Report: 6th Annual SAS HLS Executive Conference

April 24, 2009
67 Views

Wow, what a great event we just had.  The 6th Annual SAS Health and Life Sciences Executive Conference wrapped up last night, and it was certainly one of the best we’ve had.  The event, which was sponsored by HP, focused on the theme “Welcome to a New Dawn of Healthcare: Patient-Driven.  Technology-Enabled.”  I continue to be impressed at how this conference grows in both quality and participation year after year.  For those that were able to attend, thank you for your time and insights, you really make the event worthwhile.  Our planners were worried for a while — a lagging economy, mergers, acquisitions, federal health priorities — would people be able to take the time and expense to come?  But for an event focused on increasing industry insights and collaboration across industry silos, the message from everyone was clear — now is the time.

The great thing about this conference is that customers do almost all of the talking.  Let me give you some highlights of the event for those that were not able to join us:

Dr. John Halamka, Chief Information Officer of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, gave an opening keynote about the stimulus pack


Wow, what a great event we just had.  The 6th Annual SAS Health and Life Sciences Executive Conference wrapped up last night, and it was certainly one of the best we’ve had.  The event, which was sponsored by HP, focused on the theme “Welcome to a New Dawn of Healthcare: Patient-Driven.  Technology-Enabled.”  I continue to be impressed at how this conference grows in both quality and participation year after year.  For those that were able to attend, thank you for your time and insights, you really make the event worthwhile.  Our planners were worried for a while — a lagging economy, mergers, acquisitions, federal health priorities — would people be able to take the time and expense to come?  But for an event focused on increasing industry insights and collaboration across industry silos, the message from everyone was clear — now is the time.

The great thing about this conference is that customers do almost
all of the talking.  Let me give you some highlights of the event for
those that were not able to join us:

Dr. John Halamka,
Chief Information Officer of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center, gave an opening keynote about the stimulus
package, federal healthcare priorities, and what we can expect over the
next few years in terms of health transformation.  He is one of the
only people I know that can distill 400 pages of dry and confusing federal legislation
into a 45-minute presentation that is both understandable and
enjoyable.  He discussed one of the hazy areas in the current
legislation — the idea of “meaningful use” of electronic medical
records — and how the industry will need to focus on quality,
efficiency, and controlled vocabularies.

Dr. John Neiderhuber, Director of the National Cancer Institute,
gave an equally compelling keynote about the role of cancer in driving
our evolution towards translational medicine.  I took away from his
talk three things.  First, cancer as a family of diseases requires our
ongoing focus and attention: millions of people diagnosed, and hundreds
of billions of treatment dollars spent, every year in the healthcare
system.  Second, cancer is an ideal model for understanding how to
apply translational medicine principles across all disease states, and
the progress that has been made to date is considerable.  And third,
the future of medicine — a practice empowered by translational
sciences — will look a LOT different than it does today, especially as
we see the $1,000 genome on the horizon.

Jim Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SAS, gave a talk on Business Analytics
as a framework for driving enterprise-wide improvements in health and
life sciences companies.  You can learn more about his content on SAS.com,
but what I found interesting was how strongly his message resonated
with the attendees.  Over and over throughout the remainder of the day,
his talking points were used to frame discussions about how to assess
an organization’s maturity with analytics, and how to identify where to
focus attention in improvements.

I was privileged to moderate a panel discussion that included Dr. Halamka, Dr. Ron Fitzmartin of Daiichi Sankyo, and Patrick McIntyre of United Health Group
The topics posed by the audience were both intriguing and broad,
covering the practicalities of the national agenda for healthcare,
overcoming trust barriers, critical success factors, and many others. 
It was a lot of fun.

There were also breakout tracks and
customer demonstrations in the afternoon for both healthcare and life
sciences.  It is so interesting to see the creative and powerful things
people are doing with analytics.  Customers included BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona, Cardinal Health, CareSource, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Maine Medical Center, Acorda Therapeutics Inc, Daiichi Sankyo, ICON, Merial Limited, and Wyeth.  Oh, and SAS launched a new healthcare fraud framework as well.

The conference was a success by any measure.  I will be posting an update to this blog post with links to conference materials once they are online.


Link to original post

You may be interested

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups
Big Data
298 shares3,066 views
Big Data
298 shares3,066 views

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups

Ryan Kh - July 20, 2017

The first version of SAP Hana was released in 2010, before Hadoop and other big data extraction tools were introduced.…

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion
Data Management
62 views
Data Management
62 views

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion

Manish Bhickta - July 20, 2017

Physical Data destruction techniques are efficient enough to destroy data, but they can never be considered eco-friendly. On the other…

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan
Data Management
69 shares672 views
Data Management
69 shares672 views

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan

GloriaKopp - July 20, 2017

Part of business planning is arranging how data will be used in the development of a project. This is why…