The inaugural HLTH conference took place in Las Vegas May 6-9 and the TripleTree platform was active throughout the event. Whether it was participating as a conference sponsor, moderating two separate panel discussions or engaging with industry leaders, our professionals were energized by the concentration of industry players and the dialogue occurring over the four days. With an already crowded healthcare conference schedule including the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, HIMSS, AHIP, and a number of specialty conferences throughout the year, the most obvious question that we were asked was “What is the deal with HLTH and was it worth it?”
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): In a word, yes. Our view, and one that we heard from other attendees in Las Vegas, is that HLTH lived up to the hype and is definitely a good event to repeat next year.
Here are a few take-aways and what we liked about HLTH:
- High quality event and attendees: The organizers did a nice job with the event and the quality of attendees was also very strong. We noted a nice mix of healthcare technology and service companies, health plans and providers, as well as investors. We also noted a good representation of non-traditional companies, such as Silicon Valley tech companies, national retailers and .com companies in attendance and presenting. The level of engagement and networking at HLTH was also very good, resulting in a very differentiated week for our professionals. The overall meeting environment was excellent.
- Thought provoking presentations and discussions: The conference was very much oriented around concurrent presentations and panels rather than an exhibit floor (there was an exhibit floor, but it was smaller and more curated than at HIMSS, for example). Attendees seemed to be at the conference to discuss ideas and hear other presenters rather than the typical vendor job fair present at other conferences. With so many high-quality presentations, there was ample opportunity for side conversations with company executives and investors.
- Discussion of emerging topics: We noted that several panels and sessions covered emerging yet important healthcare topics. Expected and well-covered topics included consumerism, leveraging data and analytics, privacy, and digital health. TripleTree’s Dawn Owens moderated one such panel focused on the importance of behavioral health in overall health. Panelists included Rob Rebak from AbleTo, John Donahue from axialHealthcare, Arun Gupta from Quartet Health and Ofer Leidner from Happify Health. Each of these panelists brought a unique perspective demonstrating the progress the industry is making towards recognizing the challenges and impact behavioral health has system-wide, and more importantly, where innovative solutions are making an impact on pressing behavioral health needs. Look for a follow-up blog on this panel in the coming weeks.
What’s ahead for 2019?
We view HLTH as an important addition to the healthcare conference calendar and are already thinking about how it fits into the mix next year. We’re excited to see how the HLTH team refines their strategy, reacts to feedback (there were some differing opinions voiced about the HLTH conference), brings in new program elements, and expands the industry reach as they move HLTH to the even larger MGM Grand venue.
As we reflect on HLTH, the magic about this new conference is the ability to attract and encourage dialogue and information sharing while facilitating the necessary connections that can help the healthcare system live up to its potential. That’s a tall order, but if the inaugural event is any indication, the HLTH team is up for the challenge in 2019!