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Posts from the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Physicians Should Not Be Left Alone With Hard Decisions

Making really hard decisions where each decision has its downsides is a part of every medical professional’s job. I felt awful when I was in that situation and would have loved to ask a few more experts but could not simply because I had no access to them. With social media and other digital technologies, being connected to other experts has become a commodity of healthcare, but only if caregivers know how to use the tools.

A recent study perfectly underscores this notion. Authors applied collective intelligence (CI) to mammography screenings. They found that:

CI can be employed to improve mammography screening; similarly, CI may have the potential to improve medical decision-making in a much wider range of contexts, including many areas of diagnostic imaging and, more generally, diagnostic decisions that are based on the subjective interpretation of evidence.

Obviously, a group of experts can make a better decision than a physician alone. Why not using this amazing opportunity to improve healthcare? The only thing needed for this is helping medical professionals embrace these methods and learn the tricks. It is possible.


My Health: Upgraded – Only Disruptive Technologies Can Secure The Future Of Humanity

While many technologies are advancing at an almost exponential pace; the loss of the human touch, failures at preventing diseases, rising costs and doctor shortages influence the days of patients and physicians. It’s time to change that. It’s time to upgrade our health with amazing technologies without becoming cyborgs. This way, there will be no limits to what humanity can achieve.

To support this mission, I answer the forty most exciting questions covering the future of robotics, sensors and medical algorithms I have ever received after my talks; and I also describe how I have been upgrading my health for a decade in my new book, My Health: Upgraded (paperback & e-book).


The book consists of three parts:

  1. The Technological Revolution in Medicine: Information in our DNA can predict our future health. Biotechnology advances enable medical scientists to produce cells that fight tumors. Wearable devices measure our vital signs while at home. What we would have considered science fiction a decade ago is quickly advancing modern health care, and we haven’t seen anything yet.
  2. The Most Exciting Questions About The Future Of Medicine: I offer a fresh look at how innovative technologies enable us to change health care for the long term. I share advances such as the present reality of surgical robots and tackle questions such as whether nanorobots will ever swim in our bloodstream or whether actual, functioning organs can be made with 3-D printers.
  3. Upgrading My Health: To keep readers grounded in the here and now, I discuss how I use technology to monitor and improve my own health. From charting my sleeping patterns to using exercise motivation apps, I give detailed examples of how we can use technology to live a healthy and proactive life.

With the unique graphics of Richard Horvath and the wonderful interior design of Roland Rekeczi, every futuristic thought and idea is visualized.



Book trailer

Here is the book trailer and you can find examples for advanced praise from Dr. Eric Topol and E-Patient Dave deBronkart, among others, below.

The book also includes movie suggestions and the top hashtags for each of the 40 topics. I hope you will enjoy reading it. You can get the paperback and the e-book here.


Advanced Praise for My Health: Upgraded

“Dr. Bertalan Mesko, the consummate medical futurist, takes us on an extended technological tour – one that bodes well for how healthcare can advance.”
— Dr. Eric Topol, author of The Patient Will See You Now, Professor of Genomics, The Scripps Research Institute

“Dr. Bertalan Mesko has been called a thought leader thanks to his views on the future of medicine, and his latest book proves yet again just why he deserves that title. Dr. Mesko’s thoughts on digital health are comprehensive and innovative, but most importantly, they are accessible and easily understood. This thrilling book is a must-read for patients, providers, and all other stakeholders interested in taking control of their own health.”
– Dr. Larry Chu, Executive Director, Stanford Medicine X

“Sit down, loosen your mind, and settle into this book. It’s an extraordinary, liberated tour of what health and treatment will be like when we no longer starve for information and when everything physical is digital – which is far closer than you think.”
– e-Patient Dave deBronkart, e-patient thought leader, speaker, author

“Only few have the gift of being transformative ánd using it; Dr. Bertalan Mesko is one of them. This book bridges Hype, Hope & reality in a way that fits both the world of technology and medicine. Definitely a must read if you’re on the intersection of technology & medicine.”
– Lucien Engelen, Director of the Radboud REshape Innovation Center

“An easy to read guide to future health. Introducing recent history and everyday examples of progress as evidence of trends, it looks to the future of health technologies and their interactions with everyday lifestyle with informed optimism, avoiding unnecessary jargon. Covering areas from personal health recording to cheap DNA sequencing and AI assistance, it shows how the reader can take control of their own health and the many future opportunities for improving it. It also explores when we will get the technologies we see in sci-fi movies. All of this makes it a compelling but easy-going read.”
– Ian Pearson, Futurologist, Author of You Tomorrow

