TN HIMSS played a major role in supporting the Distributed:Heath 2018 conference held in Nashville on November 5-6 with several of the Chapter’s Ambassadors moderating panels and participating as presenters. Additionally, HIMSS from a national perspective, sponsored the event and conducted a Blockchain 101 breakout session.

Below, three TN HIMSS Ambassadors provide their feedback on the panels in which they moderated, offering a glimpse into the content and takeaways.

TN HIMSS Ambassador and Moderator of the panel: George Farmer, Senior Digital Content Specialist @ R1 RCM.

Panel: Leveraging Blockchain to Streamline Pharma Data Management: As the quantity of available data increases, so does the risk of fraud. Understand how blockchain technology offers a solution to a number of current data management challenges, including identity and cost.

While the title of the panel was pharma data, the real focus of the session was on patients. Our panelists, Lisa Strouss, Director of field research at ODH, Kamal Obbad co-founder of Nebula Genomics, and Nadia Bodkin, senior executive at MaxifyLife,  delivered a convincing appeal for patients to have greater control of their genetic data in the historically industry first world of big pharma and medical research. The panel delivered an insightful and thought provoking discussion, showcasing how blockchain could be used to give patients greater equity in their own data, while also eliminating redundancies in medical research and improving R&D for rare diseases.

TN HIMSS Ambassador and Moderator of the panel: Molly Haley, Account Director, Enterprise Blockchain Services @ Hashed Health.

Panel: Healthcare Blockchain Enterprise Business Models.

This panel explored how enterprise business models are incorporating blockchain technology, and how these models will soon dominate real-world projects by reducing costs, improving security, increasing transparency, and incentivizing behaviors etc. The panel featured healthcare and blockchain leaders representing companies in the physician, payer, pharma and healthcare technology space. Amanda Goltz from BTG, Alan Pitt from Barrow Neurological Institute, Gianni Piccininni from Luxoft and Ben Jessel from Kadena each shared varying perspectives on near-term impactful healthcare blockchain use cases and the barriers to operationalizing these new networks and technologies in enterprises today. The discussion topics ranged from Health Information Exchange use cases and physician incentives to change management and the promise of blockchain in the pharma and payer space.

TN HIMSS Ambassador and Moderator of the panel: Monica Greene, Manager, Technical Delivery & Optimization @ NaviHealth.

Panel: Seeing Through The Hype – The potential breakthroughs of blockchain in healthcare have now been evangelized for the last few years, yet it’s been rare to hear evidence based skepticism about what distributed ledger technology is not meant to solve. The group of largely optimistic business leaders who’ve witnessed blockchains hype cycles veer outside of what should be expected from this technology.

This charismatic group of leaders were able to positively and intelligently dispel blockchain’s pessimistic position on the Gartner Technology Hype Cycle and walk us through realistic examples they have put into action. Kaiser’s Principal IT Architect and Technology Strategist, Stephan Baur walked us through his vision for the future of blockchain and how the realistic bullish and bearish  attributes will make or break its evolution. A recurring theme throughout the conversation from Jay Sales of VSP Global was the need for optimized business models in which blockchain technologies have the potential to make beneficial impact. Not only did Baur and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP’s Kristen Johns agree, but they also supplemented with the requirement for trust between the people relationships–not just in the technological construction in which blockchain is based. Without adding the ‘human factor’ to which the community, consortiums, and relationships blockchain depends, then implementation and adoption will cease to mature. Johns highlighted her work toward this goal of partnership in Tokenize Tennessee, a community of Tennessee businesses and influencers working together to identify needs and increase adoption of distributed ledger technology for state-wide benefit. In the end, these approaches should help blockchain succeed in the end only if paired with a heavy dose of patience–as history proves this relatively young technology has a long way to grow.