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Posts from the ‘Innovation’ Category

A Fully Digital Hospital Opens in 2015

I just heard the news that the first fully digital (entirely paperless) hospital will open in Abu Dhabi in 2015. The clinic worked with experts from the famous Cleveland Clinic, the No. 4 ranked best hospital in the United States. This might be a good step towards changing the hospital experience not only for professionals working there but more importantly for patients to make it a place where they go to re-energize themselves.

“The fact that a unified medical record is going to exist will provide seamless communication, which means there is an opportunity for us to communicate back and forth with the main campus and elsewhere in the healthcare system, without having the patient have the responsibility of carrying paper,” Harrison was quoted in the article as saying.

The 13-storey LEED Gold-Certified facility in Al Maryah Island will have five Centers of Excellence: Heart & Vascular Institute, Digestive Disease Institute, Eye Institute, Neurological Institute, and Respiratory & Critical Care Institute, according to anEmirates 24/7 article. It will have 364 beds, five clinical floors, three treatment and diagnostic levels, 26 operating rooms, and 13 floors of acute and critical care units.

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Identifying Genetic Disorders From Family Photos

Although the area of genomics has not been developing at an exponential rate that experts expected when the Human Genome Project was announced to be completed, more and more ways of potential use of genomic data in medicine have showed how it might transform our lives. A few months ago, it was published that so-called “genetic mugshots” can  be recreated from DNA. By only using a person’s DNA, a face can be generated which sounds like pure science fiction.

Now researchers at Oxford University have developed a computer program that can diagnose rare genetic disorders in children simply by analyzing family photos.

One day we might be able to sequence the genomes of newborns immediately after birth (or even before) to tell parents what major conditions the child might have to deal with in the future. As an additional feature, children without genomic sequences made available could get an instant diagnosis only by looking into the camera of a computer using this algorithm.

An excerpt about how it works:

The program works by recognising certain characteristic facial structures that can be present with certain conditions, including Down’s syndrome, Teacher Collins, Progeria, Fragile X and Angelman syndrome. It combines computer vision and machine learning to scan pictures for similarities to a database of pictures of people with known conditions, and then returns matches ranked by likelihood.

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Why Have I Been Quantifying My Health For 17 Years?

I gave a talk at the HQ of Prezi.com in Budapest a few days ago at the Quantified Self Meetup. I was asked to present the future opportunities of health wearables, but I had to realize I’m quite a quantifier myself.

In 1997, I started logging some details about my life and have been doing so without even one exception for 6136 days. I log the times when I go to bed or wake up; projects I worked on and a score between 1 and 10 for my mental, physical and emotional statuses.

Based on these, I could make important decisions about my life and lifestyle many times. Now I use different devices to make this process as smooth as possible backed by data.

  • I used genomic services three times (Navigenics, Pathway Genomics and GentleLab) and now have the raw data of my genome sequence.
  • AliveCor for ECG.
  • Withings Pulse for activity tracking.
  • Tinké for determining heart fitness.
  • Lumosity for improving my cognitive skills.
  • HapiFork to eat more slowly, thus less.
  • Withings Blood Pressure for simple blood pressure tracking.
  • Focus@Will for music designed for focus and also measuring the effectiveness of my sessions.
  • Pebble to replace my smartphone with the smartwatch in many cases.
  • InterAxon for EEG measurements (it has been shipped).

Now at the dawn of the wearable revolution, there are too many devices and the hype is too big, but we will get to the period of “meaningful use” soon!

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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

How To Take a Moonshot Literally?

Recently, I’ve been coming across plenty of news articles and posts about the moonshot for health. It might be a coincidence but I just visited a team that is competing in the Google Lunar X Prize challenge. The Puli Space Team is based in Hungary but their moonshot is to get a probe on the moon which takes 500 meters and transmits HD video and images back to Earth.

With access to information, resources and expertise, as well as with crowdfunding now everything is literally possible.

The mission of Puli Space Technologies is to develop the new techniques required to routinely send spacecraft to the Moon, to explore new frontiers and to provide quality services for forward-thinking investors interested in commercializing space.

As the project has to be funded privately (90%), please feel free to help them through the Small Step Club.

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3D Printed Aorta Cells: Steps Forward

As 3D printing becomes mainstream worldwide, it is great to see steps forward in biotechnology as well. Recently, Turkish researchers were able to print out anatomically accurate aorta cells in 3D.

Everyday we are a step closer and a step further away from the 3D bioprinting of a functional organ made from human tissue. At Sabancı University in Turkey, a research team has pushed us further towards that goal by 3D bioprinting anatomically accurate macro-vascular tissue that could, one day, be used to treat heart disease in cardiac patients and provide the basis for the vasculature of 3D printed organs.

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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!

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.

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

 

Human Longevity Inc. Launches To Make Us Live Longer

When Google launched Calico last year to find new solutions against aging, people thought that might be the ultimate attempt. Now, here is Human Longevity Inc., which has a much more scientific background for doing the same.

Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human life span, was announced today by co-founders J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Robert Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.

The company, headquartered in San Diego, California, is being capitalized with an initial $70 million in investor funding.

It will also involve the biggest genome sequencing effort in history with the aim of sequencing the genomes of 100 000 people every year! Let’s follow them closely!

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