Our 4 Biggest Takeaways from Dreamforce 2018

Key healthcare insights from the Dreamforce 2018 Salesforce community conference

The Dreamforce 2018 conference is a place where industry pioneers, thought leaders, and those just trying to better themselves professionally gather to share ideas & learn from each other. Many describe Dreamforce as “the most innovative software conference in the world”, “their favorite time of the year” and even “the adventure of a lifetime.”

And while those are high expectations, it seems every year they are exceeded again. Dreamforce is four days packed full of learning, networking, growing and innovating. There are hundreds of takeaways one can have from a conference with over 150,000 attendees but, lucky for you, we’ve narrowed it down to four amazing things we took away from Dreamforce 2018.

1. Salesforce is Serious About Improving the Healthcare Experience

The introduction of Salesforce Health Cloud in 2015 was one of Salesforce’s biggest moves toward improving the patient experience. Built with the idea that healthcare organizations should be built around patient relationships, and not just patient records, Salesforce developed Health Cloud to be a software that is a complement to an EHRs. Some of the first things Health Cloud delivered were capabilities for new patient acquisition, patient marketing campaigns, physician recruitment, and more. For providers, it offered a platform for coordinating post-acute care, personalizing contact center experiences, and creating 1-1 patient journeys.

Since being developed in 2015, Salesforce has made huge strides to improve their Health Cloud by delivering capabilities that improve the patient experience & outcomes. Ever since launch, Salesforce has continued investing into Health Cloud. An expansive app partnership program has created an ecosystem for both trusted legacy healthcare companies and innovative newcomers to place their technology on top of Health Cloud, extending the power of the platform even more. And earlier this year, they announced Closing Care Gaps which is a way to monitor and close gaps in a patient’s treatment plan by giving physicians full visibility into the on-going progress of a patient’s treatment plan.

This year, one of the biggest new developments on display was Health Cloud for payers. With more payers moving toward becoming healthcare companies, and not just health insurance companies, Health Cloud for Payers is built to give these organizations the power to customize member experiences and make the system easier to navigate.

2. We’ve Seen the Future & there are No Disparate Systems There

Can you say the word interoperability three times fast? Probably not. Even though that word doesn’t roll off the tongue, we heard it again and again because people are passionate about it. We talked to professionals in every industry and everyone (seriously, everyone) had at least one issue that could be solved with interoperability. With a need this large, combined with the fact that we have the technology to solve the majority of these issues, we know it’s only a matter of time before the term “disparate systems” becomes obsolete.

After chatting with quite a few folks at Dreamforce we realized something: healthcare is finally starting to catch up with other industries. It is a topic at the forefront of the healthcare industry and if there is an organization that isn’t making it a priority, you can guarantee there are at least a handful of champions who are fighting to make it one. To ensure this response wasn’t isolated to Dreamforce attendees, we did a little research. According to Healthcare Informatics, many industry stakeholders see themselves as far along on their interoperability journeys. In fact, when asked to rank their organization’s ability to achieve interoperability on a 1-10 scale, the responses averaged out to 7-10.

With technology making this challenge easier to solve, organizations becoming aligned on interoperability goals, and patients demanding a more connected experience, we can’t wait to see the strides that have been taken by Dreamforce 2019.

3. The App Economy Has Come to Healthcare

At Dreamforce 2018, when you are not on the conference app, you’re on Gmail, Outlook, Instagram, or some other app…the list is nearly endless. Naturally, the app economy it’s a big topic in every industry. What we found most exciting was the conversation surrounding healthcare apps. You probably have some form of healthcare app on your phone already, whether it be a diet tracking app, a fitness app, or even an app to track your health insurance. While healthcare apps have become pervasive for consumers, we are now seeing a revolution in healthcare technology platforms powered by apps. If you are managing patients in Salesforce, plug-and-play applications extend the power of the platform and allow providers and payers to manage information more efficiently. Two great examples we saw at Dreamforce 2018 were with PointClickCare and Higi.

Higi is a platform that allows people to track and act on their health data. They have a network of 11,000 health stations & 80+ integrated health devices and apps, and are used nearly 1 million times per week nationwide. So, where does all of the information go? The Higi app gives people the power to better track, and better control, their own healthcare data. Aside from the consumer app, Higi data can also be delivered to a care manager or other provider group that is invested in the patient’s care. By letting healthcare professionals get more data from patient’s outside of the facility, providers can track trends and intervene before small issues become large ones.

PointClickCare (our newest partner) is the leading cloud-based software vendor for long-term and post-acute care. They’re helping to continuously innovate & improve the 16,000+ facilities they support, and the PointClickCare Marketplace launching on their platform is a huge leap forward. The PointClickCare Marketplace will make it easier for their customers to explore the ecosystem of different partners and applications that are integrated with PointClickCare. By doing this, PointClickCare is providing their customers with resources that enhance the capability of their EHR, enabling those facilities to better solve their business needs, along with care needs for their patients. For example, one of the first apps to launch enables family engagement through the EHR, so approved family members will be able to keep up with the status of their loved ones in real time.

4. Healthcare Innovation is Coming Where You Least Expect It

When you think of healthcare innovation, you probably think of cutting-edge hospitals and health research centers. However, the names we heard when it comes to discussions about disrupting the healthcare industry at Dreamforce 2018 didn’t necessarily fall into those categories. Companies like Salesforce, Amazon, Apple, Uber, Lyft, Microsoft and even Facebook were hot topics of healthcare-focused conversations.

Jeff Bezos is working hard to use his Amazon powers to better the healthcare industry. Earlier this year, Amazon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Berkshire Hathaway announced a plan to collaborate on an independent healthcare company for their U.S. employees. The goal in creating this company is to create technology solutions that simplify healthcare, improve quality & transparency, and reduce cost. Amazon also recently acquired PillPack, a home delivery pharmacy service, and is continually adding healthcare functionalities to Alexa, such as scheduling, medication reminders, chronic illness management, and more.

While Amazon is extending their reach to solve many issues, one they can’t solve is transportation. Uber Health launched this year, which provides an open API that allows for integration into health IT systems, and Lyft has a similar program, working with partners such as American Cancer Society, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Allscripts to help resolve this issue in the healthcare industry.

You can see why these names are receiving recognition when it comes to healthcare. It’s such a crucial industry, these companies are seeing opportunities where they’re able to help and seizing those opportunities. As Mike Lucy, VP of HLS at Salesforce, said in his keynote speech, “The starting point of customer success is putting the patient and the member in the center, and you can have a personalized, collaborative, and connected experience.”

This year, we were reminded again of how much innovation is coming from the Salesforce ecosystem. Whether it is from Salesforce itself, customers innovating on the platform, or partners extending the power of the platform with their own technology, we are happy to be able to attend, learn, and be a part of Dreamforce.

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