Phil Weiser
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New technologies are rapidly changing the world and the Boulder Chamber wants the community to holistically understand the impact of new innovations on society, and the opportunities and challenge they present. That’s the theme of the 2019 Boulder Economic Summit: The Smart Economy next week at the University Memorial Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

About 30 speakers with multidisciplinary expertise will examine how technology is changing homes and communities, global industries, jobs and workplaces, health care, mobility, communications, education, and almost every other dimension of people’s lives, said Clif Harald, executive director of the Boulder Economic Council, the economic development arm of the chamber. “It’s a timely topic of interest to the community.”

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser will be the keynote speaker at the event.

Advances in artificial intelligence, high-speed connectivity, biosciences and aerospace, among others, are shaping how business and civic leaders are thinking about planning and development  to  prepare for a smart economy and smart living with a smart workforce, Harald said. The summit’s five panel sessions will address the interactions between technology and humans from multiple perspectives, he said.

Julia Richman,the city of Boulder’s chief innovation and technology officer, will speak at the summit about the benefits of data-informed decision making for improved outcomes. “Smart is the new buzzword connected with the internet,” she said.

Richman said it’s important to know “where we are going in the future, what investments we need to make, and how to avoid hype cycles.”

Smart technology has a lot of potential to spur economic development, she said. Given the Boulder’s dynamic ecosystem that encourages disruptive technologies, it makes sense to have a community conversation about  technology and its impact on lives for smart living, Richman said.

Another prominent summit speaker is Dr. Rob Vissers, president and CEO of Boulder Community Health, who will discuss how technology is changing the way patients engage with health care providers. The community- owned and -operated not-for-profit health system will have the latest electronic health record system in October, he said. “It will give new tools to our patients. They’ll have immediate access to their health records.”

He said he’s excited to be panelist at the summit to talk about the disruptive role of technology in health care and pace of the accelerated change it has brought about.

New technologies allow patients and doctors to connect remotely, and artificial intelligence is aiding experts in making sense of vast amounts of data, he said. It can help design better questions for medical studies, help with decision support systems, avoid errors and potentially provide opportunities for early medical intervention, Vissers said.

The cost of administrative burden is too high in the U.S. medical system, and most doctors spend the bulk of their time doing documentation work, he said. With smart technology taking care of that burden, doctors will be free to provide care and empathy that machines can’t provide, Vissers said.

If you go

When: 7:30 a.m. to  12:30 p.m. May 23

Where: University Memorial Center at CU Boulder

Cost: $65 for Boulder Chamber members; $95 for non-members

More information: bit.ly/2Yvngsg

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