At Semmelweis Medical School in Budapest, we launched a new course, “Disruptive Technologies in Medicine” with Professor Maria Judit Molnar MD, PhD, DSc, the scientific Vice Rector of Semmelweis University in 2014. I’m very happy to share that we launched it again this semester.
Our plan is to prepare medical students for those future technologies they will face by the time they start actually practicing medicine. We need to give future physicians skills that help deal with the coming waves of technological changes in a way that they will learn how to improve the human touch with better technologies.
Here are the topics we cover with experts.
- How Exponential and Disruptive Technologies Shape The Future of Medicine
- Personalized Medicine – Genomic Health
- Point of Care Diagnostics
- The Future of Medical Imaging
- Social Media in Medicine
- Harnessing Big Data in Healthcare, Cognitive Computers
- The Future of Hospitals
- Biotechnology and Gene Therapy
- Mobile Health, The Wearable Revolution and Telemedicine
- Regenerative Medicine, Optogenetics and 3D Printing
- Medical Robotics, Bionics, Virtual Reality, and Future of Medical Technologies
We are teaching them offline and online at the same time with plenty of assignments and interesting projects such as collaboration with the students of the course of Kim Solez at University of Alberta.
Students compete against each other in a Facebook challenge by answering questions about the topics we cover in the lectures every single day.
About a year ago, I wrote about a robot prototype made by a company based in California that aims at combining robotics and image-analysis technology so then it can find a good vein in your arm and also draw blood. Well, it seems now it became reality.
One of the best things about the online world and social media is that you can crowdfund your idea if you don’t have the financial background. Websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been working on that and I thought I would collect the 10 most exciting and successful medical crowdfunding campaigns.
It includes health and food scanners, smart rope and robotic hands as well.
When Organovo announced they would print out liver tissues that could eradicate the use of animal testing for pharmaceutical companies, I had doubts. Then they came up with the actual product. Not long ago, they announced the first 3D bioprinted kidney tissue.
At the conference, Organovo presented their latest research, 3D printed a part of the duct system attached to the kidney, “kidney proximal tubular tissues“, using multiple cell types. Moreover, the tissue was able to survive in vitro for two weeks. This specific portion of the kidney may aid in the testing of medicines and the fact that they are made up of three different cell types will contribute to that application further, as well as provide a stepping stone to even more complex tissues.
Now, they teamed up with L’Oreal to produce synthetic skin.
The partnership will undergo three different phases: the initial development of the 3D printed skin tissue models, followed by validation, followed by commercial supply. Each step is contingent on L’Oreal’s decision of whether or not to move onto the next phase, as determined based on a set of performance criteria.
In about one and a half years time, they have gone from an announcement to a product and two new directions. What will we see in the next one and a half years?
For years, we have been talking about the possibility of improving the lives of diabetes patients with technology. A few weeks ago, I shared 8 reasons why we face extraordinary times in diabetes. Now The Smithsonian Magazine published a story about a device that tracks blood sugar and automatically administers insulin and glucagon when needed. Just like how the pancreas does.
Imagine seeing your bionic pancreas in action on your smartphone. We might not be far from this. Check out this story.
I’m a science fiction movie geek and in one of my recent videos I talked about the best science fiction movies describing the future of medicine. Now, in the newest video of The Medical Futurist Youtube channel, I take a look at the top 10 movies that will give us a glimpse into the future of technologies in 2015. Enjoy!
Virtual Reality or VR is a computer-simulated environment in which we can have the feeling as being in a digital, virtual world experiencing smell, sound, taste, and visuals. VR has been mentioned in many sci-fi masterpieces such as the Necromancer by Gibson, but technology behind that only came to a point where it can become reality now. Therefore I decided to describe some medical implications of virtual reality in the newest video of The Medical Futurist Youtube Channel.
I recently started discovering the options of virtual reality with the Google Cardboard. Putting my own smartphone with the right application into a cardboard can give the feeling of being in a virtual world. My favorite apps so far are Roller Coaster VR, Cmoar Roller Coaster VR, and Solar System VR. I should start filming the first reaction of people who give it a try.
Cardboard is just the very first step. Devices such as Oculus Rift acquired by Facebook, Sony’s Morpheus or Magic Leap will make the difference in the coming years. Check how Magic Leap could change the world around ourselves. Let’s see how virtual reality could change the healthcare experience with ever-improving technologies.
- Imagine that we could use virtual reality for training surgeons. They could be inside the human body based on the patient’s radiology images discovering all the options before opening up the patient during an operation.
- We could use virtual reality for patients to experience the hospital feeling even before going to the hospital. They could see how a procedure takes place, how much time it takes, what’s going to happen to them by getting a treatment or procedure.
- We could use that for psychology treatments, for people with addictions to show them different kinds of worlds. One with being addicted to something, and one with not being addicted any more showing them the real differences in life and how it could change if they found a solution for that addiction. The same is used in PTSD or fighting phobias.
- Imagine that we could use it for stress relief letting people travel to countries around the world and experiencing the real world through virtual reality.
- We could train people for emergency and disaster situations without risking anybody’s life.
- Virtual rehabilitation performed at the patient’s home for anxieties, attention deficits or amnesia. The list of conditions in which VR could be helpful is incredibly long.
- 360 immersive Virtual Reality arrived to the Cathlab chaning Medical Education.
- If there is no available real cadaver to practice surgery on, VR can help.
- A new way for motivating people for doing exercises could be merging VR with video games. See this video:
When for the first time I showed Google Cardboard to my 7 years old niece and she checked that out, she asked me, why would people want real-life experience any more when they can have this. So we will face really serious ethical questions in the coming years, but again virtual reality with the devices coming to the market very soon has the potentials to change the whole healthcare experience.
Read more about the future of virtual reality in my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine!