Will You Dare to Design the Future? Highlights from Joanna Pena-Bickley’s Keynote at HCEAConnect

Many professionals attend conferences and trade shows to learn what’s new and what’s different in their industries, so it’s no surprise that “the future” appears on most event agendas in some form or another. This year’s HCEAConnect was no different, except that, this time, we didn’t just imagine the future or feel inspired as we (quickly) approach the future. Instead, the message was more personal: we were presented with a challenge, “Dare to Design the Future,” and three compelling reasons to act on that challenge now.

Keynote Speaker, Joanna Pena-Bickley of Thinx Machine, highlighted how far we’ve come – as a society and an industry – before reminding us of how far there still is to go and how quickly we’ll need to make meaningful progress.

Reason 1: It’s expected.
Joanna says, “The bar is incredibly high when it comes to health and healthcare – we expect it to be as easy as Uber.” Essentially, the takeaway is that healthcare is changing (and, for that matter, healthcare events are changing) because our world is changing and, if we don’t work change with it, we’ll not only disappoint our target audience, but we’re likely to be left behind.

Reason 2: If we don’t, someone else will, and soon.
Speaking of getting left behind…

There are many fresh faces in the healthcare industry, like Xealth, Pillo, esight3, and AIM, all with innovative offerings (real products, not just ideas) that can compete with (or may soon replace) today’s most common healthcare processes and products.

One of the keys to success for these startups is thinking of patients as “users” (humans) and treating them that way. Regardless of how long you’ve been in business, your company can do this too – you just have to shift your focus.

Reason 3: Now, we can.
Joanna says, “for the modern marketer it’s about 365 days of intelligent connection” instead of knowing your audience “360 degrees” (as was the goal for many previously). So, when we think about all of the massive amounts of data that we produce and collect, we need to narrow our focus to the information that is the most relevant and, only then, as Joanna says, we can “transform data into outcomes that improve the future.”

After hearing this keynote, it’s clear that the future of our industry will be bright! The only question is this: will you dare to design the future today or watch someone else do it in your place tomorrow?