In March 2015, Intouchers descended upon the SXSW Interactive Festival, an annual curation of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity. Their mission? To absorb, interact, scrutinize, analyze, discuss and debate the most important takeaways from the event … and then share those back. They left SXSW inspired by actionable, practical ideas that would make a difference in how we do our work at Intouch every day. Below is an excerpt from their experience.

SXSW 2015 was full of many themes seen at previous shows: wearables, the power and risk of user-generated content (UGC), and social media in regulated environments, to name a few. But 2015 also included pressing questions about humanity. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the theme of 2015 could (ironically) be seen as “questioning technology.”

Throughout numerous sessions, I heard the same theme over and over: How does technology impact our individual and collective relationship with the concept of humanity? In other words, in what ways is technology changing the way we relate to our emotions and impacting our behaviors, particularly as they relate to our sense of self? In aggregate, that changes how we relate to each other and creates cultural shifts.

In healthcare, this is particularly important and most clearly evident.

Questions arise, like, what could it mean to live for 200 years? How does this change how we think about ourselves? Our children? Strangers? What if your heart rate were available for all to see? (Check out “Shia LaBeouf and collaborators present #FOLLOWMYHEART.”) Would you be more aware of your health? Would you be more aware of how your emotions affect your physical self? How does this change your behavior?

It’s not enough anymore to take new technology at face value. We have to start assessing how it interacts with the biological, the mental, the emotional aspects of people. We have to look beyond the basics of what it offers and see the ripple effects it will create in the future.