CHEST Keynote: Embracing Disruptive Innovation

September 30, 2019 by Katlyn Campbell

Patrick Schwerdtfeger

Patrick Schwerdtfeger, best known for his keynote programs about technology, disruptive innovation, and global business trends and their impact on market leadership and consumer behavior, will be serving as the second keynote speaker for CHEST Annual Meeting 2019.

In 2019, the health-care sector has welcomed robotic surgery, 3-D printing, virtual reality, and other technologies that allow the medical field to advance. In his keynote address, Schwerdtfeger will discuss disruptive innovation, a type of innovation that disrupts an existing business model, and why it’s important to embrace accelerating change.

“Change creates opportunity,” Schwerdtfeger said, “When things are changing, that means new business opportunities, new situations, new customers, new revenue.”

Schwerdtfeger wants clinicians to stay on the offense and feel empowered by change, even running toward change themselves.

Schwerdtfeger got his start by hosting a podcast that covered the real estate mortgage industry in 2006. However, after the 2007 mortgage meltdown and the 2008 financial crisis, he found that listeners, while very interested in his experience with podcasting, were less responsive to his topic of real estate, so he turned the podcast’s focus to social media and digital marketing.

In 2011-2012, Schwerdtfeger started to broaden his talks from digital marketing and social media to technology trends and big data. Schwerdtfeger’s clients deemed him a business futurist as he focused more on technology in his work. He has since embraced this title.

During his keynote speech, Schwerdtfeger will touch on emerging technologies that he sees as currently transforming health care, including “distance medicine” otherwise known as “telehealth.”

With the access to video screens, mobile phones, and tablets, it’s more possible for doctors in one location to treat patients in other locations. This has huge optimization benefits, according to Schwerdtfeger.

Personalized medicine, blockchain, machine learning, immunotherapy, 3-D printing, augmented and virtual reality, and robotic surgery are just some of the technologies that Schwerdtfeger will discuss.

Schwerdtfeger sees the biggest advancements in medicine coming from combining different technologies together. This is also where the biggest business opportunities are, according to Schwerdtfeger.

With emerging technologies, it’s understandable for doctors and nurses to fear job displacement at the hands of robotics, algorithms, and automation. However, Schwerdtfeger sees this as an opportunity for clinicians to specialize more in their field of medicine. If clinicians specialize and refine their skills in a particular area, they will have the opportunity to make more money, because the repetitive tasks they are currently doing will be handled by computers and robots, according to Schwerdtfeger.

“Medicine is changing… it’s just a question of being more prepared for those changes,” Schwerdtfeger said.

Schwerdtfeger speaks at about 40-50 events per year, all over the world, and he has the opportunity to meet with many different people from an array of different industries. 

“What I’m looking forward to most is just meeting the people and talking individually with the attendees and participants,” Schwerdtfeger said about his excitement for the annual meeting.

Be sure to attend Schwerdtfeger’s keynote address on Monday, October 21, at 8:45-10:00 am in the Convention Center – New Orleans Theater.


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