This is one of two short trip reports for last week’s America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute in Nashville (my other trip report). Check out my 10 part series on the coming intersection between health plan IT and Business Process Management.
I was a guest of Appian, developer of a Business Process Management-based application platform, at AHIP Institute last week. As announced during HIMSS15 in Chicago, I’m working with Appian to educate healthcare and health IT about modern BPM-based low-code application platforms. (Also see my five-part series on BPM in healthcare.) Appian is a particularly good choice, because they’ve create a plethora of white papers, blog posts, Youtube videos, and related resources about every aspect of modern BPM, including the current reigning high tech quadrivium: Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC).
I set up work space kitty-corner from the Appian booth, so I got to watch the steady stream of attendees stop by. Here’s an overhead shot, from my drone, with arrows pointing to the Appian booth and my temporary working area.
Meanwhile, online, @Appian was one of the top Twitter accounts.
— Charles Webster MD (@wareFLO) June 8, 2015
I shot three interviews with Appian booth staff (with Google Glass).
In the following interview Christina Fisher (@CFisherAppian) in three minutes gives us a high-level explanation of using a modern low-code BPM application platform.
Health plan applications should
- be simple not only to use,
- but simple to build as well,
- span the enterprise,
- and integrate with existing systems
- for credentialing,
- contracting, and
- claims processing,
- utilization management, and
- member outreach.
I love the notion, implicit in this interview, of tackling interoperability via use of workflow tech to integrate legacy enterprise systems!
In the following video, Chris O’Connell (public sector, including healthcare, at Appian) actually demos LittleBits, a hardware prototyping system for teaching kids (and adults!) about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM). Pulsing lights! Screaming buzzers! Constellations of LittleBits that look like process models! Chris then talks about how both LittleBits and Appian empower non-programmers to build and modify their own interactive smart solutions.
Starting about 4:20 Chris addresses similarities between LittleBits and Appian.
- Like LittleBits, Appian has discrete prebuilt (software) components,
- Prebuilt components are combined to create applications
- For example, document management components “snap” together quickly and easily.
- Appian puts the power in the hands of the (non-programmer) builder
- Empowering mental creativity and agile software change
But this last video is the pièce de résistance from the AHIP Institute. Doug, an Appian engineer, demos not just an health plan provider management app built with Appian, but also pops open the hood to show us *how* the app was made: WITHOUT HAVING TO WRITE ANY CODE.
The importance of non-programmers being able to draw fully-functional, web and cross-mobile device, social media-integrated, cloud-based health and payer IT systems, with lots of adaptors to integrate with backend enterprise systems, cannot be overestimated. It is, in my mind, The Third Way, of health IT software development. Instead of buy prepackaged software and adapting your workflows to the software… Instead of spending way too much money hiring programmers to write applications from scratch that fit your workflows… The Third Way is to use a modern BPM application platform, to quickly create, then modify when needed, native-mobile, cloud-based, social media-oriented process-aware SMAC applications. (SMAC stands for Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud.)
Regardless of whether you are a funded start-up, or an large organization seeking to adapt to new regulatory and consumer-driven health payer and provider economies… create your own applications, the new-fashioned way, and own your workflows.