Just got back to North Carolina after my six hour return drive from Atlanta. As much fun as HIMSS was, I’m glad it’s over. There’s just too much to process, beginning with the ridiculous amount of press releases and faux “news”. I’ve asked the same question that Inga asked a dozen times over the last three days – why does every company feel the need to publish press releases during HIMSS?

I think it’s MAD – as in mutually assured destruction. Apparently the best defense against a competitor’s break-through announcement is to drown it out with noise. And, because the noise is so overwhelmingly loud and effective, it begs the better question – why would any company with something meaningful to say do so during HIMSS?

Pushing the envelope of absurdity, companies provide advance copies of their press releases under an embargo so that the media can disseminate at the precise moment the green light is given. This strategy, applied on the HIMSS battlefield, is a little like dropping a smart bomb at the epicenter of a nuclear wasteland.

HIMSS is about meeting people. And for that reason, it was a great success. I know many more today than I did four days ago. And I know a lot more about the companies and their products because of the people – not because of the gibberish propagated over the wire. Maybe I’m just plain old-fashioned, but a nice, friendly, sincere person who feels passionate about their company and their product is far more likely to win me over.

I mentioned some of those people in the two previous posts.  A few others:

Stanley Crane, Chief Innovation Officer at Allscripts. I met Stanley half-expecting someone who has all the answers. I’m sure that expectation stemmed from my perception of the company as one that is trying to run before it can walk. Instead, I had a conversation with Stanley that I can only describe as fun. He’s got some great ideas. He’s passionate about what he’s doing, and he has high expectations for the work that Allscripts is doing. Yet, he comes across as firmly grounded.

Michael Armstrong, Director of Marketing for Enovate. I didn’t know very much about Enovate before meeting with Michael. He was gracious, knowledgeable and remarkably succinct in communicating the company’s evolution and current product line.

Bob Zemke, UC Consultant with Siemens’ Healthcare and Life Sciences group. Bob is clearly a communications expert, and yet he was very courteous in humoring my inane questions. In many ways, Bob is symbolic of a sea-change that is occurring among some of the larger vendors. He was interested in discussing innovative, smaller-scale projects. He is pursing partnerships with small start-ups, and focused on open-standards. Bob came-across as surprisingly entrepreneurial for someone in such a large company as Siemens. It’s amazing that one person can have such a profound effect on my perception of the company as a whole.

Peter Hudson and Dr. Wayne Guerra, CEO and CMO, respectively, of Healthagen – the developers of the iTriage app for iPhone and Android smartphones. Peter and Dr. Guerra were walking the floor as hard-working entrepreneurs, no booth necessary. The two are passionate about what they are doing, and with good cause. The company has built substantially more than a simple iPhone app. In fact, they have the most promising platform for assisting and enhancing the consumer-oriented healthcare movement that I’ve seen. Their solution is rich and deep, and I think next year they will be forced to get a booth.

Cathleen Asch and John Zaleski, CEO and CTO, respectively, of Nuvon. I read their press release and didn’t have a great sense of what they do. After meeting with them and learning more about their solution and their vision, I left excited for them.

The whole crew at Access. They are passionate about their Logical Ink solution which offers clinicians a familiar interface to speed adoption of newer technology, including EMRs. In an environment where so many are pushing the technological envelope, they are excited to better use tools that are already available.

Scott Garmon, Senior Product Manager, Mobility Systems, Honeywell. I met with Honeywell, keen to see the Dolphin 9700 (a cool device, btw). I spent the majority of my time getting an education on Windows Mobile 6.5 and the future of Windows Mobile versus Windows Phone Series 7 operating systems. I’m going to harass Scott some more in the weeks ahead to see if he can either do an interview or submit an article on some of the things we discussed.

These are just a few of the many great people that I met during HIMSS, and they’ve all got stories to tell. Rather than trying to jam everything into meaningless sound bites, I’m going to work over the coming weeks and months to cover each of these stories with the attention they deserve.

If you’re just looking for the news…

Verizon launches IT platform to help accelerate adoption of electronic health records.

IQMax partners with Transolutions, Inc. to deliver mobile dictation platform to leading acute care facility.

InfoLogix announces worldwide launch of ST7 Mobile Workstation and Healthcare Mobility Solutions Suite.

Emdeon introduces mobile application for healthcare claim reporting software, Emdeon Vision.

Concerro introduces iPhone app for RES-Q scheduling.

UPMC brings key patient records to the bedside using BlackBerry smartphones.

  • David, thanks for interviewing Dr. Hudson at HIMSS. We really appreciated you sharing your insight about the iTriage application. A booth at HIMSS…..oh no, more work for me

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