Healthcare, while a controversial subject, is a vital component to any society. Why is it then, that it is also an industry sorely lacking in innovative technology? Yesterday morning, hundreds of people, from curious locals to prominent leaders in medical and technology fields, gathered to address these questions at Intelligent event. The event was hosted at the Fargo Theater, and consisted of three presentations by HIMSS IT Usability Chair, Lorraine Chapman, Executive Vice President of Sanford Clinical Services Matt Hocks, and Executive Chairman of Intelligent InSites Doug Burgum, and emceed by Intelligent InSites President and CEO, Shane Waslaski.

The event was free and open to the public, and served as the conclusion to the BUILD conference which began yesterday morning. For two days, leaders and innovators from around the country, and even one from Japan, shared their stories, exchanged ideas, and discussed how they want to see progress in their individual fields and the healthcare industry as a whole.


Second from the left, Keisuke Kotani from Kyoto, Japan, speaks with other attendees in front of the Fargo Theater.

“The ability to hear all of the different brilliant minds around this, it’s just really exciting,” said Kathy Lewis, Director of Quality, Compliance and Risk Management at Indiana University Hospital. “You come to these conferences and you realize, ‘Oh, I need to talk to you because you’re doing something that I think will work really well with what I’m practicing.’”

Over the course of the event, attendees learned about a variety of innovative technology that could benefit the healthcare industry. Dr. Robin Felder spoke about sensors that can determine the earliest stages of Parkinson’s disease; a pill that, once swallowed, can measure how medicine is affecting your body and discover potential side effects; even a sensor that can insert into a tear duct and then report values to your cell phone, which can then call you when your glucose levels are too high.


Dr. Robin Felder speaks about mobile technology in the healthcare industry.

The event also illuminated problems in the healthcare industry as it stands, and raised critical questions on what needs to change. Dr. Tonya Hongsermeier posed the question, “Why does my smartphone know me better than my Electronic Health Records (EHR)?”, calling for customers to be more demanding of EHR vendors. “I think it’ll be a mixture of pitchforks and collaboration,” she said, in response to a question of how change will happen in the EHR field.

Dr. Charles Watts spoke about the reconciliation that needs to happen between technology and healthcare, emphasizing that in order to survive, “health systems must behave like a disruptor.” That is, the current system must be disrupted, uprooted, and transformed into something better. For instance, Watts spoke about the tedious process of gathering data for doctors and nurses, equating it to searching for a needle in a haystack. “People that were never part of the healthcare system,” like data analysts, he said, “are now critically important.”


Dr. Charles Watts speaks about the current difficulties of data analysis within the healthcare industry.

With so much content being covered, the program purposefully left room for breaks and a lunch where attendees discussed their thoughts and ideas. “The biggest thing is that we are all in this together,” said Lewis at one of the lunch roundtable discussions, where she spoke about how she is implementing technology at Indiana University hospital.

BUILD attendees converse outside the Fargo Theater.

BUILD attendees converse outside the Fargo Theater.

The BUILD conference was one of the biggest events Intelligent InSites has put on. Sara Litton, service and support specialist for Intelligent InSites, said that she thinks the event went very well.

“I’m very excited about the mix of partners and customers,” she said, stating that with such a diverse audience, it can be difficult to have a panel that appeals to everyone. “I feel like we had a good mix. Some more academic speakers, some more IT-based speakers, some customer speakers.”

The event concluded with a talk by Doug Burgum, who outlined the components of an innovative environment and encouraged the audience to be innovators themselves.

“I want to challenge all of you that are here today to be part of the solution,” he said. “To be that risk-taker. Be the innovator. Be that individual that’s going to help drive this industry forward.”


Executive Chair of Intelligent InSites Doug Burgum speaks about how to foster innovation.

Save the date for the next BUILD conference: Sept 28-30, 2015 in Fargo, ND.

To learn more about BUILD, click here.

All photos taken by Marisa Jackels.

Posted in

Marisa Jackels