Posted in #HCSM

Beyond Technology: A Human Experience #HIMSSEurope18


I’ve just returned from beautiful Sitges, just outside Barcelona, Spain where I gave the joint opening keynote with Fabian Bolin, Founder of War on Cancer, at the HIMSS Europe Conference.

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I speak at and attend many, many conferences across the globe, but this was a stand-out experience for me. It wasn’t just because there were interesting sessions  – let’s be honest, we could get a lot of this information from watching a webinar – it was those conversations that happen outside the main auditorium that interest me the most.

With Pablo Barredo, founder, La Fundación Diario De Un Cuidador and Erik Gerritsen,  Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (note: you cannot replicate the charisma and dynamism of these two online!)

I met some amazing people who are passionate about digital transformation. I arrived with no great expectations – a little conferenced out even this early in the year – but I returned with renewed energy and hope for the future of healthcare.  I made some really great connections in terms of future work collaborations, but more importantly to me, they are people whose vision for a better future for patients I share.

The location this year in Sitges was stunning. It’s a beautiful coastal town and I am already planning a return visit to explore it some more.

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Sitges By Night

The fact that the conference took place in a purpose-built hotel was unique to me and it worked really well in making the experience more relaxed and intimate.  Congregating in the delightful garden made it feel more like a gathering of friends than a sterile conference hall ever could. More conferences should do this and if I ruled the conference planning world, they would!

A shout-out to Pascal Lardier and Kim Mancha for being so accessible and approachable to new ideas throughout the planning process. Consummate professionals, I  loved working with them and their hard-working behind the scenes team.

Finally, at the risk of this sounding like some kind of cheesy Oscars acceptance speech, I also want to send out a special mention to the wonderful patient advisory board, Shane, Pierre-Mikael, Mitch, Dee, Emilie, Victor, Fabian, and my two co-conspirators Mitch and Pablo.

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With My Wonderful Patient Advisory Team Members

I arrived at HIMSS to attend a conference, but I left with so much more. Here’s to new friendships, fruitful collaborations, and renewing acquaintances again next year.

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See you in Helsinki!



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