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Back in April, I opened the 2011 International Society of Medical Publication Professionals annual conference in Washington. Their newsletter on the conference is now out, with a report on my keynote.

The meeting opened Monday afternoon with Jim Carroll’s keynote presentation, which focused on the importance of innovation and on future changes that may occur with healthcare and the practice of medicine.

According to Mr. Carroll, “So much change is going on in the world today that every organization is struggling with what will happen in the future.” To drive home the point that “the future belongs to those who are fast,” Mr. Carroll shared three statistics that he carries with him:

  • 65% of children in preschool today will work in jobs that do not yet exist
  • 50% of material learned in the first year of a college-science degree will be obsolete by the time of graduation
  • • A manufacturer has only 3-6 months to sell a new digital camera before it becomes obsolete

To highlight the rapid pace of technology, Mr. Carroll used several interactive “text” polls where he asked a question of the audience who used their cell phones to text in their answers. Mr. Carroll noted that the world is changing quickly and that 2-3 years ago, very few people would have been comfortable texting a response to a question asked at a meeting.

Mr. Carroll then discussed how companies need to embrace the rapid speed of innovation to remain successful. He described how the head of innovation at General Electric studied innovation during times of economic downturn and found that 60% of companies barely survived such a downturn. However, the 10% of companies that focused their dollars on innovation were the companies that came out in a positive position when the economic recovery happened. Those that didn’t developed “organizational sclerosis,” which shuts down the ability to innovate and adapt to changing environments.

Mr. Carroll then quoted from his book: “Some people see a trend and see a threat—other people see the same trend and see an opportunity.”

Over the next 10 years, Mr. Carroll predicted that major changes will occur regarding healthcare, the environment, and energy. He then described several trends that will result from these changes including:

  • Movement to a model of preventive healthcare.
  • Embracing Health 2.0 (referring to when patient records are all electronic).
  • Connecting all relevant devices. For example, a cell phone connected to a biometric sensing system could allow your doctor to monitor your blood pressure via your phone. As a result of bioconnectivity, more healthcare will occur through virtual care instead of at hospitals, extending the reach of the primary care provider to the home.
  • Utilizing the power of the cloud, which is the mass of data that exists on remote servers or social networks (outside of hard drives).
  • Delivering medical knowledge to providers as needed (ie, the concept of “just in time knowledge”). Mr. Carroll noted that medical knowledge is doubling every 8 years.
  • Developing systems that can handle the new scientific velocity.
  • Developing innovations based on an optimism for the future.

Challenges for such innovation may include the velocity of change, ethics (what is considered ethical may vary in different parts of the world), and the ability of regulatory systems to keep up with scientific velocity.

Mr. Carroll concluded by stressing how ISMPP needs to become more aggressive in educating others about the important role of those involved in developing medical publications. Mr. Carroll ended his talk with what he described as Ten Great Words:

  1. Observe – Pick up knowledge.
  2. Think – Think about the message and how to provide Big Bold Solutions.
  3. Change – What can you change personally?
  4. Dare – Watch for 3 ideas you think you would never do and then try them.
  5. Banish – Discard anything that is an innovation killer.
  6. Try – Try 3 things you said you would.
  7. Question – Challenge the assumptions.
  8. Growth – Challenge yourself to grow.
  9. Do – What do I, myself, need to do?
  10. Enjoy – Enjoy what you are doing!


People are getting sick to death of listening to politicians bicker about health care, and want to know where the real opportunities for change and  innovation.

".... data constantly generated by our bodies is monitored and informs better health and healthcare decisions..."

In light of this trend, I’ll find myself in October in New Orleans. I’ll be one of the keynote speakers for the 57th U.S. Annual Employee Benefits Conference. In the audience will be upwards of 5,000 trustees, administrators and professional advisors serving union and public sector benefit plans.

