Organ transplantation has dramatically changed lives and is raising hopes it could do even more for millions of people. But getting where we are has not been easy. A transplant surgeon traces the history of transplant research and notes the courage to fail among pioneering researchers and patients.
Dr. Josh Mezrich, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and author, When Death Becomes Life: Notes From a Transplant Surgeon
After attempts to use non-human primates as a source of scarce organs for transplant, doctors have turned to pigs for a variety of reasons. They’re now making great progress against the largest hurdle—rejection. One of the world’s foremost xenotransplantation experts discusses how the process might work and what the future might look like for millions of potential organ and tissue recipients.
Dr. David Cooper, Professor of Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Co-Director, UAB Xenotransplantation Program
With monitors surveying every part of patients’ bodies, hospital intensive care units appear to be a model of high tech. But systems engineers say ICU’s are actually models of inefficiency because few of those high tech devices talk to each other. Experts discuss how ICU’s could be improved to save lives.
Dr. Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Director, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
Dr. Brian Pickering, intensive care anesthesiologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Gene research has made incredible leaps in the last decade. A physician/Pulitzer-prize winning author explains what our new knowledge means for our immediate medical future, given our struggles with genetic knowledge in the past.
Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University and author, The Gene: An Intimate History
Big data is changing almost every aspect of modern-day life. Healthcare is one of the most recent adopters of big data collection. Paddy Padmanabhan, a healthcare IT expert and CEO of Damo Consulting, says over the past ten years health records have been moved to digital files, but most of the time the advantages of doing so are not fully utilized. Most of the time, health providers do not share information with each other, so when you go to a new provider they have to start from scratch.
Padmanabhan, also the author of The Big Unlock: Harnessing Data and Growing Digital Health Businesses in a Value Based Healthcare Era, advocates for evidence-based healthcare, which entails providers are accountable for providing data which illustrates they are delivering acceptable care at an acceptable price. Consumers have more financial responsibility than ever for their healthcare cost. Previously, when insurers would pay providers directly and in far higher percentages, patients had almost no idea of the actual cost associated with their treatment. Providers had incentive to charge whatever they could get away with. Today, patients have more choices and providers are forced to offer more transparency. Big data is the next logical step if the goal is to improve accountability.
Eventually, so much healthcare data will be available that artificial intelligence will be needed to assist in diagnosis and recommend possible treatment options. There is such a vast range of potential applications for the data. For example, sequencing you genome can provide far more information that your medical history alone. There are, however, downsides to the collection of this data. There is potential for the data to fall into the wrong hands, primarily the possession of insurance companies who could use the data to predict complications extremely accurately. Eventually, insurers could refuse to cover certain individuals because they could predict the high cost of their treatment, so steps must be taken to protect valuable healthcare data.
Paddy Padmanabhan, CEO, Damo Consulting and author, The Big Unlock: Harnessing Data and Growing Digital Health Businesses in a Value Based Healthcare Era
New research shows that most people with ADHD have a disordered body clock, prompting disturbed sleep, sleep deprivation, and a worsening of ADHD symptoms. Experts discuss how fixing the body clock could lessen the impact of both ADHD and physical diseases that result from poor sleep.
A Real-Life Star Trek Tricorder
A real-life version of the Star Trek Tricorder, a non-invasive remote medical diagnostic machine, has won a major contest after passing multiple tests. Now it faces FDA scrutiny to go onto the market. Its developer discusses what the device is and how it could be used.