“Dr. Bertalan Mesko has written an amazingly interesting book that explores the future of medicine and how it will affect our health. As a transhumanist and politician, I highly recommend this book to all those who are interested in how technology is going to impact our bodies and change our lives.”
– Zoltan Istvan, futurist and US Presidential candidate

“Three in one, My Health: Upgraded is a didactic snapshot of digital health today and to come, a practical “how-to” guide on self-tracking, and responses to real “questions from the audience”. And Dr. Bertalan Mesko dares to answer them all. While I see many digital health books and articles, My Health:Upgraded is definitely not to be missed!”
– Denise Silber, Founder of Doctors 2.0 and You

“This one is just fantastic, an encyclopedic work by one of the recognized experts. No need to “Google” about the future of medicine, this book is like a search-engine on itself, about the amazing facts & possibilities of our health, but upgraded!”
– Dr. Rafael J. Grossmann, FACS, Surgeon, Healthcare Futurist & Innovator

Top 3D Bioprinting Event To Be Held In Hungary: Interview

I was proud to see the top 3D bioprinting event to be held in Hungary this September. I contacted the organizers and asked Péter Maróti to answer a few questions to give a clear picture about what attendees can expect and where the industry of 3D bioprinting is heading.

One of, if not, the biggest events in 3D bioprinting will be held in Pécs, Hungary this September. How did you get the chance to organize the event?

The recent years has clearly shown that 3D technologies became essential parts of numerous applications in most scientific fields. This has been recognized by the University of Pécs when Prof. József Bódis (the Rector of UP) initiated last year an innovative and multidisciplinary project focusing on these applications. To foster and accelerate the initial steps of concept building and planning we established a coordination team from members of the various faculties of the University. This team works under the umbrella of the Szentágothai Research Center and a few months ago secured financial funds from and EU grant for the early period of the project. We invited experts from several related fields and asked them to share their expertise and knowledge with our scientific community.


Simultaneously, we established collaborations with potential industrial and scientific partners. We organize the 1. International Interdisciplinary 3D Conference in Pécs as a closing event of this series of lectures, and at the same time as the beginning of the future projects that we plan to manifest at our University. So we believe this will be the cherry on the cake for the first project that summarizes and expands what we learnt in the previous months. This time our interdisciplinary conference will place strong emphasis on bioprinting techniques and methods.

Who are the major speakers and what are the major topics that will be covered?

It is really hard to answer this question, because lots of honorable scientists and researchers confirmed their participation in the workshop. The audience will hear exciting and fruitful lectures on bioprinting, focusing on how 3D biomodelling can help us both in research and clinical therapy. To mention a few components, Prof. Pongracz Judit will present how we can use them in examination of carciogenesis and cancer therapy. We will also gain information about 3D bioprinter devices thanks to Danny Cabrera from BioBots. Dr. Claudio Migliaresi will give a talk about cell encapsulation and printing. There will be workshops on other promising topics too, with Dr. Antonella Motta, Dr. Florian Thieringer, David Correa Z. and others. Of course besides bioprinting other applications of 3D technologies will be presented as well. György Falk, as the representative of Stratasys, Dr. Jochen Zimmer from Makerbot and other well recognised colleagues from the 3D printing industry will participate on this conference including artists and engineers.


What results do you expect to see due to the event?

First of all, this meeting should provide a great framework for every interested colleagues and partners to gain knowledge and information about these promising technologies and the tendencies dominating the field. Being interdisciplinary is obviously an advantage in many aspects and appears to be essential for the success on a longer run. However, in interdisciplinary projects the communication is a key issue as the participants come from different fields. These people when working together must achieve and maintain the proper understanding of each other for the fruitful collaborations. We believe that this and similar meeting should play a central role in the related communication efforts.

Apart from this we also aim to direct the attention of students to the related research fields. Considering that on a long term we would like to establish a 3D printing center in our region and also to establish an active, innovative and in many fields leading network of scientists, engineers and professional users, we expect that this conference with the related lectures and personal discussions will provide the intellectual basis for the proper planning of these ambitious future projects. We also hope that the meeting will serve as an excellent platform for the potential partners to establish their collaborations.

