Spring Forum’s Keynotes Offer Perspectives on Change through Innovation

By Candace Stuart, Director, Communications & Public Relations

Given the fast pace of technological change, today’s digital healthcare executives must not only command a strong understanding of current technologies but also of the cutting-edge innovations that could transform health and care in the future. 5G, quantum computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, wearable devices, precision medicine … the list goes on and on. The 2020 CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum will provide a framework that will position members to successfully lead their organizations through change.

The program includes:

  • Opening keynote speaker James L. Madara, MD, CEO and executive vice president of the American Medical Association (AMA), describing the coming challenges on the healthcare horizon
  • Midmorning keynote speaker Robin Farmanfarmaian, an entrepreneur and angel investor, focusing on cutting-edge healthcare and biotech companies that are poised to impact 100 million patients
  • Midafternoon keynotes through “Innovation beyond the Edge,” real-world examples presented by CHIME members who brought advanced technology to health and care. Presenters are Marc Probst, vice president and CIO at Intermountain Healthcare; Natalie Pageler, MD, CMIO at Stanford Children’s Health; and Daniel Barchi, senior vice president and CIO at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Closing keynote speaker John K. Coyle, Olympian, founder of Design Thinking Academy and a world-leading expert in innovation, talking about optimizing strengths, building resiliency and fostering innovation

As the leader of the nation’s most influential physician organization, Madara has a broad perspective that is informed by his AMA membership as well as his personal experiences as a pathologist, professor of pathology, researcher and more. He will bring that expertise to bear in his opening keynote, which will serve as an overview of the healthcare landscape.

He lists the high cost of care and increasing administrative burdens on physicians as top imperatives, and ones that judicious use of technology can help to alleviate. High costs put tremendous pressure on the healthcare system and patients alike, he noted, while physicians now spend a disproportionate number of hours on unnecessary paperwork and EHR-related tasks rather than face-to-face time with patients.

“How can we use technology to ease the administrative burdens on physicians so they can spend more time on patient care?” Madara asked. “That’s what physicians and patients want.”

In pathology, automated cell counting freed up clinicians’ time for higher-level duties, he noted. Today, virtual scribes can do the same for physicians. “I see these as tools to help (clinicians) and bring down costs,” Madara said. “They replace tasks but not jobs.”

Farmanfarmaian will bring the insights of a patient and technology entrepreneur to her midmorning keynote presentation. Author of The Patient as CEO: How Technology Empowers the Healthcare Consumer, she took control of her own health and care after a misdiagnosis at 16 led to multiple surgeries. She is currently the CEO and co-founder of ArO, a dynamic vision correction and eye health monitoring company, and has invested in Invicta Medical, a medical technology company for sleep apnea, and Aerami Therapeutics, inhaled insulin with a smart, connected device. She published a second book, The Thought Leader Formula: Strategically Leverage Your Expertise to Drive Business & Career Goals, in 2019.

AI stands out among today’s advanced technologies for its potential to transform healthcare. “AI is one of the most disruptive of all of the technologies right now,” she said. “It really is a combination, though. It never is just one thing that will change a $3.5 trillion industry in the U.S. It is more about the fact that the clinical-grade sensors that have passed the FDA now can collect clinical-grade data, which builds up the databases where we can use artificial intelligence and come up with new insights or predictions.  The databases are frequently cloud based, because the datasets are too large for normal computers. Add in connectivity like 5G and it’s a convergence of many technologies working together.”

An angel investor, she has had a preview of many innovative technologies that could surface in the future. Looking three to five years out, she sees ear buds and eyeglasses with audio and visual functionality start to make the smartphone obsolete, and novel in vitro assays for testing drugs on a patient’s tumor cells to assess the drug’s efficacy before starting treatment. Longer term, tissue engineering of organs will be on-demand, made from the patient’s own stem cells. 

“If science can be in animal trials in three to four years, hopefully that means in 15 years we will start to see it going into patients in the clinic,” Farmanfarmaian said.

The midafternoon keynotes, Innovation beyond the Edge, are inspired by the fall forum’s Leadership from the Edge series. Leadership from the Edge features TED-like presentations by CHIME members who are pushing the envelope in health and care. Innovation beyond the Edge will showcase CHIME members’ experiences and challenges bringing advanced technology to health and care.

Coyle will conclude the day with a keynote on Design Thinking, a discipline that helped him win an Olympic medal in speedskating and build a career that includes serving as senior vice president at an innovation consultancy, and head of innovation for a fortune 500 telecom company. He is the author of two books, Design for Strengths: Applying Design Thinking to Individual and Team Strengths and The Art of Really Living Manifesto. He currently is working on a third book on chronoception, which is the study of how humans process time.

An expert in innovation and Design Thinking, Coyle sees innovation as the intersection of an unmet and usually unarticulated need in the marketplace, an idea that solves that need, and then the clear expression and communication around that solution. Innovation is both a process and a mindset, he said.

“A lot of people work on the process part,” Coyle said. “I will go back to Design Thinking, which is my roots. If you don’t have a designer’s mindset, it doesn’t matter if you have a process because you are not going to fundamentally think about things in a way that will allow you to solve complex problems.”

The problem-solving stage should be approached dispassionately, being agnostic to how a problem might be solved; but then get passionate about the human elements that the idea aims to serve.

“My belief is that most complex problems do not have a simple solution, at least not one that is obvious,” he said. “From a Design Thinking standpoint, a complex problem probably has a complex set of standards and rigor around it that you have to understand. You want to be dispassionate about that, and then you want to figure out how to solve the problem with a human-centric perspective.”

The keynotes will be presented on March 9 at the 2020 CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum in Orlando, Fla. The forum will open on March 8 with an evening reception. For more information about the forum, videos of the speakers and registration information, go here.

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