The Indiana Biomedical Society celebrated its 25th anniversary Saturday, January 23, with an annual conference held at the Sheraton City Center in Indianapolis. The event welcomed more than 60 vendors and approximately 200 attendees.

Themed “Population Health: How We Got Here and the Impact on HTM Professionals,” the gathering also offered technical sessions on troubleshooting picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and eye surgical equipment. Additional topics included a Joint Commission update and tensions with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to allocating bandwidth for wireless medical telemetry service.

Keynote speaker Steve Long, MBA, MHA, FACHE, spoke midday about the underlying philosophy of population health. As healthcare reform shifts hospitals’ reimbursements from a fee-for-service model to value-based payments, he explained, hospitals are increasingly incentivized to keep patients healthier in the long run. That means addressing lifestyle- and environmental-based health concerns before patients ever get sick enough to visit a hospital. Besides being better for patients, the approach can help the healthcare industry rein in its expenses during an era of escalating costs.

Where do biomeds fit into all that? Much of the data that eventually drives decisions about population health originates from the medical equipment HTM professionals manage. “As we drive innovation in our healthcare world, it allows us to improve care,” says Demetrius Dillard, IBS president.

That holistic approach also means that biomeds need to be able to collaborate with colleagues in all specialties, including radiology, he argues. Currently, the field embraces what he sees as an artificial distinction, offering separate certifications for general biomedical equipment (CBET) and imaging equipment (CRES), despite a significant amount of overlap between the two specialities. “A lot of us have tunnel vision,” Dillard says.

By getting biomeds to think about how they can help push forward the agenda to achieve an overall healthier population, everyone stands to benefit.

Jenny Lower is chief editor of 24×7 magazine. Contact her at [email protected].