World of Health IT Conference Is Huge Hit with EMEA Region

World of Health IT ConferenceClose to 2,000 people attended the first World of Health IT Conference and Exhibition held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Oct. 10-13. The event drew speakers, attendees and exhibitors from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) including places as diverse as Andorra and Azerbaijan, Iceland and Israel and Saudi Arabia and Serbia-Montenegro. The main organizers of this event include the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the European Commission (EC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Keynote speakers at the event included some of the industry’s most respected thought leaders and experts including a Senior Member of the European Parliament Baroness Emma Nicholson, the Commission's Ilias Iakovidis, Michael Bainbridge of the UK National Health Service and Claudio Beretta, general director of health for the Lombardy region of Italy.

Other top names included Spaniard Maria Jesus Montero, minister of health for the Andalusia region and the Kuwaiti health minister, Sheik Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding, meanwhile, sent an opening video address.

Speaking at the event, Michael Strubin, the recently appointed HIMSS executive director for EMEA region, said, “There has been a magnificent turn out for this unique event, the first of its kind in the region. Coupled with the opening of our new EMEA office in Brussels early last month, HIMSS has cause to be hugely optimistic for the future of healthcare IT.”

"We at HIMSS are determined to build on this considerable success as we look forward to our work in the EMEA region during 2007. We can also begin planning with considerable confidence an even bigger WHIT event in Vienna next autumn," said H. Stephen Lieber, CEO/president of HIMSS.

"This conference has been an unqualified success. This annual conference can now take its rightful place alongside other major industry events such as Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in North America. I expect to see even greater changes over the next 10 years, now that technology in healthcare has become a national priority and goal," said Mr. Lieber. "There undoubtedly will be many concepts and technologies the industry hasn’t even conceived of yet, which is what makes the adoption of the electronic health record an evolving and challenging initiative."

The conference featured 120 speakers close to 60 exhibitors and top sponsors and partners such as Accenture, Oracle, Initiate Systems, Inc., Philips, InterSystems, Sun Micro Systems, Agfa, Microsoft and more.

Upcoming conferences include: HIMSS07 North America, Feb. 25-March 1, New Orleans, La.; HIMSS Asia-Pacific, May 15-18, 2007; and World of Health IT 2007, Oct. 23-26, Vienna, Austria.

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About the World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition:
The World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition is the first of its kind event, attracting leaders and experts in health IT from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). It has been designed for and by the healthcare IT community in the EMEA region — be they technology users, buyers, vendors, providers or healthcare regulators. Addressing the perspectives of clinicians, directors and other healthcare professionals, The World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition will offer educational sessions, vendor exhibitions, best practice exchange networking sessions and other professional development opportunities.

The World of Health IT Conference bridges the gap between public policy and the realities of day-to-day implementation. Prominent representatives from major world bodies will provide insight into emerging trends, while managers, practitioners and technicians will present case studies, tips and solutions. The World of Health IT Exhibition will robustly complement the Conference, gathering some 100 exhibitors from around the region to demonstrate new strategies, tools and technology designed to enhance the day-to-day quality of healthcare delivery through ICT. For more information on the World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition, visit: www.worldofhealthit.org. Further details on each of the pre-conference symposia as well as additional satellite programs are available at: www.worldofhealthit.org/education.

About HIMSS
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Brussels, and other locations across the United States and Europe, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and over 300 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy, educational and professional development initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to ensuring quality patient care.

For further information, please visit:
http://emea.himss.org

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