[UPDATE: 12/7/2017: This list has been updated with additional conferences and information; defunct conferences have been removed.]
I’ll admit it.
I go to conferences for the free schwag.
The cleverly shaped flash drives, the drawstring bags, the stress balls. And the pens. Thousands upon thousands of differently branded, multi-colored, and weirdly sized pens. It’s like Mardi Gras, with Bics replacing beads as the currency of the realm.
Medical technologies exhibition floor
Of course, as a health IT professional, you have much better reasons for attending industry events. You need to keep up with the state of the industry, brush up on best practices, and meet hundreds of colleagues who are experiencing the same issues you are and can help you solve them.
To help you achieve these goals, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten healthcare technology events and conferences (presented below in alphabetical order). I can’t guarantee the best pens, but I can promise full slates of knowledgeable speakers and rewarding break-out sessions.
The Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit brings together more than 300 entrepreneurs, investors, payers, providers, and policy makers to discuss how innovation is being adopted, the technology payers are willing to support, and government and academic leadership’s views of the future.
At the summit, you can learn things like how to measure the success of a digital health startup from experts such as Katya Hancock, the director of strategic partnerships at StartUp Health. Panels tackle questions like which chronic conditions present the greatest opportunity for investors, and where are the differences in deal flow and syndication by region?
This four-day conference held at CES brings together thought leaders and executives in the electronic healthcare space to talk about everything from meaningful use to tele-health systems. Speakers run the gamut from athenahealth VPs to global directors at L’Oreal.
Exponential Medicine brings together faculty, innovators, and organizations for a four-day biomedical and technology conference exploring technologies that are reinventing the future of health and medicine. Topics range from alleviating needle pain to Psilocybin and mystical experience research.
As part of the conference itself, you can enjoy beachside yoga sessions in the morning and chat by bonfires at night at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.
Ed MacBean, the senior manager of market development and population sequencing at Illumina, said of the conference: “I came to Exponential Medicine a little skeptical, but leave with my head exploding with thoughts, ideas and inspirations, the result of an intriguing collection of brilliant colleagues, aspirational startups, engaging and diverse presenters organized in a truly unique experience.”
4. Health 2.0
Silicon Valley’s answer to the healthcare technology question, Health 2.0 showcases “cutting-edge innovation that’s transforming health and health care.” Speakers and panel moderators (including California’s lieutenant governor and the director of digital strategy for Pew Research Center ) handle topics including wellness apps, big data, and digital diagnostic tools.
Health: Further is one of the only deep-south conferences aimed at the healthcare trifecta: established organizations, start-ups, and investors. It was created by Nashville business accelerator Jumpstart Foundry, and last year was co-sponsored by Vanderbilt’s Center for Healthcare Market Innovation (CHMI). “We need to understand the new customer in health care and leverage lessons from industries which have been successful,” said Professor Larry Van Horn, co-founder, and co-director of CHMI. “The Consumer Summit at Health: Further advances this conversation.”
Last year’s early bird admission went for less than $200, making it one of the cheapest tickets on this list. The conference packs a lot into two days, offering 140 speakers and a pitch competition along with multiple networking sessions and live musical performances.
Speakers like Dr. Oz offer their take on the latest in healthcare innovation. The conference’s Eventbright page states “We are the inclusive, forward-thinking, innovative healthcare channel that Middle America’s healthcare professionals need to stay relevant.”
A series of annual events put on by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation across 11 U.S. cities, the Health IT Summits address issues from dealing with meaningful use guidelines to using EMRs for population health. CIOs from prominent hospitals and health networks, as well as presidents and founders of health technology companies form the series’ large slate of speakers.
Photos from HPC17 (via Twitter)
A smaller conference of 100-200 attendees, this event—put on by Health Connect Partners—is aimed at executive-level hospital and healthcare providers. The intimate setting focuses on networking and educational sessions, as well as a “reverse expo” for talking with solution providers and learning about new health IT options.
Medical Informatics World is a two-day conference for senior executives and “industry leaders” in healthcare, biomedical sciences, health informatics, and IT. Its five concurrent tracks cover population health management, data collaboration, telehealth integration, global healthcare systems, and sensors for medical use. Speakers run the gamut from the CMO of Caremore Health to the CIO of Beth Israel.
NYC Digital Health Forum’s 2017 event banner
Though this event, run by the New York eHealth Collaborative, focuses on healthcare in New York, the topics covered and speakers present are relevant to HIT professionals, doctors who run their own medical practices, and any office or hospital staff dealing with tech issues across the country.
With keynote speakers like Aetna Digital’s Saquib Rahim covering topics from EHR implementation to AI and VR in healthcare, this event is not to be missed.
Medicine X is a project out of Stanford University focused on “patient-centered innovation” and investigating how cutting-edge healthcare technologies can improve the practice of medicine.
Hosted on Stanford University’s campus, Medicine X has two annual conferences, one in the spring and one in the fall. With speakers presenting on everything from “peer-to-peer healthcare” to social media strategies for healthcare, these conferences are sure to keep any hungry technologist satisfied.
The three events below don’t belong on the above list because they’re either invite-only or limited by specialty. Nevertheless, I wanted to flag them in case you meet the event criteria.
Recommended by CIO.com, the Forbes Healthcare Summit covers everything from making healthcare and medication affordable to entrepreneurship and world health. The summit is invite-only and limited to 200 CEO leaders from pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and biotech firms. Researchers, insurers, and providers talk genomics, VR in medicine, and more.
This summit is attendees’ best chance to ask controversial figures in medicine (such as Martin Shkreli and Elizabeth Holmes) burning questions during audience Q&A sessions.
While targeted at healthcare IT workers employed with or contracted by the government, this five-day conference is valuable for anyone working in HIT in the U.S. Organized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), this event includes presentations on topics such as using big data with patient information and how recent policy changes will be implemented.
The HIMSS is a giant organization with 52,000 members, and its conference is jam-packed with workshops, courses, presentations, and break-out sessions covering health IT law, healthcare informatics, and EHR interoperability topics, among others.
With speakers including sitting senators, former speakers of the House of Representatives, HHS employees, CEOs of major corporations, and two sharks from Shark Tank, this is a must if you want to learn about how government intervention is changing healthcare.
At the Essentials in Primary Care Winter conference, family practice and internal medicine physicians join nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to brush up on diagnosis and care, diagnostic guidelines, and evidence-based interventions and treatment strategies while earning 20 CE credits.
The best part? They do it all at an AAA four diamond oceanfront resort in Naples, Florida.
What other healthcare technology events would you add to this list? Where have you gotten the best free pens? Let me know in the comments below!
While you’re here, check out a few of my recent posts on healthcare technology:
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