcare systems adopt more technology, they become targets for cyber attacks. The conference showcased AI-driven security solutions that can detect and respond to threats faster than ever before.

Kat McCoy, I.S. Partners representative and expert, noted the significant presence of Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms, which are vital for storing patient information securely. Discussions centered on integrating AI into these platforms to enhance cybersecurity measures.

Solutions designed for nurses to access various platforms from any computer seamlessly were present in some booths. Through a simple card tap, nurses could resume tasks from where they left off, showcasing the utilization of AI and technology to optimize EHR systems and streamline data entry processes.

These discussions focus more on the significance of complying with healthcare data security regulations. A controversial yet key topic during the conference was the breach at Change Healthcare.

According to Brian Arty, I.S. Partners representative and expert,

Unfortunately, at the HIMSS event, everyone had the Change Healthcare breach in the back of their mind. The cyberattack came up often because it had just been announced a week or two beforehand.

The cybersecurity breach became a strong and integral talking point to highlight the need for stronger, comprehensive security measures and vendor scrutiny in healthcare.

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Emerging Concerns on Healthcare Cybersecurity

With the rapid digital transformation of healthcare, safeguarding sensitive patient information and adhering to stringent data privacy regulations emerged as critical challenges. Discussions emphasized the importance of implementing robust cybersecurity protocols to protect patient data and maintain trust.

Compliance with Cybersecurity Regulations

Many healthcare organizations are woefully unprepared to handle the rising threat of ransomware and other cyberattacks. Experts stressed the need for healthcare institutions to continuously update their cybersecurity tactics, scrutinize vendor security protocols, and invest in advanced threat detection technologies.

Such concerns focus on companies that are already taking steps toward compliance with relevant cybersecurity frameworks, including NIST CSF. International standards for using AI, including ISO 42001, are also being continuously introduced and integrated into healthcare companies.

Overreliance with AI

The use of AI in healthcare raised some concerns among attendees, particularly in light of the ongoing nursing shortage. Some companies presented AI and robotics solutions designed to complement or even replace certain tasks typically performed by nurses and physician assistants. While these innovations aim to fill a void in the healthcare workforce, they also raise questions about the potential implications of relying heavily on AI in patient care.

AI and the use of algorithms raise many ethical concerns, which often branch out to security questions. There’s a growing need to address issues like data privacy and bias in AI algorithms. Ensuring that AI benefits all patients and healthcare workers equally remains a priority for the industry.

Attendees of the conference raised concerns about being too reliant on AI that it may replace jobs for a lot of healthcare providers. While this solution addresses the labor shortage, it also presents concerns that there won’t be enough jobs in the future and that patient data could all be handled by AI.

I.S. Partners Is Always One Step Ahead of Cybersecurity Threats

Overall, the HIMSS global health conference demonstrated that AI is not just a futuristic concept but a present reality in healthcare, driving innovation and improving patient outcomes.

For I.S. Partners, attending HIMSS provided valuable insights into the evolution of their clients and potential new services and products they may offer. The conference also allowed the representatives to learn about some of the newer startups in the industry. It also served as a critical point for building a stronger network with healthcare and cybersecurity companies.

“The overall aspect of HIMSS is a great opportunity for like-minded individuals to network and showcase what their company does.” – Tyler DeArment

“My favorite part was the Bluebird Women’s Networking Happy Hour. It was really fast-paced and it gave us so many opportunities to speak with women working in the healthcare industry.” – Kat McCoy

“One highlight was running into some of our clients, like those at Teledoc, and seeing presentations by others. For example, Jory presented the latest developments for their revenue cycle management systems that now have AI features.” – Bryan Arty

Looking ahead, AI’s increasing prominence in healthcare will likely bring more compliance and security questions. With the release of the ISO 42001 standard specifically for AI-based companies, I.S. Partners is considering the potential value of focusing more on AI compliance audits in addition to their current emphasis on SOC audits.

The attending experts from I.S. Partners see a great opportunity to provide more focus on healthcare cybersecurity and AI management system compliance.

Gain more perspective about these critical cybersecurity regulations for healthcare settings by setting up a meeting with I.S. Partners. Better yet, start your compliance journey with our expert guidance today!

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