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Posts tagged ‘Healthcare’

My Health: Upgraded – Only Disruptive Technologies Can Secure The Future Of Humanity

While many technologies are advancing at an almost exponential pace; the loss of the human touch, failures at preventing diseases, rising costs and doctor shortages influence the days of patients and physicians. It’s time to change that. It’s time to upgrade our health with amazing technologies without becoming cyborgs. This way, there will be no limits to what humanity can achieve.

To support this mission, I answer the forty most exciting questions covering the future of robotics, sensors and medical algorithms I have ever received after my talks; and I also describe how I have been upgrading my health for a decade in my new book, My Health: Upgraded (paperback & e-book).


The book consists of three parts:

  1. The Technological Revolution in Medicine: Information in our DNA can predict our future health. Biotechnology advances enable medical scientists to produce cells that fight tumors. Wearable devices measure our vital signs while at home. What we would have considered science fiction a decade ago is quickly advancing modern health care, and we haven’t seen anything yet.
  2. The Most Exciting Questions About The Future Of Medicine: I offer a fresh look at how innovative technologies enable us to change health care for the long term. I share advances such as the present reality of surgical robots and tackle questions such as whether nanorobots will ever swim in our bloodstream or whether actual, functioning organs can be made with 3-D printers.
  3. Upgrading My Health: To keep readers grounded in the here and now, I discuss how I use technology to monitor and improve my own health. From charting my sleeping patterns to using exercise motivation apps, I give detailed examples of how we can use technology to live a healthy and proactive life.

With the unique graphics of Richard Horvath and the wonderful interior design of Roland Rekeczi, every futuristic thought and idea is visualized.



Book trailer

Here is the book trailer and you can find examples for advanced praise from Dr. Eric Topol and E-Patient Dave deBronkart, among others, below.

The book also includes movie suggestions and the top hashtags for each of the 40 topics. I hope you will enjoy reading it. You can get the paperback and the e-book here.


Advanced Praise for My Health: Upgraded

“Dr. Bertalan Mesko, the consummate medical futurist, takes us on an extended technological tour – one that bodes well for how healthcare can advance.”
— Dr. Eric Topol, author of The Patient Will See You Now, Professor of Genomics, The Scripps Research Institute

“Dr. Bertalan Mesko has been called a thought leader thanks to his views on the future of medicine, and his latest book proves yet again just why he deserves that title. Dr. Mesko’s thoughts on digital health are comprehensive and innovative, but most importantly, they are accessible and easily understood. This thrilling book is a must-read for patients, providers, and all other stakeholders interested in taking control of their own health.”
– Dr. Larry Chu, Executive Director, Stanford Medicine X

“Sit down, loosen your mind, and settle into this book. It’s an extraordinary, liberated tour of what health and treatment will be like when we no longer starve for information and when everything physical is digital – which is far closer than you think.”
– e-Patient Dave deBronkart, e-patient thought leader, speaker, author

“Only few have the gift of being transformative ánd using it; Dr. Bertalan Mesko is one of them. This book bridges Hype, Hope & reality in a way that fits both the world of technology and medicine. Definitely a must read if you’re on the intersection of technology & medicine.”
– Lucien Engelen, Director of the Radboud REshape Innovation Center

“An easy to read guide to future health. Introducing recent history and everyday examples of progress as evidence of trends, it looks to the future of health technologies and their interactions with everyday lifestyle with informed optimism, avoiding unnecessary jargon. Covering areas from personal health recording to cheap DNA sequencing and AI assistance, it shows how the reader can take control of their own health and the many future opportunities for improving it. It also explores when we will get the technologies we see in sci-fi movies. All of this makes it a compelling but easy-going read.”
– Ian Pearson, Futurologist, Author of You Tomorrow

“Dr. Bertalan Mesko has written an amazingly interesting book that explores the future of medicine and how it will affect our health. As a transhumanist and politician, I highly recommend this book to all those who are interested in how technology is going to impact our bodies and change our lives.”
– Zoltan Istvan, futurist and US Presidential candidate

“Three in one, My Health: Upgraded is a didactic snapshot of digital health today and to come, a practical “how-to” guide on self-tracking, and responses to real “questions from the audience”. And Dr. Bertalan Mesko dares to answer them all. While I see many digital health books and articles, My Health:Upgraded is definitely not to be missed!”
– Denise Silber, Founder of Doctors 2.0 and You

“This one is just fantastic, an encyclopedic work by one of the recognized experts. No need to “Google” about the future of medicine, this book is like a search-engine on itself, about the amazing facts & possibilities of our health, but upgraded!”
– Dr. Rafael J. Grossmann, FACS, Surgeon, Healthcare Futurist & Innovator

Top 3D Bioprinting Event To Be Held In Hungary: Interview

I was proud to see the top 3D bioprinting event to be held in Hungary this September. I contacted the organizers and asked Péter Maróti to answer a few questions to give a clear picture about what attendees can expect and where the industry of 3D bioprinting is heading.

One of, if not, the biggest events in 3D bioprinting will be held in Pécs, Hungary this September. How did you get the chance to organize the event?

