Medicine + IT: a review of promising technologies for developers

    Daniel Kraft is a doctor who has enough knowledge of IT to explain what exactly is required from technology to develop the field. Now he has two goals:
    • Talk about tomorrow's technologies that you can already touch.
    • And motivate the IT community and the business community to work in this direction.

    Simply put, he suggests that it is at the intersection of spheres that he will enjoy commercial success , which can serve as an excellent base for startups and large projects.

    Below is a short interview that we took before the lecture, so that we can understand what he will talk about. Among other things, he mentions medicine for mobile devices, already almost real 3D printing of organs and social medical networks.

    - Hello, Daniel. Please tell us a little about yourself so that readers of Habr understand what exactly you are doing.
    - Briefly: chairman of the medical direction at the University of the Singularity,
    Executive Director, FutureMed, Singularity University; Founder and CEO, IntelliMedicine. There is more data in my biography (note: it talks about 20 years of clinical practice and an impressive education) .

    - What, in your opinion, will be introduced in medicine in the next 2-3 years?
    - Firstly, personalized medicine: the choice of treatment methods and drugs is based on the individual characteristics of the patient. Secondly, a rapid growth of the information base is expected - this makes it possible to analyze large amounts of information (from individual patients + crowdsource sources to identify relationships). One example is the reduction in the cost and accessibility of genetic research for the general population, which will lead to a sharp increase in the amount of practical information and serious breakthroughs in medicine. Thirdly, remote medicine: telepresence robots, remote surgical robots, diagnostic applications (for example, ScinScan ). This will allow the medicine of developed countries to become accessible to remote corners of the planet. Fourth, artificial intelligence (pay attention toIBM Watson and the focus of developers on medicine as a primary market). Fifth, molecular and genetic therapy for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

    - Ok, that sounds impressive. And what hot recent news, already using in reality, you can name?
    - iPhone and iPad apps for diagnostics (30% of doctors in the USA use iPads in their work), surgical robots, prescribing drugs based on genetic characteristics (for example, warfarin, blood thinning), imaging, hand-held ultrasound machines, cloud electronic medical facilities data (EMR).

    The doctor himself

    - Do you think that doctors need devices to automate the diagnosis of symptoms?
    - I believe that the use of artificial intelligence, smart systems to integrate patient symptoms, medical history, genomics and other information will become widely used, especially for providing health care in regions with limited medical personnel.
    Pay attention to the announcement of Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize (Kraft is one of the project consultants) .

    Here, I immediately recall the homeoscope and comparator Korsakova - mechanical expert systems from the nineteenth century, which Dr. Korsakov planned to use for transfer to rural hospitals, so that local doctors use these machines to make diagnoses for symptoms.

    - Can the machine help the doctor where it is needed - for example, in hospitals with the lack of specialized professionals, in expeditions, military field hospitals and so on?
    - Of course. Tele-office robots and applications will partially meet these needs. Devices are becoming smaller, easier to transport (portable ultrasound machines, for example).

    - What does the doctor of the future look like? Is it a person who knows how to repair a wound in a field or a programmer / hardware specialist?
    - Both. With the development of artificial intelligence, the medical field will be more accessible to techies. With robots, doctors will be able to visit patients remotely, even make a physical examination.

    - How much do you think patients are willing to share information about their health status? Will this information be available in social networks in the future?
    - Social networks are already present in medicine. Companies such as Patients Like Me and Crohnology allow patients to communicate with their “health colleagues.” Patients become more involved in the process of maintaining health, increasing interest in communicating with their own kind, in identifying possible ways to eliminate their own problems through analysis of existing ones. Patients are becoming more and more part of the treatment. Today you can post your weight on Twitter, send tracked information to the Internet, and upload photos to Facebook for diagnosis. For example, there is a story with a diagnosis made by a friend of a child’s mother from a photograph posted on Facebook. It saved a child’s life.

    - How demanded are personalized medicines for patients?
    - Today, people by and large strive for a personalized approach in everything (not only in medicine). Most patients want to start treatment with a drug that is right for them, rather than “working for most patients,” constantly “tuning” it to optimize the dose. This saves time, money and works much more efficiently. Patients begin to realize this.

    - What problems of medicine generated by innovations do you see in the future? For example, 3D-printing of organs can mean an increase in the popularity of smoking (if I wanted to - changed my lungs) and so on.
    - Less one-on-one communication with the patient. It is more difficult to make the patient understand that you care about him, understand his problems, empathize when you are far from him, rather than if in the traditional way he is in the same room with you.

    - Can you tell us in detail about the technology that impressed you the most, which is already on the verge of implementation?
    - 3D printing of organs or parts thereof. Read more at

    - What do you expect from a lecture in Russia?
    - To acquaint the audience with the latest developments in the field of medicine, inspire work that can affect the development of medicine for their own health, the health of their families and the whole world.

    On the evening of the next Wednesday of the 18th in Moscow there will be a lecture by Dr. Kraft (here is the event on Habr) At the lecture, he will briefly talk about the friendship of IT and medicine, and then answer the questions of those present. After the lecture, as usual, the video will be uploaded in two languages. The lecture is delivered in English, all those present have access to simultaneous translation into Russian and vice versa (for questions). The lecture is held within the framework of the Knowledge Stream project , one of the main goals of which is to create a stream of relevant information on scientific achievements for business.

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