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Posts from the ‘Medicine’ Category

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!

The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Writing the Book

I recently announced that I started to work on my second book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, that will showcase the trends that shape the future and a guide about how to prepare for them. It should be published this July.

It has been a great experience so far interviewing about 50 experts from different industries, world famous start ups and companies. Expect to read many very interesting stories about the intersection between technology and humanity from the medical perspective in the book.

The offer still stands though: if you lead an innovative company in medicine or healthcare, please let me know.

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9 Steps About How to Disappear From The Internet

There is a very interesting and instructive step-by-step guide about how to delete yourself from the internet and disappear completely online. I’m not encouraging you to delete your profiles online, but there are a few details in the guide which might come handy in some cases such as how to ask Google to remove a search engine result posting information about you.

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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!

 

The Medical Futurist: Weekly Introduction

As a medical futurist, 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.

I publish a daily newsletter about the future of medicine, and share related news almost every hour on Twitter. Scienceroll.com is updated on a regular basis about the future of healthcare with an emphasis on social media. Here is my white paper, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.

I’m 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.

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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.

My recent keynote at TEDxNijmegen:

I hope you will enjoy reading Scienceroll.com!

How I Completely Re-Wired My Digital Life: 16 Tips

I’ve been massively active online for at least 10 years therefore I have built networks focusing on my favorite topics leading to a point where I invest my time into human intelligence instead of checking hundreds of article titles every day. Although, as others, I often face the problem of being efficient time-wise online as receiving thousands of social media messages a day makes it a real challenge.

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Now I share with you the experience I’ve had in the last 6 months as during that time I have completely re-wired how I use the internet for professional purposes and how I manage my digital life.

Dealing with e-mails: I have to deal with about 200 e-mails a day, the majority of them requiring action from me. I tag e-mails massively in Google Mail and have been teaching Gmail how to categorize my e-mails automatically (important ones, promotions, social media related e-mails, etc.). While some of my colleagues quit using e-mail, I think this is still my information HQ and the official communication channel to me. But I don’t start the morning any more by checking e-mails. Instead, I start the day with reading a chapter in a book. It gives me a great start, plus as my brain is the most active in the early hours, I can learn a lot. After that, I deal with e-mails at specific time periods, otherwise I couldn’t focus properly.

Facebook: I use Facebook for professional purposes and before this time, Facebook was proven to be absolutely useless. But I changed my strategy and unfollowed (hiding their posts from my stream) cc. 1400 out of my 1600 followers. At the same time, I started following about 100 pages focusing on social media and the future of medicine. It means now my Facebook stream is almost free of noise but full of useful information.

Google+: The main streams of my Google+ network are very much hectic, but the communities of Google+ focusing on my areas such as the future, medicine and social media are priceless. Those are the most curated information streams I check every day.

Twitter: This is my key and fastest communication channel. In my experience, people using Twitter can be approached much easier through their Twitter account than via e-mail. As Twitter messages should only contain real information (no garnish), I can respond in seconds. I use Tweetdeck for organizing my streams and get the most important filtered news out of my focused groups easily. Symplur helped me organize topics with new hashtags such as #medicalfuture or #HCSMcourse.

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Linkedin: This is my most professional channel. I’ve been working on improving my profile there for years which resulted in an “All-Star” profile as ranked by LinkedIn. I paid for the premium service showing me those who check my profile and might be potential clients. It also puts my profile high up in search results. It is connected to my blog automatically.

Blogging: This is one of the activities I enjoy the most even after 7 years (have written over 5000 blog entries). To be honest, I still use bookmarks for storing the topics I would like to write about and dedicate at least 5 hours a week to blogging. Whatever project I come up with, I can reach thousands of very relevant people with only one blog entry. My blog is a golden mine for me.

The Ultimate Online Resource: I thought I had so many online channels I needed a professional website serving as an umbrella above all those channels. Medicalfuturist.com now shows all my active channels featuring Scienceroll.com and Twitter.com/Berci; and the Medical Futurist Newsletter let me build a network of people interested in the future of medicine. This is now my digital public HQ.

Organizing short- and long-term tasks: One of the toughest challenges I face is organizing the many tasks, projects and jobs I have. The reason why is that although I have thousands of meetings a year and travel a lot, I don’t work in an office and don’t have access to an intellectually rich community in my everyday life. Therefore I have to create this ambiance around me. I use a Google Document with color codes and different sections showing me the tasks of today, of tomorrow, of this week and of this month. Every 4 weeks, I sit down and analyze the long-term goals (months-years) and assign new tasks to my everyday life. This is crucial in order to put effort into things that really matter. This system now makes sure I keep being motivated without artificial or external inputs.

