This year’s HIMSS conference was enormous. With 888 exhibitors filling nearly all the space available at the Georgia World Congress Center, it’s impossible to understate the magnitude of healthcare’s largest tech event. Everyone who wasn’t discussing the stimulus package was thinking about it. With between $20B and $23B proposed for healthcare information technology (HIT), it’s easy to understand the all enthusiasm, particularly when you consider that the total HIT market was a meager $26B prior to the economic downturn.
But, this year’s exhibitors were cautiously enthusiastic, and justifiably so. For years, market research firms have been touting healthcare as an industry ripe for technology investment. After all, core enabling technologies including wireless networks, mobile devices, barcodes, RFID and RTLS are ideally suited to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery. However, the adoption of sweeping reforms that would fuel these investments, e.g., EMR, CPOE, Unit of Use Packaging, etc., has been gradual, almost tectonic. Some technology companies attracted to healthcare by the prospect of “full scale adoption” have since abandoned the market, while others have made measured investments in product development, strategic alliances and channel marketing that will likely pay dividends in the very near future. What do these suppliers have to say about selling technology to healthcare providers?