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BBVA Hosts Panel on Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age

BBVA Hosts Panel on Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age

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BBVA Compass hosted “Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age” Wednesday evening. The event was part of the OpenMind initiative and included a panel discussion with leaders of Houston’s iconic industries: oil and gas, health care and aerospace. It was led by Philip Evans, senior advisor at Boston Consulting Group. The discussion also included an interview with BBVA Chairman and CEO Francisco González and BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sánchez.

Panelists included Sammy Haroon, director of Baker Hughes Palo Alto Innovation Center; William McKeon, executive vice president and chief strategy and operating officer of the Texas Medical Center; and Patrick Rodi, a lead engineer on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft and a Lockheed Martin Fellow.

The event was held to show the audience how the digital revolution is impacting the largest industries in Houston and how they are responding to it.

McKeon shared some of the steps the Texas Medical Center has taken in response to the changing landscape of the medical field.

“When we look at the world of data, we are all flawed as humans, even when our life is on the line,” McKeon said. “The future of medicine is going to be around what devices and sensors tell us about what is really going on with your health.”

In the past, patients and doctors have been underserved because the information they were sharing and acting on was not accurate. Sensors will now be able to detect whether a diabetes patient has taken their insulin or whether a patient with high blood pressure is really doing the exercises they are supposed to be doing, all without having to come into the hospital.

Another shift in medicine is the use of genome sequencing and analysis, which McKeon believes will become as standard as a blood test within the next few years.

“If you are a cancer patient coming into MD Anderson, the largest cancer center in the world, the likelihood that you will have your genome sequenced and analyzed is very high. It is becoming standard of care,” McKeon said.

Genome analysis showcases an individual patient’s health profile which helps health care providers find solutions that will work specifically for them instead of treating the patient with traditional methods that may not be as effective.

“Knowing your genomic profile and starting to tailor that in a way that is specific for you is where medicine is going. Relative to the drugs and therapies we use, it is really changing the game and the way we look at our patients.” said McKeon.

As with the Texas Medical Center, the other industries in Houston are taking steps to stay relevant in an ever-changing environment.

“For a large corporation, if the leadership is not willing to support the change from the inside, then there is nothing external that can make it happen,” Haroon said. “I am very proud of Baker Hughes for opening the innovation center that I run in Palo Alto to find leap-frog solutions so they can be deployed back inside the company.”

The progress that has been made by NASA is best described by one of their lead engineers, Rodi, when he compares the capability of a car made in the 1960s to the capabilities of a brand new Tesla.

“NASA wants to go farther, they are not interested in being a shuttle service, they want to go to deep space—asteroids, the moon and eventually Mars,” said Rodi. “That is why they have designed a vehicle with Lockheed Martin to handle very high heating rates astronauts will encounter when they are coming back from the moon or an asteroid.”

Banking has also been evolving and keeping up with the needs of their customers.

“We are well aware that there is still a long road ahead,” González said of BBVA Group’s own digital transformation. “Technological change continues apace, and society is changing with it. We are witnessing the dawn of Big Data. The Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are still both in their infancy. We are running a race that has no finish line, nor a pre-fixed route. We don’t even have a set of rules to guide us. But denial is not an option, as those who do not change will fall by the wayside.”

Six years ago, BBVA started an initiative called OpenMind to provide a collaborative space where experts and non-experts alike can share and discuss opinions and new ideas relating to the complex issues and challenges of today. The latest result is the book “Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age,” which compiles insights from several authors, including González.

For more information about OpenMind and “Reinventing the Company in the Digital age,” please visit:

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