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.
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!
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!
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.
CNN came up with the Upstart30 list that features 30 innovative companies that are changing the world. The only good thing about such lists is that you can come across startups you have never heard of before. Here are 5 healthcare startups from the list:
- uBiome: genetic sequencing of your microbiome, the microbes living in your digestive system.
- Ovuline: data on menstrual cycles and physical and emotional symptoms to predict when a woman is most fertile.
- Honor: In elderly care, they screen and assign caretakers to seniors based on skills.
- Eko Devices: Using Bluetooth technology, the Core sends digital recordings of heartbeats to Eko’s app and web portal. Doctors can chart the heartbeat or send the recording to a specialist for further review.
- BioBots‘ first product is a revolutionary 3D printer for building cells, tissues and organs. The printer uses a chemical that works with visible blue light technology, which doesn’t harm the cells.
I met Thierry Oquidam who is a vounteer of the e-NABLE project at Doctors 2.0 and You last week. They have developed a system in which they can print out simple prosthetics for a very cheap price (dozens of Euros). Small parts can be replaced easily and no expert is needed to assemble the prosthetics from the elements.
And now amazing news were published involving e-NABLE and Google:
e-NABLE has grown from a couple of kindhearted 3D printing enthusiasts to the largest network of volunteers dedicated to 3D printing low-cost prosthetics for those in need. The organization has become so big that even Google awarded $600,000 grant to the non-profit as a part of their Google Impact Challenge. And, today, the organization has found yet another powerful partner in the fight to arm kids. Leading industry player 3D Systems has announced a partnership with the e-NABLE Community Foundation (ECF) to develop a new 3D printable prosthetic hand file for printing on 3D Systems printers.
Hopefully such projects will make healthcare affordable and accessible to people who are in need worldwide. If you want to help them, here are a few things you can do:
- Talk about them on your website, your blog, your newspaper or any social media channels.
- Help them participate in events. If you organize or participate in an event where they could be present, please contact them to get organized.
- Support them financially or create a 3D printing department and use a bit of your machine time to make new hands.
My article about those 10 trends that I think can disrupt the whole pharmaceutical industry was just published on Pharmaphorum.com. An excerpt of the article:
When I speak to pharma companies I tell them they need to act now or they will lose business, or even be left with no business at all. I try to underscore this radical statement by highlighting the following trends and examples:
To give you an idea, here is my list:
- Empowered patients
- Health gamification
- Augmented reality and virtual reality
- Genomics and truly personalized medicine
- Body sensors
- ‘Do it yourself’ biotechnology
- The 3D printing revolution
- The end of human experimentation
- Medical decision making with artificial intelligence
- Here is a recent video I recorded about the technologies I’m the most excited about.