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Posts from the ‘Innovation’ Category

Top 12 Movies About The Future Of Medicine

After I published my white paper, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, the feedback was amazing and I had several really interesting (sometimes mind-blowing) discussions. One of these resulted in the idea of collecting those movies that predict, picture and demonstrate the future of medicine. Feel free to add your choices! Enjoy!

1) Elysium (2013)

A futuristic world where there is no sickness mostly due to the multi-functional radiology machine you can see in the trailer as well. It checks your body in seconds, tells you what disease you have and cures you immediately.

 

2) Gattaca (1997)

This movie demonstrated the dark future of genomics with genomically “inferior” people and what happens if we do not prepare the society for the opportunities and challenges genomics will provide in the future.

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3) Blade Runner (1982)

This Ridley Scott masterpiece analyzes the relationship between people and their bioengineered replicants. How will we live together? Will there be a hierarchy between us? Will there be differences between us?

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4) Brazil (1985)

Terry Gilliam’s film demonstrated the potential side effects of being able to live far longer than before and how people can become addicted to rejuvenating plastic surgery.

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5) Cloud Atlas (2012)

This very unique film shows the use of a real medical tricorder in action. This small device can analyze, spot and detect diseases as well as, obviously, cure them right there. It also discusses the deep philosophical details of using robots and clones for everyday tasks and what our responsibility will be.

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6) A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

This Steven Spielberg film described perfectly what it is going to be like living with robots that look and live just like people but use artificial intelligence. How they will live together with us?

 

7) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

What if we could erase parts from our memories? Or even add new memories? I’m pretty sure the makers of the film did not have optogenetics in mind back then, but now we are truly moving towards an era when these things become possible.

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8) Forbidden Planet (1956)

Yes, this movie was released in 1956 but you should really watch it as it gives a thoughtful picture of the future (and partially today’s world). The key part of the film is that people become capable of augmenting their own intelligence and it leads to serious consequences.

 

9) Inception (2010)

Will we ever be able to upload or download data from our minds? The movie is about the implantation of another person’s idea into someone else’s subconscious. A mind-blowing film.

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10) Prometheus (2012)

With the advancements of robotic interventions in surgery, it is expected that we will be able to develop robots that can perform operations themselves without human supervision or intervention. It was perfectly demonstrated in this sci-fi. The video contains disturbing scenes.

 

11) Robot & Frank (2012)

In an aging society, it is going to be more and more important and challenging to take care of the elderly population. This movie focuses on a robot with artificial intelligence that can do this job in almost a human way.

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12)  The Fifth Element (1997)

You think 3D printing is a trending topic these days? Now that researchers could print out biomaterials such as kidney or liver issue, we might soon print out organs or the whole human body based on the blueprint (DNA) as pictured by this Luc Besson movie.

The 25 Most Creative Hungarians: In The Same List With The Prezi Founders

For long years, I’ve been working on closing the gap between digital technologies and everyday healthcare globally through innovative services, blogs, books, guides and courses. Now I do that as a medical futurist.

When I realized I was included in the list of the 25 most creative Hungarians, it was a huge pleasure and honor. First, because I’m in the same list as the Prezi.com founders. Second, because I’m the only one in the list from biomedical sciences. And third, Hungary has a reputation of producing creative innovators and it feels amazing at least being mentioned with them on the same page.

I hope this inclusion will serve as an example that in the era of digital technologies, creativity is a must-need feature in medicine and healthcare as well.

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Geotagging-Based Augmented Reality: ARYS

I just came across a startup competing in the Global Startup Battle that produced a nice application backed by a great idea in just 54 hours. I’m supporting ARYS in the competition.

ARYS is a smartphone app that features the possibility to add photos, music, text and video to a place as a geotag and share it with the public, so later on anyone can see it when they pass by using the ARYS app. ARYS is a revolutionary application that lets you leave your MARK in the city so others can see it later. With the help of ARYS you can leave a AR message very easy for the public or a friend at a certain spot in the city.

