HIMSS23 APAC is happening in two weeks. For the second year in a row, the event is taking place in Indonesia – and if you haven’t heard, there’s a little bit of a digital revolution happening in the country’s healthcare sector. And with healthcare organisations mandated to have an EMR implemented by the end of the year, it’s an exciting time to be in health IT in Indonesia.

Having had a front-row seat to cover this event over the past two years, I’ll confidently say you won’t find a shortage of interesting content in the programme. Here are my picks for five sessions not to miss at this year’s conference.

1. Survival of the digitalist: How organisations around the world are transforming with tech that cares: 20 Sep, 9.00am 9.30am

Edward Marx has quite the story to tell. Former CIO of several health systems in the US, heart attack and cancer survivor, youngest child of Holocaust survivors, best-selling health IT author, combat medic – the list goes on. Marx decided to enter the world of health information and management after watching his daughter defy death through the power of technology and clinical care. During this session, this digital health pundit will share frameworks for innovation and how these models are effectively being applied around the world, using real-world examples to make theories come to life. He also promises to “leave you inspired to help lead change with health that connects and tech that cares” – something I’m more than inclined to believe he will deliver on.  

2. Implementing 4D-DOSS: Building a multidisciplinary team to implement live infectious disease monitoring and alerting using a digital twin of a hospital: 20 Sep, 3:45pm – 4:15pm

I find digital twin technology so fascinating. A digital replica of me that helps doctors know when I might be at higher risk of developing new conditions and potentially changing the course of my health for the better? Sign me up, please.

Its applications don’t end there of course – which brings me to the third session on this list. SingHealth, a health cluster in Singapore, has been using digital twin technology for near real-time monitoring, analysis, prediction and simulation of disease outbreaks through its 3-Dimensional Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (3D-DOSS). Dr Indumathi Venkatachalam, principal investigator of the DOSS project from Singapore General Hospital (one of the hospitals in this cluster), will shed more light on its upcoming 4D-DOSS initiative which will expand the ways this technology is used, such as to forecast staffing and resource needs in critical situations like casualties.

3. How the FHIR interoperability standard can turbo-charge your digital maturity: 19 Sep, 11.30am 12:00pm

It’s great when content is contextualised for the host country of the conference – and the third session on this list does just that. InterSystems SEA’s Director of Customer Relations and Sales Stella Ramette (who spoke at last year’s event as well) will take the stage once again this year to talk about FHIR, and the important role this standard will play in Indonesia’s SATUSEHAT, a national integrated health data exchange platform.

With this platform, Indonesians will have their medical records safely documented in a digital system with their consent. They will also not have to fill in new forms when visiting another health facility. Ramette will speak on how health facilities can leverage FHIR to share clean, standardised data with SATUSEHAT, while boosting their digital maturity and realising benefits for their organisation and their patients.

4. The double-edged sword of emerging technology: 20 Sep, 11.15am 12:00pm

They’re exciting, shiny and can potentially impact healthcare delivery in so many wonderful ways. Over the past year or so, the conversations around emerging technologies such as ChatGPT has been increasing – we’ve also covered quite a few implementations of these technologies by healthcare providers in our publication. But how often do health IT professionals deploy technologies while “following the trend” without considering the potential negatives, I wonder? (A little rich coming from someone who just paragraphs earlier was salivating at digital twin technology, I know)

Veneeth Purushotaman, Group CIO of Aster DM Healthcare; Dr Kun-Ju Lin, Deputy Chief Information Security Officer of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital; and Dr Tamara Sunbul, Medical Director of Clinical Informatics at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare will join this panel discussion to explore both the good and bad of emerging technologies. They will also discuss how health IT professionals can avoid the pitfalls of deploying emerging technologies that may end up doing more harm than good for their organisations. Incidentally, I had the opportunity to speak to Purushotaman on this topic – you can find that interview here.

5. Revolutionising patient-centric communication with Zoom Contact Center: 20 Sep, 9.30am 10:00am

We saw Zoom’s prolific growth during a highly contagious pandemic. Health systems around the world took notice of its services, particularly in how they could leverage the Zoom platform to provide telehealth services and keep their patients safe and healthy.

As someone who regularly follows new solutions released in this space, I’m looking forward to seeing what Zoom has in store for the world next. This session presented by Jayraj Nair, Customer Experience Lead of ASEAN at Zoom will likely provide some answers. Can this company which rose to prominence over the “Covid-19 years” maintain its momentum in this post-pandemic world?

And there you have it. Those are my session picks as we look forward to HIMSS23 APAC, taking place from 18 to 21 September. But like I mentioned before, it won’t be that hard to find content to sink your teeth into. If you haven’t looked at the programme already, you can see what interests you here. I look forward to seeing you in two weeks.

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