HIMSS19 & Blockchain: The Needle Moves
What a difference a year makes. Last year at the HIMSS18 conference I had to search far and wide for resources on blockchain technology. At HIMSS19 last week in Orlando, it was another story all together.
With the crypto madness now in the rear view mirror the real work in distributed ledger technology and use cases in healthcare has arrived. I was struck by the level of collaboration I witnessed between individuals, associations, and startups. Dear Reader, make no mistake, the Suits are coming but they aren’t here yet. The healthcare blockchain community for now is alive and it is a beautiful thing to behold. As the blockchain domain matures this time and place will pass and will surely be mourned. Enjoy it while it last. Right now, it is a very personal and human scaled community. You can actually walk up and talk to those who are directly involved and working on the front lines of blockchain roll out. It reminds me of the early days of personal computers or the internet. In the field of blockchain and healthcare, Spring is here, but it won’t last too long. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Who are some of the folks I spent time with at HIMSS19? Richard Bloch at the Hyperledger booth. Aman Quadri at AMSYS. Sophia Lopez at Kaleido. Lynn Carroll of HSBlox. Anthony Begando at Professional Credentials Exchange. Heather Flannery of Consensys Health. Don Fortner of Valsurity. Chrissa McFarland of Patientory. Every time I turned around I ran into someone involved with the technology. These were not sales people, these are the thinkers and doers who are working on standards, challenges, and opportunities. Sure, there were the usual naysayers in the crowd but no need to worry. Blockchain is finding its own way.
HIMSS has really raised the bar in terms of blockchain education, resources, and the creation of a robust environment for cross pollination. On Monday there was the day long Blockchain Symposium and Wednesday brought the Blockchain Forum. Numerous presentations on the topic were sprinkled throughout the conference on use cases, platforms, standards, and opportunities. I attended many of these sessions and could tell by the questions from the audience that the space is maturing rapidly. Major thanks and kudos to the work being done by Katie Crenshaw and Mari Greenberger of HIMSS to bring this all together with publications, Task Groups, and networking.
Here are a couple of related HIMSS resources I recommend highly:
- HIMSS Blockchain Library: This is a good place to start. Here you can find everything from Blockchain 101 to webinar recordings to articles. If you need help separating the wheat from the chaff, go here.
- Blockchain in Healthcare: This book was just published by HIMSS and I picked up a copy and read it in two settings. Lots of up to date information coupled with opinions, predictions, and visions. I learned a lot. Hope a Kindle version is coming soon
If you have any interest in the intersection of blockchain and healthcare now is the time to get involved. The next few years will bring immense opportunities for creative work in the field. Looks like Good Karma to me.