I have great respect for the organisers of the event, the British Computing Society (at least, I think they're involved somewhere along the line) and the exhibitors who made a brave stand, but that was the problem with Healthcare Computing 2007- it felt like the last stand. Having two posts in a row about the stiffling of innovation in the health care sector and I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but the event really depressed me.
Most annual shows for any industry sector worth billions of Euros are showcases of the latest and greatest technologies with all the buzz that goes with it. It simply wasn't all that. Harrogate was not ringing to the beat of deal making and new product launches. It was like stepping back at least 5 years. Perhaps more. I was going to have a harrumph at Cerner for emphasising the divide between the have (...an NPfIT contract) and the have nots (...an NPfIT contract) because their stand dwarfed most others... but at least they supported the event. BT, iSoft and the other big contract holders didn't even show up. Having been a supplier in another sector not too long ago I really appreciate the costs associated with exhibiting at such an event and therefore the valiant efforts of those who showed.
I spotted suppliers at the event who had chosen not to exhibit. They, and some of the exhibitors who could be frank with me, lamented the fact that of the thousands of people who pass through the depleted halls, only a handful of people are buying. The rest are not as they've no decision making power.
Still, with 90 minutes of my time there to go, I finally found a couple of tech nuggets. They were well hidden, reflecting the lack of recognition of anything new, but that makes the opportunity all the greater for us.
Tags: technology, health care, innovation, UK, healthcare IT, health care IT, Cerner, exhibition, Harrogate, Harrogate Computing 2007