Well, I'm recovering from a terrible cold, just in time to be healthy for HIMSS in 2 weeks. Hopefully this also means I won't get sick afterwards. I will definitely be traveling with my Purell hand sanitizer - no not to drink but to use after pressing the flesh.
We're close enough to the show to get an idea of what's coming. I will be looking at areas like the train wreck at the point of care. Health care IT vendors - the sharks of the industry, in perpetual motion looking for new markets and revenue - are moving in, except there's not much more they can do without crossing over into FDA regulated territory. Medical device vendors are pursuing their end-to-end proprietary solutions and suspiciously eyeing health care IT vendors. And there will be a slew of vendors with carts, wireless phones, nurse call, and point of care computing devices. Providers will be looking for enterprise solutions, preferably from a single vendor (you know, "one throat to choke"). Ironically, there are enterprise solutions at the point of care - innovative, somewhat immature and incomplete - by necessity these vendors facilitate multi vendor solutions.
There seems to be an increased level of buzz regarding point of care computing devices. Several companies are making noises like they're going to show devices specifically for health care. Hope springs eternal but frequently struggles with skepticism, and occasionally sinking to outright cynicism. We'll see. I'm lined up to visit the usual suspects and will be on the lookout for newcomers.
On the connectivity front, Cardiopulmonary Corp, Capsule Technologie, Emergin, and Sensitron will have their own booths at HIMSS for the first time. And I'm expecting at least one new connectivity product to be launched at this year's show. Also in connectivity, the IHE PCD group will have their first Interoperability Showcase (booth 7511). On the device side, vendors participating in this first year for the PCD are Welch Allyn, GE Healthcare, Philips, B Braun and Draeger. On the IT side there's Philips, LiveData and GE. Kudos to these vendors who stepped up, and shame on the rest of you who chose not to participate.
Wireless will be big. Vocera has been none too coy about introducing an 802.11a communicator that also works on a carrier's cellular network (Sprint, I believe). Other wireless VoIP vendors will be introducing products supporting 802.11a. Aruba claims they'll be announcing a medical device vendor that supports their infrastructure (that would be Welch Allyn with a new 802.11a/b/g radio to replace their 802.11FH gear).
Part of my gig this year is as a member of the press, representing MX magazine. I'll be doing more interviews and taking more photos this year, and experimenting with video clips. Most of the photos, and all the video clips, will end up here. Vendors with tangible products (i.e., not software) I'll try to shoot brief demos. If there's something you think I should check out, or some juicy rumors I can verify at HIMSS, let me know - you can leave an anonymous comment or shoot me an email.
Finally, don't forget the Meet the Blogger event Sunday night. We're meeting at 8pm after the HIMSS Opening Reception across the street at Mulate's, a Cajun restaurant and bar. You can register for the event here, and see who else is registered here. I see several folks listed who attended last year, and I know a lot of people who are coming but haven't registered. Should be a blast.
Pictured right is one of the Meet the Bloggers graphics, shot two years ago in New Orleans. While I'm not much of a party animal, I do like live music, of which I will be partaking during HIMSS.
UPDATE: A reader was nice enough to remind me that everyone doesn't know what the IHE PCD is. The IHE is an organization created by the ACC, RSNA and HIMSS to formalize connectivity configurations between different information systems and medical devices. Each area of focus is referred to as a domain. One of the newest domains is called the Patient Care Device domain, and refers to patient monitors, infusion pumps, etc. Here's their web page.