These folks have got some pretty tough issues on their plate, with dramatic challenges impacting state, municipal and federal spending; and certainly a lot of challenges in managing benefit costs into the future while providing the best support to their members.

My keynote will focus on opportunities for innovation through the transition to Healthcare 2020: and by riding the trends that will really influence healthcare through the next decade. I wrote a blog post on the theme some time back.

There has been a huge demand for this topic ; I’ve had many keynotes through the last year, involving situations where folks want to move beyond the health care reform debate, and are seeking insight into the scientific, structural, knowledge, skill set, technology, business models that will really impact health care. Just this month, I was the opening keynote speaker for the International Society of Medical Publications Professionals; last month, the opening keynote for a major seniors care conference.

And what’s been happening with these talks? When I began a recent keynote talk for the Minnesota Hospital Association CEO Summit, I announced that Ie wouldn’t even mention health care reform — and the audience of 300 senior executives cheered! Instead, I told the audience that I would take them on a voyage to the world of healthcare in the year of 2020, and provide them the insight they really need to deal with the challenges and opportunity of the future.

Everyone in a leadership position in the US health care system knows that even with health care reform, the challenges facing the US health care system are substantial and immense. That’s why innovation has quickly come to be one of the top issues that senior healthcare executives and medical professionals are thinking about. There is a realization that there is an urgent need to challenge the very philosophies upon which the system is built. They’re seeking insight into the major scientific, technological, consumer and social trends that will, by the year 2020, allow for some very dramatic change in the concept of health care delivery.

Where will we by the year 2020? We will have successfully transitioned the system from one which “fixes people after they’re sick” to one of preventative, diagnostic genomic-based medicine. Treating patients for the conditions we know they are likely to develop, and re-architecting the system around that reality. A system which will provide for virtual care through bio-connectivity, and extension of the hospital into a community-care oriented structure. A consumer driven, retail oriented health care environment for non-critical care treatment that provides significant opportunities for cost reduction. Real time analytics and location-intelligence capabilities which provide for community-wide monitoring of emerging health care challenges. “Just-in-time” knowledge concepts which will help to deal with a profession in which the volume of knowledge doubles every six years. That and much, much more.

The fact is, we are going to witness more change in the world of health care in the next ten years than we have seen in the last 200. There’s plenty of opportunity for innovation!

Here’s the press release for the upcoming keynote:

International Foundation Announces Annual Conference Keynote Speakers
12 April 2011, Targeted News Service

BROOKFIELD, Wis., April 12 — The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans issued the following news release:

The International Foundation announces the following keynote presenters for their upcoming 57th U.S. Annual Employee Benefits Conference to be held October 30 – November 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana:

Lou Holtz–Considered among the greatest motivational speakers in America, Mr. Holtz will share how to overcome seemingly impossible challenges by setting personal goals and striving to achieve them. As one of the most successful college football coaches of all time, he has tested and proven that philosophy.

Jim Carroll–One of the world’s leading futurists, Mr. Carroll will share his thoughts on transformative trends that will define the road ahead in the critical area of health care. He will forecast what paradigms will change as health care is transformed through the next decade, far beyond the impact of health care reform.

Bertice Berry, Ph.D.–Ms. Berry will bring a dynamic close to the conference with her message, “When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.” As a best-selling author and college professor, she is a gifted speaker with a comic edge and a comic with a serious message. Attendees will leave with a sense of renewal and commitment to life, family and work.

More than 5,000 trustees, administrators and professional advisors serving multiemployer and public sector benefit plans attend the Annual Employee Benefits Conference each year. Attendees to the event discuss the latest cost-saving ideas, get updates on legislative developments, find creative approaches to new challenges and collaborate with their peers who face similar issues.

The conference features more than 125 sessions ranging in complexity from basic to advance, that cover health and welfare, pension, investments, fiduciary responsibility, communication, administration, technology, public plans, and training and education funds.

Learn more about the Annual Employee Benefits Conference at

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