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From HIMSS Global to e-Health: The Value of Professional Community

I just returned from a week in Florida. The weather was great, yet I spent much of my time inside the Orlando County Convention Centre, taking in the HIMSS 2024 Conference and Tradeshow.

After a slight pandemic dip, the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition is back in full swing, with 30,000 attendees, more than 1,000 exhibitors, and over 500 expert speakers sharing valuable insights and ideas.

HIMSS Global Conference is among the largest health technology conferences in the world, and I couldn’t help but make comparisons between HIMSS Global Conference and e-Health Conference as I tallied up my impressive daily step count. There are key differences—size (the HIMSS Global Conference is held in a space that is 4 million square feet or about 90 football fields), number of available sessions, and more vendor representation, which is not surprising given that attendees from more than 90 countries are on hand to view the 1000s of innovations and health tech solutions on the tradeshow floor.

The similarities were notable. Content and topics were almost identical to the e-Health Conference tracks—AI, Cybersecurity, Population Health, Interoperability, Health Equity, and Data Sharing, Management, and Governance—and the best networking took place at smaller events, like the excellent Canadian Reception hosted by TECHNATION and HIMSS Chapters.

I came away with a newfound appreciation for the relative intimacy of our national e-Health Conference, with an expected 2024 attendance of 1,200 to 1,500 Canadian digital health professionals.

I always leave e-Health feeling recharged and energized by the many face-to-face conversations I can have with attendees on the trade show floor, at social events, or in the foyer or hallways between sessions. The time commitment required is reasonable, the distance between events is manageable, and so much care is taken to ensure attendees have time and space to build trusted connections with one another. I also value the strong emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration at e-Health, as well as the collaborative connections that the conference fosters between public sector, private companies, and academic institutions in Canada. These close ties and partnerships set solid foundations for digital health innovation and scaling successful digital health solutions across jurisdictions.

It was a pleasure to see many Canadians and Digital Health Canada members in Orlando, and I look forward to connecting with many more at e-Health in Vancouver. Our unique Canadian ecosystem is a community that is, at the same time, both broad and close—and e-Health provides our national community with the basis for connecting and sharing innovation, collaboration, and excellence in digital health in Canada.

See you at the trade show exhibition and education sessions in Vancouver.



Mark Casselman is CEO of Digital Health Canada, one of the e-Health hosts. 

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