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Weathering the Perfect Storm

While there are many definitions for “perfect storm”, Wikipedia describes it best as “an actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude.”

A perfect storm of innovation and cybersecurity is exactly what happened at the HIMSS Innovation Center between Oct 22 and Oct 26.  Some of the confluence was planned and some of it was happenstance.

Storm One

The first event to contribute to both health IT innovation and cybersecurity was the 2nd Annual Cleveland Medical Hackathon. This 2-day event brought together over 200 attendees consisting of a diverse variety of individuals including patient advocates.  With 29 amazing projects to choose from the panel of judges had very tough decisions to make and provided over $40,000 in awards.

The overall winner was a team creatively named H.A.N.D. (Human Accessibility NeoSense Device). Using technology donated by Intel, the team created a glove with sensors that would enable cancer patients to feel pressure or changes in temperature.

The Cybersecurity Award went to a team called “MedLedger”.  This team used blockchain technology to provide a Secure Authentication Service to allow patients and medical organizations to easily and securely communicate.

Storm Two

The second event involved in the perfect storm was the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit.  The summit was held throughout the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and the Global Center for Health Innovation.  The HIMSS Innovation Center provided a great setting for nine sessions and used the Welcome Area, the Conference Center and the Technology Showcase all simultaneously. 

Can We Change the World Yet – this was the name of a session focused on big data in healthcare with a panel discussion on securing it, storing it and understanding it.

One of the more unusual and highly innovation sessions was hosted by Cleveland Clinic heart surgeon Dr. Douglas Johnston who was joined by two Navy special operations personnel.   Using the Oculus Rift virtual headset, a volunteer from the audience experienced a very intense operating room environment where things were not going quite right.   The session showed how simulation can provide excellent training for challenging situations.

Storm Three

On Tuesday evening, Oct 25, HIMSS announced the opening of their new Cybersecurity Hub.  This well attended event debuted the new public exhibit and education center designed to help people fully understand their roles, responsibilities and vulnerabilities when it comes to managing and protecting their health information – both personally and professionally.  

The Cybersecurity Hub is highly interactive and immersive and allows attendees to learn in a very engaging experience.  As there are seven touchscreens each providing various areas of cybersecurity content and information, the Cybersecurity Hub can accommodate many attendees simultaneously. 

Storm Four

The final event for the five days of the perfect storm was the Healthcare Day 2016 Information Security Summit.  This event was held in the HIMSS Innovation Center Technology Showcase was titled “Security in Healthcare: Strength of Collaboration”.  The agenda featured many renowned speakers including Lee Kim, Director, Privacy and Security for HIMSS will be speaking on the topic of “Achieving Holistic Security with the Whole Organization.”  In the afternoon session, John Sharp, Senior Manager, Consumer Health IT, Personal Connected Health Alliance at HIMSS will be speaking on the IoT and Personal Connected Health.

Also included were HIMSS Innovation Center Collaborators OnX Enterprise Systems and Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP.

This event was then concluded with an “Xceptional Networking Reception”.

Perfect Storm

These events demonstrate and confirm that innovation is effectively changing and disrupting the healthcare landscape.   The timing has never been better for innovation – especially in the very important area of cybersecurity. This example of a Perfect Storm happened in just one week – it is easy to imagine how much innovation will continue to occur week after week. There is no end innovation and there is no end to what can achieve.

In closing, now that we have weathered the perfect storm” and learned so much about innovation, we must now take action and continue to improve healthcare.

John Paganini is the Sr. Manager, Interoperability Initiatives at the HIMSS Innovation Center in the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland, OH.  Responsibilities include managing interoperability/technology initiatives, operations, and logistics of the HIMSS Innovation Center.  This includes the design and execution of HIMSS Innovation Center programs including marketing, technical design and implementation, education, scheduling and relationship management.jpaganini@himss.org

Keywords: 
HIMSS; cybersecurity; innovation