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Posts from the ‘Surgery’ Category

When Surgeons Can See Tumours

Writing my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, means that I come across hundreds of innovations day by day but this one really caught my attention. Patients are injected with a special dye containing peptides that can attach to cancer cells. These dyed cancer cells then emit light at a wavelength that cannot be seen by the human eye, but can be detected by a sensor in the goggles worn by the surgeons. Augmented reality on the top!

“It has the potential to reduce the size of operations, when safe, and guide us to take out more tissue, when required,” said Dr Ryan Fields, a surgeon at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It is estimated that up to 40% of breast cancer patients in the US, and just under 20% in the UK, require secondary surgery. Being able to take a more strategic, precise approach to removing tumours could reduce the need for patients to undergo further stressful procedures.

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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.

Google Glass Through a Surgeon’s Eyes: Prezi

I’ve been massively writing about the potentials of Google Glass in healthcare and while I got an invitation, I couldn’t test it myself as I’m not a US citizen.

This prezi gives you a clear picture about what surgeons would expect from wearing Google Glass. But here are 3 other examples.

Remote virtual surgery via Google Glass and telepresence:

From Oculus Rift to Smart Glass: world-changing future products getting their start today:

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RealView 3D Live Intraoperative Holography Using Philips Imaging (VIDEO): Imagine when you can do this with Google Glass!

Augmented Reality in Operating Rooms Soon!

A clinic in Germany started experimenting with an application using augmented reality on iPads in the OR. During operations, surgeons can see through anatomical structures such as blood vessels in the liver without opening organs therefore they can perform more precise excisions.

A CT scan is performed before the surgery and the imaged vessels are identified within software, all of which is then transferred to the iPad. During the procedure the surgeon can navigate the imaged liver to see where the vessels are, and if the camera is turned on and pointed at the exposed liver the app automatically superimposes the vessel structure of the organ onto the live picture. Notably, the app is not simply a concept, but was already tested successfully during a liver tumor removal at Asklepios Klinik Barmbek in Hamburg.

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Years ago, I wrote about an experiment of similar kind performed at the Computer Assisted Medical Procedures Institute at the Technische Universitat München.

The technology is now there, we just have to put evidence behind using it in practice. Exciting times ahead!

 

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.

A universal translator for surgeons?

Steven Schwaitzberg had a great TED talk about developing a technology which combines video conferencing and a real-time universal translator while teaching laparoscopic surgery.

Surgeons and Gaming: TED Talk

As a geek, I’ve been playing video games since the age of 5 and when I was amazed when I saw the first surgeon simulator games back in 2008. A lot of skills of a surgeon can be acquired just by using the right games. Here is the proof:

Social Media for a Surgeon: Interview

In my new series I ask medical professionals and e-patients about how they use social media presented through practical examples and suggestions (so far: a rheumatologist, a diabetes blogger, a GP and a pediatrician answered my questions, each of them is proficient in using social media). Now please welcome Howard J. Luks, MD, a social media star and also surgeon who uses social media with strategy and good skills. He told me what channels he uses daily and how he designs his online presence.

  • What social media channels do you use in your work and for what purposes?

Social Media has become very “cultural”. Certain platforms are found to be more useful by certain people. No one platforms suits everyones needs. Because my primary interest is in educating people around the globe I utilize Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest to reach out to my audience.

I use twitter as an “inbound” tool for personal learning, as well as an outbound tool for “teaching” and sharing relevant content.
I use Facebook to share content, pictures, and I also use it as a tool to humanize my practice. By sharing photos and videos, I am able to show patients who I am as an individual and assist them in not only learning about orthopedics, but about me – as a physician.
Patients like taking in content in short video segments. I have found Youtube very useful in that regard. Google+ and Pinterest interest me and I’m exploring how best to utilize them to reach a global healthcare audience.

I have enjoyed using Doximity to interact behind a HIPAA compliant firewall with my colleagues on more sensitive topics as the healthcare landscape in US continues to evolve and change rapidly.

  • What do your patients think about social media? Do they use it?

15% of patients who visit my office have seen my website, Facebook page or Twitter account. Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t mention how comforting it is that I have that presence as it helps to build trust and initiate the relationship before we have even met. I share links and sites with patients when our interaction is over so that they may explore various sites to learn more about their orthopedic issue — and if they are comfortable with the idea, I encourage them to follow us on FB and Tw.

  • What social media sites do you think point towards the future of healthcare?

Hopefully the laws surrounding privacy change, and we develop platforms that are rooted in social media but enable us to better interact with our patients — which we really can not do today. Such sites would enable us to improve our ability to educate, answer specific questions, monitor adherence, predict who is at risk for a complication and hopefully they will enable us to assist patients to modify their unhealthy behavioral patterns.

  • What do you think about the curated Surgery and Social Media selection on Webicina.com? For what reasons did you use it?

I think that you and your staff have done a wonderful job at curating some very useful feeds on Webicina. I refer patients here often. Many patients do not understand RSS feeds, etc so your platform enables them to benefit from the fact that the information is curated for them. As your platform matures, I would also like to see concentration on more keyword based searches and somehow provide a mechanism for the cream to rise to the top as determined by your readers and subscribers.

World’s First Live-Tweeted Open-Heart Surgery

This piece has been all around the news for the last couple of days, even if the phenomenon is not new at all. The Henry Ford Hospital performed the first live tweeting (sending short updates about the procedures on Twitter) years ago during an awake craniotomy. Then it seemed more and more healthcare institutions started doing the same.

Now the  Houston’s Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital did that during an open-heart surgery.

On Tuesday, Dr. Michael Macris performed a double-coronary artery bypass on a 57-year-old patient. Dr. Macris’ colleague, Dr. Paresh Patel, provided 140-character updates throughout the procedure and answered questions submitted by followers of the hospital’s @houstonhospital Twitter account.

Dr. Macris also wore a camera attached to his head, according to Texas Monthly, and Dr. Patel snapped additional photos.

Videos were also posted. Preparations:

I believe patients undergoing the same procedures later like this educational Twitter stream, doctors performing the same would also like it (at least because of the generated discussions) and the hospital certainly likes it as it brings them many new followers.

Are Twitter’s people ready and related to healthcare enough that such streams could become common?

Origami and Manicure with the Da Vinci Robot

Medgadget featured a video in which Dr. James Porter of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle folds a paper airplane with the da Vinci medical robot and attempts to make it fly.

Here is another video in which Dr. James Porter again gives his daughter a manicure with the da Vinci surgical robot to demonstrate how this device gives surgeons greater surgical precision and dexterity over existing approaches.

 

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