CHICAGO – It does indeed feel like 2019 again at HIMSS 2023, which opened this week in the Windy City. Major stories at the show include generative AI for medical use, consumer cloud players planting their flags in healthcare, and the ongoing need for healthcare IT to help with rising medical procedure volume and growing burnout among healthcare professionals.
But an underlying subtext of this week’s show is that the disruptions and travel restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic are behind us. At long last the HIMSS show has returned to a sense of normalcy.
On-site attendance at HIMSS 2022 in Orlando was around 29k, down sharply from the 43k at HIMSS 2019. Early midweek figures from HIMSS 2023 place attendance at 35k; this sounds about right based on the crowded hallways, presentation rooms, and technical exhibits at McCormick Place (and especially the line at Starbucks in the Grand Concourse).
What are other trends at HIMSS 2023? They include:
- Generative AI spreading throughout healthcare. Radiology was one of the first medical specialties to explore the potential of large language models like ChatGPT, but healthcare IT is getting into the act as well. At HIMSS, vendors are inking partnerships to put ChatGPT to work for functions like clinical decision support.
- Cloud storage providers are in healthcare to stay. After years of dabbling, the large cloud players – Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – appear to be making a major play in cloud-based healthcare, signing partnerships with IT and radiology OEMs.
- Healthcare IT helping providers. The conversations at HIMSS 2023 are focusing on leveraging technology to help providers cope with rising procedure volume and burned-out staff.
- Pathology is finally ready to go digital. The technological challenges to digitizing, managing, and archiving massive whole slide images appear to be solved. Now all that’s left is to convince pathologists to take the digital plunge.
Prior to the pandemic, HIMSS was perhaps the fastest-growing healthcare conference, and this week in Chicago shows it’s back. The crowded halls are a welcome sign not only for healthcare IT, but also for other medical meetings on the calendar.
Check out videos from HIMSS 2023 on our LinkedIn page and YouTube channel. And keep an eye out for the editorial teams for Imaging Wire and our sister publications Cardiac Wire and Digital Health Wire in McCormick Place – we’d love to say hello!