We will see similar techniques soon in the OR as well. Here is how Go Pro cameras and Google Glass can be used in medical training.

The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Download the White Paper with Infographic

Being a medical futurist means I work on bringing disruptive technologies to medicine & healthcare; assisting medical professionals and students in using these in an efficient and secure way; and educating e-patients about how to become equal partners with their caregivers.

Based on what we see in other industries, this is going to be an exploding series of changes and while redesigning healthcare takes a lot of time and efforts, the best we can do is to prepare all stakeholders for what is coming next. That was the reason behind creating The Guide to the Future of Medicine white paper which you can download for free.

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Please use the Twitter hashtag #MedicalFuture for giving feedback.

In the white paper, there is an infographic featuring the main trends that shape the future of medicine visualized from 3 perspectives:

  1. Which stage of the delivery of healthcare and the practice of medicine is affected by that (Prevent & Prepare; Data Input & Diagnostics; Therapy & Follow-up; and Outcomes & Consequences);
  2. Whether it affects patients or healthcare professionals;
  3. The practicability of it (already available – green boxes; in progress – orange boxes; and still needs time – red boxes)

Click here to see the infographic in the original size.

Guide to the Future of Medicine Infographic

I hope you will find the guide useful in your work or in preparing your company and colleagues for the future of medicine.

Nanobiosym Health RADAR Wins Grand Prize at Nokia Sensing XChallenge

The Nokia Sensing XChallenge is one of those driving forces that can initiate real innovations in healthcare and the new grand prize winner was just announced. Nanobiosym is taking the ability to diagnose disease and monitor personal health outside of a hospital or pathology lab.

Nanobiosym® (NBS) is an innovation engine dedicated to creating a new science that emerges from the holistic integration of physics, biomedicine, and nanotechnology. NBS focuses on incubating transformational technologies that have the potential for game-changing impact and commercializing and scaling up these technologies for deployment in developed and developing world markets. NBS leverages science and technology to address our planet’s greatest unmet needs in global health, energy and the environment.

Here is their team video:

The Samsung SmartWatch to Replace Medical Pagers?

The new Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch was just presented and based on its features it has the potential to replace medical pagers while smartphones could not make this step.

  • Obviously, it works like a watch.
  • It can record videos.
  • Play music.
  • Has a pedometer
  • Make phone calls
  • Has its own applications
  • Weather, taking notes, sending messages and many more.

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Futuristic Private Patient Rooms and Low-Tech Health Innovation: The Battle

Whenever I give an interview about the future of medicine and current global trends, the question whether wealthier people would have even better care always comes up. Obviously, this is a crucial issue. But I take it to a next level. In the future, not just richer people will get better care but will also have a chance to become superhuman by implanting and using expensive medical innovations from augmented reality-based contact lenses to artificial organs.

Although, there will always be a battle between the major motivation behind creating better experience for the rich (money) and the motivation behind designing innovations for underdeveloped areas (providing better care).

It might not be the best comparison, but take a look at the Patient Room 2020 design (photo below) and a non-profit model for fostering low-tech health innovation. The room looks great and is certainly comfortable but it lacks of real innovation.

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Regarding fostering low-tech innovation, there is an amazing initiative in Seattle.

Anurag Mairal, director of technology solutions at PATH Health Technologies, says that it’s time to start looking at low-cost innovations in healthcare differently. What should the road map be for an innovation? Should the product debut in a developing country first and then, evolve for the developed market or vice versa?

Examples include river blindness tests, mobile-phone milk pasteurization (picture below) and female condoms.

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FoneAstra is a system that uses mobile phones to monitor flash-heat pasteurization of donor breast milk.

We should find a balance between high-class and low-tech innovations in order to provide better care either for developed or underdeveloped areas.

3D Printers For Living Tissues: Closer and Closer

One of the trending topics of the last couple of years has clearly been 3D printing as it has a lot to offer not only in medicine and healthcare but in any industries as well. How useful printing medical devices in underdeveloped areas could be, or even printing simpler drugs. But imagine a world in which you can print living materials and tissues.

