FutureMed Day 3

Here we go,

The first speaker today was Dr. Catherine Mohr.  She talked about telemanipulation, which turned out to be a breakthrough in surgery.  The most recent robotic interface is the DaVinci robot, which aids in keyhole surgery, namely laparoscopic.  Training for the use of this robot is given to attending or resident surgeons.  A certfication is required to operate it.  Peter Fitzgerald, M.D.-Ph.D was the next speaker.  He discussed the importance of increasing quality as opposed to quantity in healthcare in order to minimize hospital stays and complications.  Also, we need to find a way to increase patient compliance rates to ensure effective treatment.  The next speaker was Dr. Richard Satava.  He talked about combat surgery of the future where the operating rooms are fully automated.  In addition, we need to use technology responsibly.  Sean Duffy, CEO and Glen de Vries spoke next, promoting various digital therapeutics.  Dr. Leonard Sender was from CHOC and discussed how cancer is a genomic disease and how we need to share our data to advance our knowledge.  Eric Chen is a 17 year old who used computers to help engineer new flu vaccines.  He utilized molecular dynamics simulators to generate a pharmacophore that identified flu viruses that practiced cap snatching.  Lisa Kennedy was next and talked about the 5 types of healthcare systems.  They are: Pocket, Private Insurance, Bismark, National Health Insurance, and Universal Health Care.  All have their pros and cons.  However, we need to maximize health, not profit.  After all, health is a merit good and society’s best investment.  A cloud-based ambient intelligence network would be best to increase efficiency.  This means that a doctor will have to work as a data scientist.  Dr. Eric Rassmussen was next and talked about open source projects that can be used to help people in impoverished areas.  One particular emphasis he placed was on disaster relief.  There are 15.4 million refugees in the world and there are many diseases and crises going on.  In fact, by 2030, we will be ~4 million healthcare workers short due to the needs of impoverished and disaster-stricken areas.  Dr. Ajay Verma came afterwards and talked about a new photoreceptor that was discovered.  It is called melanopscin and it is sensitive to blue light.  Melanopscin is what sets the circadian rhythm of the body.  Also, there are new methods of brain monitoring and manipulation.  As a response to many questions aroused by these methods, the Human Connectome Project has been launched.  We are attempting to make a wiring diagram of the brain and use open source data to do so.  This also factors into our understanding of neurodegenerative disease.  We are here to spread our germ cells and enhance our gene pool’s biodiversity.  We degrade when our purpose has been served.  These diseases brew silently for years and often have advanced significantly before the symptoms manifest.  It is difficult to diagnose them due to the lack of convenient brain health status markers and direct access to tissue.  By 202, the hope is that we will have the brain mapped, biomarkers for disease mapped, and at least treatment for 1 neurodegenerative disease.  Ariel Garten, CEO was next.  She talked about consumer brain-sensing technology that is becoming available to the market.  Daniel Kraft, M.D. – Ph.D was after her and discussed regenerative medicine.  This field consists of replacing damaged body parts with healthy ones grown from the patient’s own stem cells.  This involves tissue engineering and therapy.  One such approach is the treatment of leukemia by using antibodies to kill off old marrow and replacing it with healthy stem cells.  The 3D printing of organs is becoming a possibility now as well as the generation of neuronal cells.  Some sources of stem cells include bone marrow, umbilical cords, and peripheral cells.  A device known as the MarrowMiner harvests stem cells from the pelvis.  As for cancer stem cells, a molecular marker that protects them is called CD47.  If we generate antibodies that target it, we can hypothetically kill them this way.  Robert Hariri, M.D.-Ph.D was after Dr. Kraft.  He talked about the importance of cellular medicine.  As long as it is a progenitor cell, it can be used for therapeutic purposes.  Local injections can be utilized for tissue repair.  However, there is a risk of tumor formation.  In addition, one must derive the cells from the patient in question in order to avoid rejection.  Placentas are practically stem cell factories and can be utilized from healthy births in order to ensure an adequate supply.  Eventually, stem cells may be used to fight the effects of aging.  Dr. Bill Crounse spoke last today and his main point was to highlight the importance of the physician’s role as not only a healthcare provider, but a teacher as well.  With the advent of big data and new technological breakthroughs, diagnosis will get more accurate and treatment more efficient.

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