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Posts from the ‘Future’ Category

IBM’s Watson Supercomputer Becoming The Best Doctor?

An interesting article was published on Business Insider. I’m not saying it’s technically impossible for an algorithm to become better at making diagnoses than a human, but it certainly should not be the ultimate goal in medicine. This is why I’m writing now my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, to underscore this notion with stories and practical examples.

A quote from the article:

“Watson, the supercomputer that is now the world Jeopardy champion, basically went to med school after it won Jeopardy,” MIT’s Andrew McAfee, coauthor of The Second Machine Age, said recently in an interview with Smart Planet. “I’m convinced that if it’s not already the world’s best diagnostician, it will be soon.”

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Read similar news on Medicalfuturist.com!

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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Digital Contact Lens Will Let Us Turn The Page By Blinking

Google is working on a new digital, multi-sensor contact lens according to the US Patent & Trademark Office. It will work with Google Glass and other wearables, as well as Android smartphones, Google Now, smart televisions and other devices.

It will let its user turn the page of a book or proceed to the next song by blinking.

The ultimate goal is to insert a screen into the lens but this will take years to fulfill.

According to Google, a mechanism is provided for detecting blinking of an eye via multiple sensors on or within the contact lens (hereinafter referred to as multi-sensor contact lens). For example, a multi-sensor contact lens can be placed in one or both eyes of a user that can actively determine (or infer) blinking of the eye.

In a non-limiting example, multi-sensor contact lens monitors sensors on or within the multi-sensor contact lens at intervals that are less than an average or shortest length of time of an eye blink. It is to be appreciated that both eyes of a human user generally blink at the same time, and thus in various embodiments only one multi-sensor contact lens is needed to generate a command to a remote device.

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My Article About The Future of Medicine in The Futurist Magazine!

It’s a huge pleasure to share my article, Rx Disruption: Technology Trends in Medicine and Health Care, that was just published in the Futurist magazine. It is also an important step in my journey as a medical futurist.

As online platforms and digital technologies rapidly emerge and change, we need partnerships between patients and health-care professionals, as well as a guide to prepare for the future technologies that will have to be implemented quickly in everyday practices and in the health management of patients. Based on what we see in other industries, this is going to be an exploding series of changes. While redesigning health care takes a lot of time and effort, the best we can do is to prepare all stakeholders for what is coming next.

The following overview of the major trends in health care offers guidance for preparing individuals, organizations, and medical practitioners for the health-care landscape ahead. This guide will be continuously updated, so reader feedback is welcome.

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The First Bionic Olympics To Be Held in 2016

After Pistorius competing at the last 2012 Olympic Games with prosthetics, we all knew that the world of sport was about to change dramatically. More and more athletes now utilize innovative technologies or actually wear them to augment human capabilities, therefore the announcement of the first Bionic Olympic Games called the Cybathlon to be held in Switzerland in 2016 did not come as a surprise.

The Cybathlon will award two categories of medals for each event: one for the athlete and one for the scientist or company that manufactured the robotic assistive device. That includes things like the latest prosthetics, exoskeletons, and powered wheelchairs, and more futuristic technologies like electrically stimulated muscles and brain-computer interfaces.

For instance, during the BCI event (image above), participants—or “pilots” to use the Cybathlon lingo—that are paralyzed below the neck will be equipped with brain-machine interfaces that will enable them to control an avatar with their mind. The virtual avatar will compete in a horse or car racing video game.

 

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Superhero Vision With Graphene Contact Lenses?

Graphene, a 2-dimensional crystalline allotrope of carbon, is capable of detecting the entire infrared spectrum with visible and ultraviolet light therefore it could be used to enhance human vision although there have been technical limitations such as the fact that it can absorb only 2.3 percent of the light that hits it. This problem seems to be solved now by researchers at the University of Michigan.

To achieve this amplification, the researchers started by sandwiching an insulator between two sheets of graphene. The bottom sheet has an electrical current running through it. When light hits the top sheet, electrons are freed and positively charged electron holes are generated. The electrons are able to perform a quantum tunneling effect through the insulator layer, which would be impenetrable in classical physics.

“If we integrate it with a contact lens or other wearable electronics, it expands your vision,” Zhong said in the release. “It provides you another way of interacting with your environment.”

I’ve told you in my recent white paper, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, we would soon experience the rise of “recreational cyborgs” with augmented human capabilities just because they can afford it.

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Read more news about the future of medicine every day on MedicalFuturist.com!

Smartshoes Help Blind People Navigate

We are truly living in the era of wearable revolution. Here is a new reason why. These smartshoes are connected to a smartphone and when the user tells the smartphone where he/she wants to get, based on GPS, it will calculate the right route, moreover, the shoe will vibrate when a turn must be made in the given direction.

Obviously, these shoes don’t do it all. If you’re blind, you’ll still need to watch out for random objects in your path and be cautious at intersections. But they’re a step in the right direction! The shoes also work as a pedometer and help you measure the number of calories burned on your trip. And, at $40 to $50 for the visually impaired, they’re cheaper than a pair of Nikes. They cost $100 for everybody else.

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Read more news about the future of medicine every day on MedicalFuturist.com!

Exoskeleton For Paralyzed Patients Gets FDA Approval

Last year at the Singularity Europe Summit, I saw with my own eyes how exoskeletons such as the one from Ekso Bionics let paralyzed patients walk again. Now ReWalk just received FDA approval. Great news, important steps towards a much better world.

After his first few surgeries, when he regained use of his arms, he did what many of us would do in times of uncertainty — he turned to the Internet to research. He came across The ReWalk, a robotic exoskeleton developed by Argo Medical Technologies in Israel. Its inventor, Dr. Amit Goffer, was a quadriplegic who was searching for a better alternative to the wheelchair.

errol-walks

Read more news about the future of medicine every day on MedicalFuturist.com!

 

Disruptive Technologies in Medicine: Preparing Medical Students For The Future!

I’m very excited to announce that this semester we launch a new course, “Disruptive Technologies in Medicine” with Professor Maria Judit Molnar MD, PhD, DSc, the scientific Vice Rector of Semmelweis University. Our plan is to prepare medical students for those future technologies they will face by the time they start actually practicing medicine. I want to persuade them that the relation between the human touch and technologies is AND instead of OR.

Here are the topics we will cover with experts.

  • How Exponential and Disruptive Technologies Shape The Future of Medicine
  • Personalized Medicine – Genomic Health
  • Point of Care Diagnostics
  • The Future of Medical Imaging
  • Social Media in Medicine
  • Harnessing Big Data in Healthcare
  • Biotechnology and Gene Therapy
  • Mobile Health and Telemedicine
  • Regenerative Medicine, Optogenetics and 3D Printing
  • Medical Robotics, Bionics, Virtual Reality, and Future of Medical Technologies

We are going to teach them offline and online at the same time with plenty of assignments and interesting projects such as collaboration with the students of the course of Kim Solez at University of Alberta.

Feel free to follow all the developments and announcements of the course on Facebook. All the seats are already taken by international students. This is going to be an amazing semester!

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