I landed today in Budapest, Hungary. Shortly after arriving at my hotel, I took a brisk walk along the riverfront. When I travel internationally, I always try to get some daylight soon after arriving to help me adjust to the new time. Here in Budapest that is 10 hours later than my body’s native time in Redmond. When I left Seattle yesterday morning, it was foggy, rainy and grey. What I nice surprise to see blue skies and sun in Budapest. The flowers are blooming and Spring is in the air.
The riverfront was busy with scores of other people strolling past the sidewalk cafes and watching the ubiquitous river boats as they cruised down the Danube. I took a nice long walk and crossed the old chain bridge, one of two crossing the Danube between Pest and Buda in the city center.
Why am I in Budapest? This week, May 10 to 12, Microsoft is taking part in the World of Health IT; an event designed to connect government officials, ministers of health, and leading healthcare information and communication technology experts with the latest innovations and best practice work from around the globe.
We’ll have a stand at the event, showcasing our technologies and health solutions offered by our partners. In addition, I will be giving a keynote speech on ‘How Software and the Cloud are Transforming Health and Healthcare Delivery’ and leading a forum on global trends and IT solutions impacting the delivery of health information and medical services around the world both on premise and in the cloud. I will also be speaking with attendees, customers, partners and EU officials at the event to find out more about advances in e-Health and Health ICT that is taking place across Europe. I will also be able to share some of the work we are doing at Microsoft to optimize IT investments, advance collaboration, support decisions and engage patients.
Healthcare IT is such a rich topic, but there are two key themes I’m really keen to discuss during WoHIT. First, e-Health Records and how EU member nations can provide these for all citizens by 2015. Second, how Chronic Condition Management can be enabled by the cloud; specifically in terms of access to information and medical services in the home.
For those attending the conference, Microsoft is at stand 219 and my industry leader forum takes place on Thursday, May 12th, 9am-10am, Hall B, Level 1, Innsbruck Room. To register to take part, follow this link. My keynote takes place the same day at 11:30 AM.
To find out more about Microsoft’s involvement and the themes that I’ll be discussing, take a look at my previous blog ‘From Chicago to Budapest - Connecting health and healthcare’. Make sure you check back here for updates on my observations about the event, as well as looking at the World of Health IT official website. Finally, I’m told that all speeches from the event – including mine – will be made available on eHealth’s YouTube channel.
I’m sure I’ll be getting some questions here about Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. Of course, I’m a big fan of anything that helps bring rich audio and video capabilities to the web and enhances communication and collaboration across enterprises and right into people’s homes; on the computer, television, laptop, netbook, slate, smartphone, Xbox or anywhere else people need to connect. Sounds to me like even more opportunities to enhance the capabilities for e-Health and tele-Health services to citizens everywhere!
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft