Last month, I had the honor of attending the annual HLTH 2019 conference. HLTH is a great gathering of minds, companies, and governments in one place rallying around healthcare as a whole. With more than 6,000 attendees, over 300 speakers, and 950+ CEOs and founders, it is an opportunity to talk about how to move healthcare forward. During the conference, there was a lot of focus on how various technologies and government policies can reshape and evolve the healthcare ecosystem. For instance, a great discussion on how we are still using centuries-old traditional approaches such as doctor visits which can now be replaced by e-visits and e-surgeries utilizing technologies such as telecommunication, AI and robotics; given proper updates to related policies. Overall, this intersection of healthcare, technology, and governance was the prominent theme throughout the conference.
With so much to discuss, a large number of companies were present in the exhibition hall. We were lucky enough to present alongside Adobe in their booth during the conference. Perficient Digital’s Jay Jackson gave a demonstration on one of the main conference themes, AI. He showed how healthcare providers and payers are converting prospects to patients and members using voice assistants with Adobe Experience Cloud.
Prominent Technology Themes
Though there were a large number of technologies presented throughout the conference, three stood out the most:
- Artificial Intelligence and its utilizations across the broad range of applications and practices.
- Precision Health and how it is reshaping the traditional treatments
- Blockchain relevance and applications of it in the healthcare ecosystem.
In my opinion, the highlight of the HLTH 2019 conference was the keynote address given by the late Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, Bernard J. Tyson*. Putting emphasis on the four building blocks for the near and far future of healthcare:
- Medical Excellence: Employing the latest and greatest technologies to deliver the best care and services to people who need it the most, Patients. Seeing “the technology as augmenting the practice not replacing the human touch.”
- Mental Health: For this, Tyson discussed how to integrate mind and body health together as a whole and taking the stigma out of mental health. In a sense – “Putting the head back on the body!”
- Social Care: Recognizing that having proper shelter and food is essential to leading a healthy life. Building communities and social support to maximize total health. – “Total health is the connection of the whole ecosystem inside of a healthcare system and outside … connecting all the elements through the platform of technology.”
- Personal Health: Getting everyone to understand and care about their body and health. “Making you as excited about what’s going on inside of you as you are about the next app that’s gonna go on your iPhone.”
I truly appreciate that two of the four points he highlighted are focused on prevention and addressing issues before they become problems. It is important that large healthcare providers, like Kaiser Permanente, are reflecting on these points and I am hopeful for the advances in technology and our ability to move to the next level of care.
At Perficient Digital, we do a significant amount of work surrounding healthcare with the Adobe platform. Learn more about our practice and comment below with your thoughts on the near and far future of technology and healthcare.
* With a very heavy heart, I learnt of Mr. Tyson passing this Sunday. Having met him in the past, I am honored and extremely grateful to attend his inspiring talk in person which sadly became one of his last. I deeply hope for his legacy to live on and his vision to become reality in our near future.