The recent years has clearly shown that 3D technologies became essential parts of numerous applications in most scientific fields. This has been recognized by the University of Pécs when Prof. József Bódis (the Rector of UP) initiated last year an innovative and multidisciplinary project focusing on these applications. To foster and accelerate the initial steps of concept building and planning we established a coordination team from members of the various faculties of the University. This team works under the umbrella of the Szentágothai Research Center and a few months ago secured financial funds from and EU grant for the early period of the project. We invited experts from several related fields and asked them to share their expertise and knowledge with our scientific community.


Simultaneously, we established collaborations with potential industrial and scientific partners. We organize the 1. International Interdisciplinary 3D Conference in Pécs as a closing event of this series of lectures, and at the same time as the beginning of the future projects that we plan to manifest at our University. So we believe this will be the cherry on the cake for the first project that summarizes and expands what we learnt in the previous months. This time our interdisciplinary conference will place strong emphasis on bioprinting techniques and methods.

Who are the major speakers and what are the major topics that will be covered?

It is really hard to answer this question, because lots of honorable scientists and researchers confirmed their participation in the workshop. The audience will hear exciting and fruitful lectures on bioprinting, focusing on how 3D biomodelling can help us both in research and clinical therapy. To mention a few components, Prof. Pongracz Judit will present how we can use them in examination of carciogenesis and cancer therapy. We will also gain information about 3D bioprinter devices thanks to Danny Cabrera from BioBots. Dr. Claudio Migliaresi will give a talk about cell encapsulation and printing. There will be workshops on other promising topics too, with Dr. Antonella Motta, Dr. Florian Thieringer, David Correa Z. and others. Of course besides bioprinting other applications of 3D technologies will be presented as well. György Falk, as the representative of Stratasys, Dr. Jochen Zimmer from Makerbot and other well recognised colleagues from the 3D printing industry will participate on this conference including artists and engineers.


What results do you expect to see due to the event?

First of all, this meeting should provide a great framework for every interested colleagues and partners to gain knowledge and information about these promising technologies and the tendencies dominating the field. Being interdisciplinary is obviously an advantage in many aspects and appears to be essential for the success on a longer run. However, in interdisciplinary projects the communication is a key issue as the participants come from different fields. These people when working together must achieve and maintain the proper understanding of each other for the fruitful collaborations. We believe that this and similar meeting should play a central role in the related communication efforts.

Apart from this we also aim to direct the attention of students to the related research fields. Considering that on a long term we would like to establish a 3D printing center in our region and also to establish an active, innovative and in many fields leading network of scientists, engineers and professional users, we expect that this conference with the related lectures and personal discussions will provide the intellectual basis for the proper planning of these ambitious future projects. We also hope that the meeting will serve as an excellent platform for the potential partners to establish their collaborations.

Where is bioprinting heading at the moment? How much time do you think it needs to become a common element of everyday healthcare?

It is difficult to tell, though several professional studies dealt with this question recently. Some companies promise that they will print fully functional organs in 3-5 years. It seems to us an overoptimistic prognosis. On the other hand some of these technologies are already abundantly used in research projects. The field of everyday applications is probably just before an explosion thanks to the cheaper bioprinters that are more and more wide-spread. What we envisage is that in the next few years the 3D biomodels become a common thing in a researcher’s toolbox, replacing many experiments on animals and patients. But who knows, this field is growing and developing extremely fast, and maybe the optimists are right that – even if not in 3-5 years, but – in 8-10 years 3D printed organ transplantation will be an everyday procedure in the clinics.


See you there!

Being Patient-Centric Is Also About Good Design

Lucien Engelen recently invited me to serve as a judge in their Hacking Health Reshape competition and also to give a keynote on the opening day of the medical school for freshmen in Nijmegen.

I met there Prof. Stefaan Berge, head of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department of Radboud who told me he built the strategy of his department based on my latest book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine. On the poster below, there are 22 trends, the chapters of my book, that will shape the future of medicine. With his staff, they discussed which ones might have the biggest influence on the future of the department. As you can imagine, I felt pretty proud.


I checked all the equipment they have at Radboud such as the laparoscopic surgery simulation tool made of wood and simple elements that works with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. It is cheap and is occupied by students for many hours every day.


As Prof. Berge told me, being patient-centric as a hospital is also about design. They have such tables in the rooms where patients can discuss every detail with the physician.


When the physician needs to examine the patient, they “go” to the clinic which is the area within the blue line. Otherwise, it is just a room where they can talk.


And finally, I gave a keynote about the future of medicine for 4-500 freshmen medical students. I tried not to shock them too much but based on their faces, I might have failed in this. I simply demonstrated what their future practices could look like and what skills they need to learn while being in medical school. I wish someone had told me this when I was a freshman.  


The Ultimate Starter Kit For Looking Into The Future Of Medicine

I receive a lot of questions from patients, physicians, researchers, developers, and policy makers after my talks about where they should start in discovering the future of medicine. Which books, movies, TV series or websites would help them understand and get a clear picture about where medicine and healthcare are heading because of new disruptive innovations.

