Keep Your Eyes Wide Open – Technological Advancements Are Rapidly Changing Our Future

Brenda Miles

(Note: This guest post was written by Brenda Miles, retired Director of Benefits for Papa John’s International. Brenda is a business development consultant for the KHC Employer and Healthcare Purchaser Network.) 

The recent KY SHRM conference in Louisville was well worth the time invested. As a long-time HR and employee benefits professional, the difficult part was choosing from the robust line-up of informative and action-oriented topics and amazing speakers.

One standout for me was a keynote presentation by author and speaker Jack Uldrich. Focused on helping organizations plan for the future, Uldrich spoke on “Business as Unusual: How to Future-Proof HR Against the Trends Transforming Tomorrow.” His lively and interactive presentation emphasized the importance of awareness, humility, and action:

  • Awareness of the rapid, staggering pace of change resulting from emerging technologies
  • Humility to unlearn the truths we knew for years that may no longer be true
  • Action to regularly take time to think about the future and what those changes mean to us and our businesses, so we can prepare accordingly

He described how the collection and analysis of “big data” is helping businesses understand consumer behavior more than ever before. The expansion of data scientists in the workforce help businesses understand the data to design strategies for products and services more highly valued by consumers. From a health standpoint, we are seeing companies such as Amazon move into the pharmacy and telemedicine space, manufacturers expand wearable robotics to reduce worker safety, genomics to predict disease and design treatment for improved outcomes, and the application of artificial intelligence to identify and aid in mental health initiatives.

I was proud to see the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative participate as a first-time exhibitor at the conference. They bring multi-stakeholder professionals together to learn from each other. The approach is a perfect complement for employers as they try to understand the dynamics and complexities of the health care delivery system as it impacts their health plans and covered employees.

So, keep your eye on the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative (KHC), the Society for Human Resource Management, and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists for more information as technology changes the future in healthcare and employer-sponsored health plans.