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Digital Mirror Reveals Organs Under Your Skin

The New Scientist published a very interesting report about a new idea and technology that will be showcased at the upcoming Human-Computer Interaction conference in Toronto, Canada.

At the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris, a couple wandered in front of a set of dark screens. Staring back at them was an image of themselves – but with the skin stripped away, revealing organs, bones and muscle. Surprised, the woman gasped and covered her breasts, trying to shield herself from view.

Here’s how it works: an individual undergoes a PET scan, X-ray and MRI scan to capture high-resolution images of their bones and organs. Altogether, it takes about three-and-a-half hours to collect this data. Then when you step in front of the mirror, a Microsoft Kinect’s motion-capture camera tracks the movement of two dozen different joints, including the knees, elbows and wrists. That means the medical images can be animated with the help of graphical processing units so you can see your body inside out in real time.

Race Among Medical Devices and Doctors: Analysis

For some time now, I’ve been forming a think tank that would focus on issues related to the future of medicine. As a first step, we decided to address the issue of the changing world of medical devices and how such changes might affect the lives of medical professionals and patients. Please feel free to comment on this analysis.

If we take a look at the possible scripts of the market competition in the health sector, we can make few predictions on the patients’ experience. The competition among the medical device manufacturers and the globalized competition among the high skilled health workers have significant social effects.

There are heterogeneous, jammed and loud worlds like in the motion picture Fifth Element, where many types of doctors and devices form the healthcare system. There could be a low-end/high end distinct health market, where the wealthy ones could afford a real-life practice, but the other patients are left alone. If some huge brands will cover the whole market, and provide the whole range of integrated services, they could become omnipotent monopolies, thus a standardized service could be provide wherever we are. And as a script we could have an expensive and closed world, where the insurances and the prevention are the tools against high cost.

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Patients left alone

• Cheap devices without standardization

• Expensive doctors

• Need for self-healing increases

• Big difference between the online and real-life practice of medicine

• Popularity of alternative medicine grows

 

The internet based world

• Many doctors & devices

• Big problems with interoperability

• Android world

• Cheap doctors & devices

 

Expensive & closed world

• premium systems

• Healthcare costs take a big part of GDPs

• Active insurance market

• Large efforts in prevention

 

Omnipotent brands

• Device manufacturers attract patients

• Doctor is only the user of devices

• Doctors are global, but patients belong to manufacturers

When Surgeons Can See Tumours

Writing my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, means that I come across hundreds of innovations day by day but this one really caught my attention. Patients are injected with a special dye containing peptides that can attach to cancer cells. These dyed cancer cells then emit light at a wavelength that cannot be seen by the human eye, but can be detected by a sensor in the goggles worn by the surgeons. Augmented reality on the top!

“It has the potential to reduce the size of operations, when safe, and guide us to take out more tissue, when required,” said Dr Ryan Fields, a surgeon at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It is estimated that up to 40% of breast cancer patients in the US, and just under 20% in the UK, require secondary surgery. Being able to take a more strategic, precise approach to removing tumours could reduce the need for patients to undergo further stressful procedures.

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Gentle Sequenced All My Genes

Years ago, I had two direct-to-consumer (DTC) genomic tests. One with Navigenics and one with Pathway Genomics. Both tests gave me great insights about how this industry works and it was really exciting getting a clear picture about them as a geneticist myself. Although, when I saw the FDA-23andMe battle and the results, I was not surprised.

After these, I came across a new company, Gentle, a few weeks ago and had a chance to give a try to their genomic test. Why Gentle? Well, I had a few reasons:

  • They sequence all my genes, not just 1.9% of them as other DTC companies do.
  • They test me for 1700+ conditions (carrier status, from common to rare genetic disorders).
  • They provide revolutionary iOS apps.
  • I can download my raw data and I own it!

The package arrived, and I provided the required saliva sample. The process was quite simple.

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With a personal note:

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After a few weeks, I got access to my results and I was impressed. Here is the format they used to interpret my data:

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I could take a look at my carrier status and it turned out my genome doesn’t really carry anything serious. A color coded circle let me discover the details and for each condition or disease, I could access a more detailed description.

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The different layouts allowed me to discover the meanings behind the data in the way I preferred. Here is the chromosome view.

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Finally, the genetic counselor scheduled a talk with me about my results and she answered all my questions.

In overall, Gentle told me things about my genome that are backed by scientific evidence; they let me download the raw data and analyze it in my own way and provided me with a lot of details focusing on those carrier statuses. They do everything regulations let them do and they do that by keeping an eye on scientific quality.

Here is a video about the service:

A Comparison of TeleConsultation Websites and Services

The company, HealthQuo, came up with quite a detailed analysis of websites and services offering teleconsultation. Connectivity is truly the key here.

By the way, here is a short description about Healthquo:

HealthQuo is a online health platform in which patients meet verified health care professionals for face-to-face health orientations anyday and anytime. Through telehealth more than 70% of day to day consults can be solved decreasing the cost of the service but at the same time increasing the efficiency and quality of it.

Vision paciente

10 Near-Future Technologies That Will Transform Medicine at digihealth pulse Virtual 2014

I’m pleased to announce that I will be taking part in the world’s first virtual digital health conference,digihealth pulse Virtual 2014.  This online event was founded by Fard Johnmar, founder and president of the digital health innovation firm Enspektos.  

Fard and I will engage in a wide-ranging conversation focusing on 10 near-future technologies that are poised to transform medicine. Our talk will be guided by themes outlined in my upcoming book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.  Our talk will be pre-recorded and I’ll be participating in a live Q&A focusing on our conversation during the event.  

Digihealth pulse Virtual 2014 will feature other experts in the health technology arena, including Esther Dyson, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn and Unity Stoakes of Startup Health.  

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Genentech and PatientsLikeMe Enter Research Collaboration

Having witnessed the development of the globally known patient portal, Patientslikeme, over the last few years, I was not surprised to see the news:

PatientsLikeMe announced today a five-year agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to explore use of PatientsLikeMe’s global online patient network to develop innovative ways of researching patients’ real-world experience with disease and treatment. The agreement is the first broad research collaboration between PatientsLikeMe and a pharmaceutical company and provides PatientsLikeMe the opportunity to expand its patient network in oncology.

“We envision a world where patient experience drives the way diseases are measured and medical advances are made. Genentech’s leadership and commitment to this mission brings us closer to having patients at the true center of healthcare,” said PatientsLikeMe Co-founder and Chairman Jamie Heywood. “With Genentech we can now embark on a journey to bring together many stakeholders across healthcare and collaborate with patients in a new way.”

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