I’m delighted to be attending the Microsoft Connected Health Conference in Chicago over the next couple of days, and to be invited to guest blog on the conference. Consider this the first of a two-part series.
 
This conference is a special treat for me as I finally had the opportunity to meet a longtime Twitter and Facebook friend, and someone whose blog posts are so compelling, Regina Holliday.
Regina came to see me at the Perficient booth first thing and we quickly found her paints and easel;
 
Regina will be creating a painting of the conference themes over the course of the next two days. It will be fun to watch her paint it live!
 
Together we attended the opening session by Microsoft’s Craig Mundie, that took the audience through innovations in technology and the drive towards Natural User Interface (NUI) and how using computers will become second nature. For those who have experienced Microsoft Kinect, you’ll have a feeling for some of what was shared. Mr. Mundie shared scenarios where we can leverage avatars to interact with others and how they can truly become our representatives in a virtual setting. The promise that Kinect holds in the healthcare space was also on display with demos available on the exhibit floor.
 
A huge theme of the conference is driving meaningful use, a key tenet of healthcare reform. Health providers are trying to figure out how to get there, and many of the Microsoft partners at the conference have different solutions targeted at aspects of meaningful use. Regina Holliday shared her personal story when she participated in a panel session moderated by Michael Millenson, of Health Quality Advisors, along with Adam Clark, of FasterCures, and Deborah Brooks, of The Michael J Fox Foundation. Regina firmly put a human face on meaningful use; I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when she had finished speaking.
 
There’s a packed schedule at the Microsoft Connected Health Conference, and unfortunately I can’t attend every session. The New Tactics for Managing Chronic Diseases session was moderated by Microsoft’s own Dr. Bill Crounse. Dr. Crounse has an excellent web TV show called Health Tech Today that I would encourage anyone interested in innovation in healthcare to check out. This panel session explored different ways of leveraging technology to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, with many of the solutions leveraging Microsoft’s HealthVault, a personal health information platform that allows patients to collect and manage their own heath data.
 
The afternoon held an excellent session on Health Information Exchange (HIE) moderated by Chilmark Research’s John Moore. The panel featured Kim Pemble, of Wisconsin HIE, Michael Mytych, Health Information Consulting, and Terri Jacobson, of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC), who just announced that they will be using Microsoft, CSC, and HealthUnity to deliver the largest metropolitan HIE in the U.S. John Moore gave an excellent overview of the HIE market and differences between enterprise and public HIEs.
 
While it was a very busy first day, I also recorded a quick video with Shaun Priest of MEDSEEK, sharing how Microsoft introduced Perficient and MEDSEEK at the Microsoft World Partner Conference in Washington DC, and how we will be working together to implement MEDSEEK’s new product suite that’s built on the SharePoint 2010 platform.
 
The conference Twitter hashtag is #MSCHC2011. For up to the minute information on the conference follow the hashtag, and of course feel free to follow me at @lizasisler and @Perficient_msft – feedback is welcome! Stay tuned for more information from the conference tomorrow!