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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:

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