Where is bioprinting heading at the moment? How much time do you think it needs to become a common element of everyday healthcare?

It is difficult to tell, though several professional studies dealt with this question recently. Some companies promise that they will print fully functional organs in 3-5 years. It seems to us an overoptimistic prognosis. On the other hand some of these technologies are already abundantly used in research projects. The field of everyday applications is probably just before an explosion thanks to the cheaper bioprinters that are more and more wide-spread. What we envisage is that in the next few years the 3D biomodels become a common thing in a researcher’s toolbox, replacing many experiments on animals and patients. But who knows, this field is growing and developing extremely fast, and maybe the optimists are right that – even if not in 3-5 years, but – in 8-10 years 3D printed organ transplantation will be an everyday procedure in the clinics.


See you there!

Being Patient-Centric Is Also About Good Design

Lucien Engelen recently invited me to serve as a judge in their Hacking Health Reshape competition and also to give a keynote on the opening day of the medical school for freshmen in Nijmegen.

I met there Prof. Stefaan Berge, head of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department of Radboud who told me he built the strategy of his department based on my latest book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine. On the poster below, there are 22 trends, the chapters of my book, that will shape the future of medicine. With his staff, they discussed which ones might have the biggest influence on the future of the department. As you can imagine, I felt pretty proud.


I checked all the equipment they have at Radboud such as the laparoscopic surgery simulation tool made of wood and simple elements that works with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. It is cheap and is occupied by students for many hours every day.


As Prof. Berge told me, being patient-centric as a hospital is also about design. They have such tables in the rooms where patients can discuss every detail with the physician.


When the physician needs to examine the patient, they “go” to the clinic which is the area within the blue line. Otherwise, it is just a room where they can talk.


And finally, I gave a keynote about the future of medicine for 4-500 freshmen medical students. I tried not to shock them too much but based on their faces, I might have failed in this. I simply demonstrated what their future practices could look like and what skills they need to learn while being in medical school. I wish someone had told me this when I was a freshman.  


5 Things I Learnt On The Way To 50,000 Twitter Followers

I started using Twitter in 2007 and have been publishing thoughts, content and news about digital health since then almost on an hourly basis. I don’t care about numbers but when you reach a milestone, it keeps you thinking about what you have learnt on the way. Here are the 5 things I learnt while building a network of over 50,000 followers.


1) The slower, the better.

I could have followed tens of thousands of people irrelevant to my topics and gain a few more followers myself. But using Twitter has always meant being in the bloodstream of information and for this I chose to take it slow. It took me over 8 years to build my network and I’m glad I chose the wise way. I know many of those people in person or we have been in contact for years. It builds trust and leads to professional relationships.

2) There are no limits

I travel around the world almost constantly, but I’m based in Budapest. What I learnt is there are no physical or geographical limitations when millions of people are connected to each other. My network is mostly US-based but I can talk to any medical professional, patient or innovator who has something to say about forming the future of medicine.

3) We solve problems together

A lot of issues related to healthcare pop up in the stream of Twitter every day and we try to get the best people to think about the possible solutions. Through Twitter, I managed to crowdsource a complicated diagnosis, I get answers for very specific questions and make new contacts around the world.

4) People respond more easily

I talk with people by e-mail, Skype, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and many more channels. In my experience, people tend to respond faster when approached on Twitter as they know the character limitation only lets them transmit the key part of the information without the garnish.

5) I get news on Twitter

Twitter is the best filter I have today to get the key news and announcements about digital health. Companies get in contact with me to test their products and wearable health trackers. Twitter sends me those tweets that received the biggest attention that day. If I still miss something, someone will send it to me personally.

Because of my Twitter network, I live in a limitless world full of opportunities and information.

Let’s tweet in touch!

The Medical Futurist Youtube Channel: Introduction

I’ve been publishing videos for months on the Medical Futurist Youtube channel. I have covered the future of medicine, healthcare, diseases and technologies. I have also created top lists and movie suggestions. Here is a quick introduction to the channel and hopefully you will find the videos useful.

The most popular video is about the top technologies shaping the future of medicine.

And here are the playlists:

Have a great time browsing the videos and please feel free to leave a comment under the videos!

Why Predicting The Future Of Medicine Is Hard – Video

Science fiction movies sometimes show us a great future, but in medicine, they almost always make a huge mistake. There are 3 major reasons why predicting the future in medicine & healthcare is hard, if not impossible.

Please do share what you think.


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