Healthcare innovation is alive and well. At least that’s the message that came out of TN HIMSS’ Summit22 held April 21. More than 200 attendees participated in the one-day event, which offered in-depth content and networking opportunities.

From the Summit presentations, it was evident that healthcare continues to evolve as the industry looks beyond the pandemic to solve such issues as bringing healthcare more directly into the home and understanding the trajectory of digital transformation to maximize its full capabilities. New platforms that empower patients with more selfcare options and telemedicine continue to be iterative they become more widely accepted care delivery option. The 21st Century Cures Act passed in 2016 is still an important piece of legislation and is designed to speed medical device and medical treatment market entry, delivering more potentially life-saving technology to patients quicker.

As the industry looks toward innovation to improve patient care and administrative tasks, it’s not without challenges, according to presenters and panelists at that Summit. Cybersecurity threats loom large and require diligent mitigation and threat surveillance efforts. Patient adoption of new technology is not progressing as fast as hoped, while regulatory roadblocks and confusion are abundant, especially as the industry steps out of the shadow of the pandemic. In fact, transitioning from the pandemic has not been seamless. Telemedicine is in flux and providers may see some financial protections removed for this technology being offered across state lines.

While the last two years have presented healthcare with a range of obstacles, the industry also saw a high degree of innovative solutions come to market that provided patients with new care delivery options. Digital healthcare became an even higher priority for many providers and patients alike as highlighted in many of the presentations and panel discussions. Transformative strategies during this time reshaped what many in the industry felt were “traditional” models that needed to be revamped and redeployed. Of course, at-home solutions and treatments were more ingrained in the go-forward strategy that still continue to require new modes of thinking and delivery models.

Wrapping up the Summit was a highly anticipated investor panel discussion. Healthcare technology and services have been riding a red-hot wave of M&A activity over the last few years, and that level of activity seems to be continuing through the first part of 2022, according to the investor panel. Investors continue to steer their funds into companies that drive true innovation into the healthcare industry and improve patient care and operations. “Cool” tech organizations may take a backseat to those organizations that truly drive value for patients and providers, and that’s where much of the funding goes toward, at least for the Nashville-based investment firms represented at the TN HIMSS summit.

For the first, large in-person TN HIMSS event in more than two years, many healthcare organizations participated as sponsors. Without their generous support, the chapter could be able to conduct events like this. Their support and direction are greatly appreciated.

Naturally, as a volunteer-led chapter, there were many individuals who devoted countless hours to putting an event of this magnitude together. What started as an idea with just a little over two months to execute turned into a successful educational and thought-provoking event. The TN HIMSS Summit22 committee deserves a large thank you for pulling this off.

As the chapter looks toward the future of similar events, the goal is to have a greater balance of providers and vendors represented across the board in both presentations and panel discussion. Travel restrictions by many provider organizations due to the Covid pandemic presented some challenges for this spring’s Summit. As travel restrictions ease and some sense of normality returns, it’s anticipated more providers will be able to participate in future summits and chapter events.

As healthcare transitions beyond the pandemic, the Hippocratic Oath is never truer as the collective industry strives to continue to be true to the practice of medicine, while finding the balance for the administration of patient care. Technology is leading the way, with an eye on innovation for the sake of improvement over just the need or desire to innovate. Innovation without change won’t solve the challenges of today and address the needs of tomorrow. Change and transformation have to happen for the industry to progress and improve, meeting its goals of delivering upon its promise of improving patient care.