Today I visited the EHI Live 2011 health technology show at the NEC in Birmingham. It’s my third visit overall (and second in two years) plus I visited the HETT Show last month, so I’m almost counting myself as a regular show go’er now.
There were the expected faces on show (Advanced Health & Care, Agfa Healthcare, McKeeson, CareFX, Phillips, Siemens, Logica, etc.). I also noted BT, Blackberry and o2 all rubbing stand shoulders – presume that was a conscious decision to park next to each other. The above suppliers aside, the hall definitely seemed to be busy with a large number of smaller, SMB size suppliers (perhaps a sign of the post-NPfIT changes happening in the NHS?). Quite a few US headquartered firms present too.
I spotted a handful of trusts and potential supplier sales targets with their own stands, including University Hospital’s Birmingham (the super savvy IT expert from UHB, Stephen Chilton, was walking the halls) the Department of Health, and NHS Wales Informatics Service.
I didn’t manage to make any of the presentations, but chatting to Gary Flood from PublicTechnology.net (who did make it in) I learnt that a few pieces of new research available will show increasing opportunities in healthcare for SMB suppliers. It prompted me to think that, unlike recent history where smaller suppliers have often been forced to partner with larger, Buying-Solutions accredited suppliers in order to win deals in healthcare; perhaps the opposite now might start to prevail.
If I’m completely honest it wasn’t the busiest show I’ve been too. As usual some supplier stands seemed to attract more attention than others. All things considered it was a thoroughly encouraging sight considering the wider economy and focus on public sector spending.