Our HLTH21 Conference Takeaways

The Particle Health Team found plenty of ways to have fun and talk FHIR, which was on everyone's mind at HLTH.

Particle traveled to HLTH 2021 in Boston last week, our second health-related conference of the year. Compared to HIMSS in Vegas back in August there was colder weather and no gambling to be found, but the energy around health tech was still very high. We found plenty of ways to have fun and talk FHIR!

A few observations and takeaways from last week’s health tech extravaganza -

  • We met with some amazing companies that are doing transformative things in healthcare, which is always the best part of a conference.

    Walking the halls, we saw a lot of enthusiasm around some key sectors, including virtual care platforms like Kaia Health; pharmacy service pioneers including AssistRx; and telehealth, with major players such as Babylon Health making an appearance. All play an important role in the digital advancement of the healthcare industry. 
  • It’s been really exciting to see widespread FHIR awareness take hold. 

    When we first started talking to healthcare folks about the FHIR data standard - and Particle’s ability to transform different data formats into FHIR - we usually started the conversation. Although the value of FHIR conversion is huge, we used to spend more time just describing what FHIR is and how it works. That has certainly changed! 

    At the conference, we were repeatedly asked about FHIR proactively...down to which specific FHIR resources might be helpful for certain use cases! And that’s how we set the conference on FHIR. I mean we can nerd out on FHIR all day.
  • Interoperability was a big topic at our last event, and it’s only gotten bigger since then.

    Organizations are adapting to the impact of the ONC’s Anti-Info Blocking Rule now that it’s in place. Next up is TEFCA in 2022, and attendees wanted to be prepared. We were excited to share our knowledge about how data sharing works across the healthcare space.
  • One very visible group of attendees at #HLTH21 was the investor community.

    Clearly the appetite of investors in the healthcare space remains strong, with an almost frenzied atmosphere around funding interoperability and data.

    An investor “speed dating” section sponsored by Pitchbook was something you had to see to believe. Short sessions ran all day Monday and Tuesday, lorded over by an MC with a 10-minute timer.
  • In Boston, we were able to find time to have a little fun too.

    Monday night was Game 3 of the ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, at Fenway Park. We bought our tickets at 6:30pm for the 8pm game, and got great seats. (Here’s a little tip; tickets to sporting events usually drop in the hours leading up to the game.)

    The atmosphere was electric, the stadium hot dogs were worth the price of admission (see picture), and the Sox won the game (there was even a grand slam!).

We couldn’t have asked for a better conference, and we’ll see you next year! If you’re ready to explore what Particle’s API can do for you, get in touch.