Here are the top choices in each of these categories.

1) Books

Let me show you two books about the future of medicine. The first is The Patient Will See You Now from Dr. Eric Topol. This is the Number One book in digital health. The second is The Digital Doctor from Dr. Bob Wachter. These two books will give you an absolutely clear picture about where we are heading.

Here are nine more books about the future of medicine.


2) Movies

Regarding movies, Gattaca shows you the non-desired future of genomics. Big Hero 6 talks about how we could measure health parameters at home. And Elysium is discussing the future of radiology and how financial differences will harm society if it comes to health.

Read more in the Top 10 Science Fiction Movies About the Future of Medicine.


3) Television series

Regarding TV series, The Knick gives a great picture about the first years of modern surgery and how medicine develops over time. And I like Humans which depicts a future with robot companions and what problems on the level of society we will have with them. I also like Star Trek that shows you what people thought about the future of medicine decades ago.


4) Websites

These are the ones I check on a daily basis.

5) Social Media channels

Regarding social media channels, there are great communities on Google+ (see the image below) and I regularly check the futurology sub-Reddit on


What are your choices?

Why Predicting The Future Of Medicine Is Hard – Video

Science fiction movies sometimes show us a great future, but in medicine, they almost always make a huge mistake. There are 3 major reasons why predicting the future in medicine & healthcare is hard, if not impossible.

Please do share what you think.

5 Healthcare Startups Among The 30 Innovative Companies Changing The World

CNN came up with the Upstart30 list that features 30 innovative companies that are changing the world. The only good thing about such lists is that you can come across startups you have never heard of before. Here are 5 healthcare startups from the list:

  • uBiome: genetic sequencing of your microbiome, the microbes living in your digestive system.
  • Ovuline: data on menstrual cycles and physical and emotional symptoms to predict when a woman is most fertile.
  • Honor: In elderly care, they screen and assign caretakers to seniors based on skills.
  • Eko Devices: Using Bluetooth technology, the Core sends digital recordings of heartbeats to Eko’s app and web portal. Doctors can chart the heartbeat or send the recording to a specialist for further review.
  • BioBots‘ first product is a revolutionary 3D printer for building cells, tissues and organs. The printer uses a chemical that works with visible blue light technology, which doesn’t harm the cells.


The Future of Clinical Trials: Video

An excerpt from The Guide to the Future of Medicine:

Today, new pharmaceuticals are approved by a process that culminates in human clinical trials. The clinical trial is a rigorous process from development of the active molecule to animal trials before the human ones, costing billions of dollars and requiring many years. Patients participating in the trial are exposed to side effects, not all of which will have been predicted by animal testing. If the drug is successful in trial, it may receive approval, but the time and expense are present regardless of the trial outcome.

But what if there were another, safer, faster, and less expensive route to approval? Instead of requiring years of “ex vivo” and animal studies before human testing, what if it were possible to test thousands of new molecules on billions of virtual patients in just a few minutes? What would be required to demonstrate such a capability? At the very least, the virtual patients must mimic the physiology of the target patients, with all of the variation that actual patients show. The model should encompass circulatory, neural, endocrine, and metabolic systems, and each of these must demonstrate valid mechanism–based responses to physiological and pharmacological stimuli. The model must also be cost efficient, simulating weeks in a span of seconds.

Such simulations are called computational cognitive architectures, although the current ones actually lack a comprehensive representation of human physiology. A truly comprehensive system would make it possible to model conditions, symptoms, and even drug effects. To order reach this brave goal, every tiny detail of the human body needs to be included in the simulation from the way our body reacts to temperature changes to the circadian rhythms of hormone action.

HumMod is a simulation system that provides a top–down model of human physiology from organs to hormones. It now contains over 1,500 linear and non–linear equations and over 6,500 state variables such as body fluids, circulation, electrolytes, hormones, metabolism, and skin temperature. HumMod was based on original work by Drs. Arthur Guyton and Thomas Coleman in the early 1970’s.


HumMod is not the only effort in this area. The Avicenna project, partially funded by the European Commission, aims to construct a roadmap for future “in silico” clinical trials, which would make it possible to conduct them without actually experimenting on people. Other projects use real models instead of computational ones. A liver human organ construct, a physical object that responds to toxic chemical exposure the way a real liver does, was designed at the Gordon A. Cain University. The goal of the five–year, $19 million multi­institutional project is to develop interconnected human organ constructs that are based on a miniaturized platform nicknamed ATHENA (Advanced Tissue–engineered Human Ectypal Network Analyzer) that looks like a CPR mannequin.

It would then be possible to test molecules without risking the toxic effects on humans, and to monitor fluctuations in the thousands of different molecules that living cells produce and consume. The beauty of this project is its plan to connect their working liver device to a heart device developed by Harvard University. If successful, they hope to add a lung construct in 2015 that is being developed at Los Alamos, and a kidney designed by the UCSF/Vanderbilt collaboration by 2016, thus building the first physiological model of a human being piece by piece.

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