5 Must-Attend Health IT Conferences for 2016

iStock_000052989386_SmallFor education, networking and training, a conference packed with your peers in healthcare IT can’t be beat. The events below, listed by date, are well-known to most HIT professionals, but it’s never too early to review the agendas and get in your travel requests.

HIMSS – Feb. 29-March 4
The granddaddy of health IT conferences, HIMSS 2016 in Las Vegas will attract over 40,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors. The best advice is to book everything from travel to hotel early, and first-time attendees should review orientation webinars to get a handle on event logistics. There are plenty of networking opportunities and the conference is a great place for HIT professionals to find a new job.

RSA Conference – Feb. 29-March 4
While not healthcare-specific, the annual RSA conference is the security industry’s largest annual forum for education on cyber threats. There may be no timelier event for health IT execs considering that 80% of providers and payers say their records have been compromised by security breaches. Set your agenda using the helpful conference tracks organized by topics, such as “C-Suite View” or “Mobile Security.” Because the US conference conflicts with HIMSS dates, consider sending at least your security executives to this event.

Health Datapalooza – May 8-11
Big data has its own big conference—with a healthcare focus. Health Datapalooza promotes collaboration between healthcare stakeholders to promote data sharing across health systems and innovation around data use. There are tracks focused on clinical care, data science and infrastructure, and patients, among others. The conference has its roots in Washington, D.C., and public policy discussions play a large role in the sessions.

Health 2.0 – Sept. 25-28
The annual Health 2.0 conference is a showcase for new technologies, HIT entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The event features expert panels broken out by healthcare stakeholders, e.g., patients, doctors, employers. Health IT startups can pitch their wares in a “Shark Tank” style competition, while developers can participate in hack-a-thons designed to solve real-world health challenges.

Connected Health Symposium – Oct 21-22
Much like Health 2.0, this event highlights startups and new technologies with a focus on personal consumer health technologies. This year’s theme is Wearables and Digital Therapeutics: The New Frontier of Patient Engagement. Brevity is a highlight of the two-day event: The Innovators Challenge features rapid-fire demos and keynote speeches are limited to 20 minutes.