HIMSS19: Cybersecurity in the SpotlightA Sampling of What's Slated for Health IT's Biggest Annual Show
Once again, cybersecurity issues will be in the spotlight at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference, to be held Feb. 11-15 in Orlando, Florida.
This year's event at the Orange County Convention Center promises 1,300-plus exhibitors, including more than 70 vendors in the show's dedicated Cybersecurity Command Center.
The conference is expected to draw more than 45,000 attendees and offer more than 300 educational sessions spanning 24 topics - including cybersecurity and privacy as well as related regulatory updates.
Cybersecurity sessions will be weaved in throughout the week, with many taking place at the Cybersecurity Command Center. But the topic will also get special treatment on Monday, Feb. 11. A Cybersecurity Forum that day geared to CISOs and other health IT security leaders is among a handful of pre-show workshops before HIMSS19 officially opens on Tuesday.
The Cybersecurity Forum has several key learning objectives for its attendees, HIMSS says, including:
- Explain the types and details of recent cyberthreats;
- Discuss what's new, what's different, what to look out for, and the impact on administrative, clinical operations and patient safety;
- Describe how organizations can work better and smarter to enhance their cybersecurity program, despite resource and financial constraints.
Featured speakers at the forum include Ron Mehring, CISO at Texas Health Resources; Kevin McDonald, director of clinical information security at Mayo Clinic; Jason Hawley, director of information services and security at Yuma District Hospital & Clinics; Mitch Parker, executive director, information security and compliance at Indiana University Health; and James Brady, CIO of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
As usual, the HIMSS conference will provide opportunities to hear from government officials about the latest policy plans and other developments. Agencies to be featured include:
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology, offering a session on Monday, Feb. 11, about its cybersecurity framework;
- The Food and Drug Administration, which will describe its digital health software precertification program on Tuesday, Feb. 12;
- The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which will be featured in a number of sessions, including a standards and technology update slated for Thursday, Feb. 14.
I predict one of the best attended government sessions will be the HIPAA enforcement and compliance update on Tuesday, Feb. 12, featuring Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Among the emerging technologies to be spotlighted at the show is blockchain, which will be showcased at a four-hour forum on Wednesday, Feb 13, including a session about blockchain's privacy, security and compliance considerations in healthcare.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are buzzwords that are guaranteed to be used by many of the exhibitors showcasing their health IT gear. But ML and AI will also be discussed at a variety of educational sessions, including a special all-day pre-show forum on Monday, Feb 11.
Many of the sessions at that forum appear to be heavily focused on the application of ML and AI for clinical applications. But the use of AI and ML for securing health data will also be showcased in a separate session, "AI in Healthcare: Ethical and Legal Considerations", at the Cybersecurity Command Center on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
As usual, I'll be at the conference attending sessions as well as meeting with numerous healthcare CISOs, government leaders and other privacy and security experts. I'll share their insights in audio interviews, articles and blogs, so be on the lookout for daily updates on our HIMSS19 news site.