eHealth 2010 – Musings on the 1st Day

The annual Canadian eHealth conference offers a wealth of networking and information gathering opportunities for Mark and me. We get to renew old acquaintances, make new friends, and, perhaps most importantly, get a sense of the key issues facing the Canadian eHealth sector.

Although the official attendance figures have not yet been published, many of the people with whom we spoke feel that attendance is down over previous years.  Certainly the trade show floor seems less crowded with what appear to be fewer exhibitors and smaller booths.

The opening keynote speaker was Peter Manbridge.  While he was highly entertaining and a marvelous storyteller, his speech had little to do with eHealth.  Indeed, it seemed to be a highly polished but general purpose presentation designed to appeal to a wide variety of audiences.  I was hoping to hear more insights into politics of healthcare and a media perspective on how to pitch eHealth to the media.

The afternoon issues debate plenary was more informative and insightful.   I will write more later on some of the key points raised by the panel.

I am now sitting with Mark waiting to hear Dr. David Blumenthal and Richard Alvarez speak.  I have been following developments in the US with considerable interest and look forward to hearing what he has to say. More on this session in a later blog post.


5 responses to “eHealth 2010 – Musings on the 1st Day

  1. I’ll be interested to read a follow up post on eHealth 2010. The organizers said it was record 1700+ attendance!

    I very much enjoyed the interoperability showcase. The promise is there, and there’s a lot of good thinking and technology behind it! But I learned even more from walking around and talking to attendees. I think the human element is going to be extremely important.

    Thanks for speaking with us about healthcare analytics and Business Intelligence for Healthcare. I hope we’ll talk again soon.

    The BI Builders

  2. I shared the same reaction to the speech from Mansbridge. Once I got past the “no relevance to the audience” piece, it got better. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the entertainment.

    The sessions seemed well attended as usual, but the tradeshow floor did seem smaller in terms of overall crowds, but also also in terms of the booth sizes. I have never seen vendors of the stature of Cisco, RIM, McKesson and others have such small booths. Many of the past vendor booths were missing such as Orion, Oracle and others. I started to wonder why anyone had a booth, until you spoke to a couple of the smaller vendors. Some saw it as a way to prove they were still invested in the market, while others equated it to an eHealth show tax.

    We really need to figure out a way to tweak the show, so that the vendors will continue to support it financially. There is immense value for attendees, but less so for vendors.


  3. Mark and Mike,
    As a vendor who “downsized” our booth at eHealth this year, but still wanted to maintain a presence, we are still questioning the value of investing our time and dollars to put up a booth on the exhibit floor. It seemed to me that attendees flooded in when food was served and flooded out equally quickly when sessions resumed, spending little time to explore what vendors were bringing to the table. I would be happy to engage in the discussion of how to bring more value to vendors, as we are still questioning the value we have gotten for our (now reduced) investment this year.

    Sue Steckle
    eHealth Solutions Manager
    Agfa HealthCare, Canada

    • Sue, thanks for offering a vendor’s perspective on exhibiting at the eHealth conference. I talked to a number of vendors and will be preparing a separate blog summarizing what I heard.


  4. I agree with IainR … one of the most compelling reasons for me to attend the annual eHealth conference is the networking opportunities. As an independent consultant, the cost to trek across the country and attend the conference is quite substantial but I believe that it is worth every penny to me.


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