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Posts from the ‘Medicine’ Category

The Medical Futurist: Weekly Introduction

Working as a speaker and consultant with medical technology, pharmaceutical and web companies; as well as universities and governments worldwide, my mission as The Medical Futurist is to make sure the advances of technology lead to a better healthcare for everyone!

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I publish a daily newsletter about the future of medicine, manage a popular Facebook page about the future and share related news almost every hour on Twitter.

Here is my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine:

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I’m also the author of Social Media in Clinical Practice handbookand the founder of Webicina.com, a service that curates medical content in social media for medical professionals and e-patients.

I launched The Social MEDia Course, the e-learning format of my university course focusing on medicine and social media for medical students, physicians and also patients with Prezis, tests and gamification.

I hope you will enjoy reading Scienceroll.com!

Here Is The Bionic Man

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering released a website that features all the technologies and interventions that are being developed in research projects supported by them. It clearly shows how many futuristic developments are already on the way and might be used in practice soon. Here is the list:

  • Robotic leg prosthesis senses a person’s next move and provides powered assistance to achieve a more natural gait.
  • Cartilage regeneration: A light sensitive biogel and biological adhesive help new cartilage grow and become functional.
  • Blood clot emulator can be used to optimize ventricular assist devices to reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • Artificial kidney could be used in place of kidney dialysis for treatment of end-stage kidney disease.
  • Microneedle patch delivers vaccines painlessly and doesn’t require refrigeration.
  • Interstitial pressure sensor could help doctors determine optimal times for delivering chemotherapy/radiation to cancer patients.
  • Glucose-Sensing Contacts could provide a non-invasive solution for continuous blood sugar monitoring.
  • Tongue Drive System helps individuals with severe paralysis navigate their environment using only tongue movements.
  • Wireless Brain-Computer Interface records and transmits brain activity wirelessly and could allow people with paralysis to use their thoughts to control robotic arms or other devices.
  • Implantable Sensors for Prosthesis Control detect nerve signals above a missing limb and can use these signals to move a prosthesis in a more natural way.
  • Synthetic Tissue Adhesive: A synthetic glue modeled after an adhesive found in nature could be used to repair tissues in the body.
  • Opening the Blood Brain Barrier with Ultrasound could be used to temporarily open the blood brain barrier to let gene therapy treatments reach the brain.
  • Flexible Electrodes Record Brain’s Activity from the surface of the brain and could be used to control robotic arms or provide real-time information about brain states.
  • Spinal Stimulation is being used in individuals with paralysis to help restore voluntary movement and other functions.

 

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Win a Copy of The Guide to the Future of Medicine!

There is a giveaway contest on Goodreads.com open until the 1st of October. If you enter with one click, you can become one of the 10 winners who will receive a paperback copy of my recently released book.

Good luck!

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If you struggle with IT, here is why you shouldn’t give up!

In my book, I wrote a section about why it is crucial for people who struggle with IT not to give up now. The reason is that a lot of developments coming out in the coming months and years will make the use of digital technologies very simple.

Here is a great example demonstrating how we could use workplace desktops in the future:

10 Things I Learnt While Writing The Guide to the Future of Medicine

I just wrote my first post on my Linkedin channel about an interesting experience I had while writing my book. I hope you will like it.

While writing my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, I did 70 interviews with experts of different medical technologies; spent hundreds of hours researching current trends and identified the 22 technologies that will shape the future. Here are the 10 things I learnt during this exhausting, but exciting process.

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The Foreruners of Intel’s Wearable Technology Movement

Intel launched a global year-long initiative under the name Make It Wearable to support the evolution of wearable devices. Students, designers, engineers, and makers got involved in the VISIONARY track and the DEVELOPMENT track. Here are the finalists of the development track.

  • BABYBE is a bionic mattress that keeps mothers and their babies connected through the process of artificial incubation in a NICU.
  • The Wristify band provides natural refreshing cool or soothing warmth on demand.
  • Snowcookie is a wearable device which monitors user’s kinetics and physiology and augments it with crowdsourced ski data to enhance safety, improve technique and connect winter sports enthusiasts.
  • BabyGuard provides smart healthcare for babies before birth to 3 years of age.
  • ProGlove is a professional wearable production tool that enables the user to work faster and easier and opens up a new level in control and business intelligence for production management.
  • BLOCKS is a hardware and software platform for wearable technology.
  • This low-cost robotic prosthetic hand aims to replicate advanced functionality for under $1000.
  • vumbl is a beautiful and discrete sports and activity necklace that monitors information from the body through vibrations, and relays this information back to you using touch.
  • Nixie is the first wearable camera that can fly. First V1sion is a new broadcast system allowing the player’s point of view to be shown in sports, such as basketball, football, tennis, etc.

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Five Expectations For Patients About The Future of Medicine

The waves of technological changes coming towards us will generate new possibilities as well as serious threats to medicine and healthcare. Every stakeholder must prepare for these changes in order to reach a balance between using disruptive technologies in medicine and keeping the human touch. I remain confident that it is still possible to establish that balance and there are reasons for patients to look forward to the next few years in medicine. Here are 5 of them.

1) Health management: The vast majority of people only deal with their health when they get sick. It is due to the fact that it has been really difficult to obtain useful data about our health. Now, the wearable revolution produces a lot of devices that bring health data measurements to our homes. So far, only physicians and hospitals could measure parameters, but today anyone can. Whether it is ECG, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, EEG or sleep, devices which we can order online provide us with the chance of changing lifestyle based on informed decisions.

Such devices will eventually get smaller and cheaper, and we will hopefully only use them when it is of help.

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AliveCor measures ECG with a smartphone.

2) Partnership: Medicine is a paternalistic system with the doctor being on the top making decisions about the patients. The digital revolution has changed it dramatically as now information, devices and even studies became widely available to anyone with an internet connection. This newly formed partnership makes it possible to be equal with the caregiver and play an equal role in making decisions. This will create an ecosystem in which patients get more possibilities to take care of themselves, while physicians will get help from their own patients. Jackpot. Although, a very old system has to be deconstructed for this.

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3) Communities: Social media is not famous for connecting patients, but several stories proved its potential power in connecting patients with like-minded others. We have done discussed our health concerns with our neighbors before. Now we do the same online without limitations and physical boundaries. Blogs, community sites, forums, Youtube and Twitter channels focus on patients and let them have their voices heard. As Kerri Morrone Sparling said, her doctor is an expert but can only understand what she goes through every single day if he/she is diabetic, otherwise he/she can only guess.

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4) Access to data: The Blue Button movement and E-Patient Dave’s talks encourage people to understand how important it is to own your own health data. It is not only unbelievable but actually outrageous that many hospitals and practices cannot communicate online with each other. Moreover, in others, patients who want to get their own X-Ray image must provide an empty CD disk to get it in the era of digital revolution. As it is not rocket science, we can expect to see major steps forward in this area. Without proper health data, informed medical decisions cannot be made.

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5) Prediction and prevention: Never in the history of medicine patients have had that many opportunities to predict and actually prevent diseases. Anyone can order genetic tests that tell them what rare conditions and mutations they carry and what drugs they are genetically sensitive for. We are not far away from doing a blood test or sequencing genes at home. In this sea of opportunities, the activity and participation of patients are very much needed, In a few years’ time, we will have to deal with the problem of too many choices regarding wearable devices. What is required for making good decisions is knowledge about where we are heading; and skills to make our own assumptions.

If changes happen as expected, patients will benefit the most of a newly constructed and entirely better healthcare system.

My new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, includes more details and an actual guide about how to prepare properly for the technological changes.

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