Just before deadline

Bookmarks: When you save tens of thousands of links, a traditional bookmark is not enough any more. The links I might need later are saved and categorized by bit.ly (as I shorten almost all the links I share). By creating bundles, it lets me organize these links in a convenient way.

Web browser: About 2 years ago, I switched from Firefox to Google Chrome and I have no idea why I didn’t start using it earlier. All the devices I use (PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone) have Chrome and it automatically synchronizes my settings, bookmarks and browser history. It makes my life easier.

Automatic updates: There are pieces of information I need to collect through non-structured channels such as search engines. As I don’t have to go back and search for the same things again and again, I use Google Alerts for getting updates about certain topics; and use Pubmed.com‘s Save Search function to get peer-reviewed papers automatically focusing on my areas.

Feedly: While some people think RSS is so web 2.0-ish, I couldn’t live without it as my information resources would be hectic while I need a very much structured way of following resources. Feedly lets me organize websites into categories and now I follow 430 resources easily.

Improving cognitive skills: I’m a huge fan of life-long learning as I believe improving my cognitive skills should be a priority at any point in my life. When I came across Lumosity, I knew I found what I’d been looking for. I’ve been using it for 5 months and I can feel how better I’m at different tasks that require good memory, speed, flexibility or other skills. It only takes 5 minutes a day. When I have to wait somewhere, I grab my phone and use Dr. Newton, a game for improving cognitive skills therefore I always try to do something useful for my brain.

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Focus: Dealing with hundreds of messages and thousands of pieces of information is one thing, but the projects I work on require real focus. In order to make it easier for myself, I use time frames for different tasks (such as checking e-mails or using Twitter) every day and keep other timeframes free for tasks that require real focus. Focus@Will has been proven to facilitate this for me.

Learning new things: No matter, how limited my free time is, I must constantly try to learn new things. As I have wanted to learn to speak Spanish for years, I decided to download Duolingo and follow its instructions as it teaches languages in a gamified and interesting way. I love it.

Physical activities: I cannot work efficiently without living a healthly life and being physically active. I use the wearable Shine to make sure I exercise enough every single day and do include the exercises I have to do every day in my Google Document. I realized I really accomplish things and tasks that are in my time-management Google Document and adding the details of doing physical activities as such tasks to that as well turned out to be a great solution for motivating myself.

I hope this experience of over 6 months will help you be more efficient and successful in your personal and digital lives as well!

Computers are better at diagnosing?

A new study analyzing the role of IBM’s supercomputer named Watson in medical decision making was just published in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. While the most acclaimed medical professionals might keep some studies in mind, Watson can check millions of them quickly. Instead of fighting them, doctors should realize we need to include such solutions in the everyday medical decision-making processes.

Using 500 randomly selected patients from that group for simulations, the two compared actual doctor performance and patient outcomes against sequential decision-making models, all using real patient data. They found great disparity in the cost per unit of outcome change when the artificial intelligence model’s cost of $189 was compared to the treatment-as-usual cost of $497.

“This was at the same time that the AI approach obtained a 30 to 35 percent increase in patient outcomes,” Bennett said. “And we determined that tweaking certain model parameters could enhance the outcome advantage to about 50 percent more improvement at about half the cost.”

I’m very glad they added this message at the end:

“Let humans do what they do well, and let machines do what they do well. In the end, we may maximize the potential of both.”

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Being in The Top 10 Internet-Smart Doctors in the World

It’s a great honor to be included again in the list of the top ten Internet-smart doctors in the world. Here is the full list and here are the details!

Doctors are increasingly using the internet, to communicate, to educate, and to use sometimes as medical devices. And now docs are tackling social media, which a few of the Top Ten do, in spades.   The Top Ten come from all over, from Australia to the Bay area.  There is one from the Netherlands, one from Hungary,, and one from Australia.  The other seven are Yanks.  And they are all MDs.

1) Eric Topol MD
2) Daniel Kraft M.D.
3) Berci Mesko MD
4) Mike Cadogan MD
5) Pieter Kubben MD
6) Peter Diamantis MD
7) Iltifat Husain, MD
8) Wen Dombrowski MD
9) Joe Kvedar MD
10) Larry Chu MD

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My CNN Article: 10 ways technology will save your life in the future

I was invited to write an article about 10 ways technology will save our lives in the future for CNN.com and I was happy to do so. It was featured today on the main page of CNN. I hope you will find it useful. Here is the introduction:

The medical and healthcare sectors are in the midst of rapid change, and it can be difficult to see which new technologies will have a long-lasting impact.

Ideally, the future of healthcare will balance innovative medical technologies with the human touch. Here, I’ve outlined the trends most likely to change our lives, now or in the near future.

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