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CSM 2016: A Look Back

It has taken a few weeks for me to settle back in and process all that I saw at CSM.

While there, I was focused on building partnerships for my new company, ScheduleDoc, so observing the conference was not my sole priority this year. That being said, there was a lot to see and hear: from the new technology, to conversations with colleagues, I walked away buzzing with excitement for our industry.

Everywhere I turned at CSM, I heard about considerable technology advancements. In conversations and exhibits, I saw new devices, apps and tools that make the lives of physical therapists easier and often improved the patient experience at the same time.

Cutting Edge Technology

  • Process automation was a particularly hot topic and showing real strides in innovation and industry adoption.
  • Exhibitors showed off their work on objective measures and outcomes that will further bolster the value physical therapists bring to patients and health care, beyond just patient self-reported outcomes.
  • The adoption of platforms to help spread the PT word was also evident. Whereas a couple years ago I was on a Twitter panel extolling the virtues of using social media, this year there was organic uptake on social platforms, plus live podcasts happening throughout the event. The use of social media was definitely felt this year.

Engaged and Diverse Conversation

In addition to the expansion of social media participation, there was a breadth of experience and sharing at CSM that I have not witnessed before. The perspectives shared this year were new and varied and added much to the flavor and complexity of the conference. I felt there was less insularity and the inclusion of people from various professional backgrounds, along with patients, brought a broad range of ideas to CSM. This in turn showed remarkable progress in the selection of speakers, topics and ideas brought to the event.

Changing the System

Lastly, I was happy to see quite a bit more emphasis on selling the value that physical therapists bring to markets in which we have very little current penetration. The realization among the profession that we offer great value, both clinically and financially, to a broken system was evident in poster presentations, speaker panels, and conversations all around Anaheim.

Overall, there was progress, and significantly so, over past conferences. There’s a buzz around the value we bring, the tools we use, and the people we should be allying with to broaden our reach in health care in order to help more people. It was very encouraging and exciting to be a part of.

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