Catching a Buzz: Trends to watch at HIMSS17

Feb 15, 2017

Health IT insiders, journalists share what topics they’ll be tracking at HIMSS17.

HIMSS17, the juggernaut of all healthcare technology conferences (a.k.a. #HIMSSanity) is just weeks away, and soon we’ll all be high on interoperability, blockchain, burnout and whatever other trending buzzwords permeate the convention center air this year.

In fact, I can’t wait. Next to reuniting with colleagues, my favorite thing about attending the annual HIMSS conference is gauging the mood of industry and tracking the key narratives of the show.

What will be top of mind for this year’s 45,000-plus attendees? What major themes will unfold among the parade of 1,200 show floor exhibitors? I asked four respected health IT insiders and journalists what plotlines and trends they’ll be following at HIMSS17.

Jeff Byers, Assistant Editor of Healthcare Dive, musician, pyrography artist, and craft beer enthusiast
Follow him @jeffpbyers @HealthcareDive

“Flying in from the swamps of D.C., I look forward to the humid Florida air welcoming me to HIMSS17. This year, I’m looking at the integration of technology into the clinical continuum and how it’s impacted care. Some of the main questions I will pose are, “Is this cost effective? and “Does this technology help push the needle toward value-based care, population health? I’m sure every vendor will respond with a resounding “Yes! to each, so I’m much more interested in hearing about the day-to-day struggles over technology in the industry and how such integration has changed care delivery for better AND worse.

Being from D.C., most of my casual acquaintances assume I love talking about politics. While that couldn’t be farther from the truth, the new administration and potential changes to health policy and their impacts across the industry will be important to watch. In addition, I’m looking for “cool stuff to help me think about the changing landscape, however you define “cool.”

Kate Gamble, Managing Editor of, sports aficionado, die-hard NY Giants and Red Sox fan
Follow her @khgamble and @hsCIO

“At HIMSS17, my focus is on education and women who rock! I want to learn which organizations and vendors are leading the way with population health and interoperability. I want to hear from some of the top women in the industry who will be presenting sessions, including Judy Kirby, Deanna Wise, Carla Smith, and I definitely want to hear from Ginni Rometty, President & CEO of IBM. Inspiration is everywhere, and I can’t wait to soak it in!”

John Lynn, Founder of and the Health IT Marketing & PR Conference, exceptional dancer, prolific blogger and social media savant
Follow him @techguy and @healthcarescene

“At HIMSS17, I’m most interested in technologies that work the magic of lowering costs while improving care. That’s a challenge, but it’s time we start expecting this from our technology solutions. I’m also still particularly intrigued by the challenge of changing health behaviors.

I love exploring the exhibit floor and I may even leave one day with no meetings so I can just casually explore the exhibit floor. Wish me luck on that ambitious goal!

Finally, I’m taking a bit of a different approach to HIMSS this time and I’m doing a bunch of meet-ups where anyone can attend and share their ideas. This kind of unplanned interaction and engagement has always been my favorite part of HIMSS, so I hope everyone will join me at these meet-ups so we can all learn from each other and hear the unexpected first-hand experiences and perspectives that make HIMSS special.”

Shaun Sutner, News and Features Writer for, avid skier, adventurer, and snow sports correspondent for Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Follow him @ssutner and @SearchHealthIT

“I’m definitely looking for vendors and users that are working closely around value-based care. That’s a big plotline because it’s where healthcare reimbursement is headed. You need advanced analytics, business intelligence, machine learning, cloud and just about all the technologies in health IT to make value-based care work.

I’m also really interested in care coordination and patient engagement, the personal side of population health.”

While often the most exhilarating moments of the conference are the unexpected, I’ll be on the look out for coverage related to the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase (#EmpowerHIT) and the promise of precision medicine. I’ll also be pursuing those “best in show” exhibitors that are experimenting with new marketing tactics and companies that are aggressively humanizing their tech story.

What trends and themes will you be following at HIMSS this year? Weigh in below and be sure follow the buzz at #HIMSS17 and via our contributors Twitter handles above. See you in Orlando!

Stephanie Fraser

Stephanie Fraser is a seasoned communications expert, with a diverse background in public relations, market research and journalism. Prior to joining Amendola, Stephanie was the Director of Communications and Corporate Relations for the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), the nation's leading professional association for chief information officers and IT executives in healthcare.