"The pandemic is turning a chronic problem into an acute problem," said Yoo, who is overseeing the digital transformation efforts at University Hospitals of Cleveland. "Those companies who are not adapting to the digital environment are accelerating their death."
Exploring the impact emerging digital technologies will have on businesses, especially manufacturing businesses, will be explored at the second annual Digital Futures Conference hosted online by Case Western Reserve University and the Innovation Research Interchange from Oct. 12-15.
Digital technologies such as 5G telecommunications and the Internet of Things that have the potential to create smart machinery will be discussed in interactive learning sessions and case studies by thought leaders from around the world.
One of the conference organizers, Youngjin Yoo, professor of information systems at CWRU's Weatherhead School of Management, said in a telephone interview that the need for companies to use digital technologies to change is becoming more evident every day.
Among the speakers recently added is Dustin Tyler, a professor of bioengineering at CWRU's Case School of Engineering and who, Yoo said, has developed a robotic arm that enables someone a continent away to operate a machine by wearing a glove that gives the remote operator the sense of touch.
Other speakers include University of Oregon physicist David Wineland, a Nobel prize winner for groundbreaking work with quantum computers that process data many times faster than traditional computers, and Irene Ng, CEO of Dataswift Ltd., a company whose platform enables consumers to store sensitive personal information that would otherwise sit on someone else's server.
Registration is through IRI, formerly the Industrial Research Institute, whose members include executives from large global corporations, small specialty companies, government laboratories and other research organizations.