A PopSci article described how a bioprinter works, here is the simplified process:

  • Step 1: Engineers load one syringe with a bio-ink containing tens of thousands of parenchymal liver cells and a second syringe with a bio-ink containing non-parenchymal liver cells.
  • Step 2: Software on a PC wired to the bioprinter instructs a stepper motor attached to the robotic arm to begin printing a mold (arranged in a honeycomb pattern).
  • Step 3: A sensor tracks the tip of each syringe as it moves along and determines where the first syringe should be positioned.
  • Step 4: The robotic arm lowers the pump head with the first syringe, which fills the honeycomb with parenchymal cells.
  • Step 5: Engineers remove the well plate­ and place it in an incubator. There, the cells continue fusing to form the complex matrix of a liver tissue.

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A similar process in action when Chinese scientists are successfully 3D printing living human kidneys is demonstrated in the video:

To produce mass amounts of the living cells, samples of human kidney cells are cultured in large volumes and blended with hydrogel, a water- and nutrition-rich material that makes up the 3D printed kidneys’ base. Afterwards, the printed cells can survive for up to four monthsin a lab thanks to this gel’s rich nutrient source.

The New York Times also has a great video about this topic.

But there is a huge technological issue. Printing something new in 3D requires detailed knowledge and prepared models. Therefore people now print objects of which the models are already available online. A solution might be provided by Makerbot Digitizer which actually replicates objects and print them in 3D. Again, imagine the same thing with living tissues.

It’s much more futuristic than just printing 3D objects, but its time will come.

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Makerbot Digitizer costs $1400.

 

Google Glass Keeps On Rocking Healthcare: But For How Long?

Since the launch of Google Glass, I’ve been closely following updates and developments related to healthcare and medicine. It seems clinicians worldwide can leverage its potentials but there is a long way to go to reach wide clinical adoption. A few concepts have to be taken into consideration:

  • Healthcare institutions should be open to experimenting with it (and determine privacy and legal issues). Test drives such as the one in Hartford Hospital are needed.
  • Medical professionals should deal with patient privacy and put evidence behind using it in practice.
  • Patients should be clearly informed if Glass is used in their care.
  • Moreover, start-ups focusing on Google Glass and medicine should be able to join accelerators and incubators. Fortunately, this step has been taken as Palomar Health and Qualcomm Life teamed up to build an incubator for developers called Glassomics.
  • All the stakeholders should watch the sporadic examples (see the links in this post).

Here are 3 examples how Google Glass could be used in medicine and healtchare:

1) It could be used in emergency situations. While you are performing CPR, it could call the ambulance to your GPS location.

 

2) The Radboud REshape & Innovation Center launched a Flickr group so they can share the photos they take while experimenting with Glass in the OR.

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3) Stanford medical doctor, Abraham Verghese, started using it because he can now make videos about patient examination for his medical students.

Glass has many a potential use in education, of course, although there’s going to be a number of concerns about its privacy implications when it comes to sensitive information like a real-world patient’s medical data.

The Future Belongs to Interdisciplinary Innovations: Real-Time MRI-Guided Gene Therapy in Brain Cancer

Without doubt, the future belongs to interdisciplinary innovations and just to show you a recent and practical example why I’m saying that, see what neurosurgeons at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center just did.

They used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance for delivering gene therapy as a potential treatment for brain tumors.

Using MRI navigational technology, neurosurgeons can inject Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec), a novel investigational gene therapy, directly into a brain malignancy. This new approach offers a precise way to deliver a therapeutic virus designed to make the tumor susceptible to cancer-killing drugs.

“With MRI, we can see the tumor light up in real time during drug infusion. The rest of the brain remains unaffected so the risk of the procedure is minimized.”

Medical professionals in any specialties have to start looking at the same medical problem from different angles and as medical education focuses on giving you a very much specialized knowledge, social media and other digital technologies can help us get glimples into other areas looking for new ways of collaboration.

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