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Advanced Medical Technologies

Panel Chair:

Hagen Malberg
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

Biomedical engineering is one of the innovation fields in the western world. Recently, several life threatening diseases have been overcome by biomedical technologies. In the next years new challenges will need to be met, such as demographic changes and the increase of medical costs. This Panel will investigate how the research of today will have an impact on tomorrow’s diagnostics and treatments by looking at innovative concepts and new developments.


Date Time Location
Friday, 25 May 2012 10:30 – 12:30 Congress Centre


Thomas Schmitz-Rode
Chairman Applied Medical Engineering, RWTH Aachen, Germany

Title: Technologies for Personalized Medicine and Smart Health Care Networks
Abstract: Personalized medicine constitutes an important paradigm shift for an improved health care system, requiring specific technologies for its implementation. Imaging modalities have to be further developed and adapted to enable combined diagnostics and targeted therapy (theranostics). Advanced sequencing technologies will be available to decipher the individual genetic profile faster, cheaper and more reliably. Microfluidics, (bio-)sensor research and lab-on-chip technologies will allow decentralized analytics of organ fluids and specimen samples (point-of-care diagnostics). Additionally, individualized sensitivity tests of drugs before administration can be conducted (e.g. anticancer drugs).
Due to microsystems and nanotechnology and highest integration of components, a new generation of theranostic implants will be created with improved interface to their biological environment and optimized interaction with the diseased organ system. These theranostic implants will be delivered by image-guided minimal invasive implantation techniques.
Based on advanced information and telecommunication technologies, smart health care networks will be established for an optimized and individualized treatment of acute and chronic diseases.
Smart hospital concepts include efficient hospital information systems, capable of managing all patient-specific data. Automated extraction of disease-specific information will assist physicians in decision-making within the therapeutic algorithms. Interoperability of devices and systems (e.g. for instrumentation, imaging, navigation and patient monitoring in the operating room) is another feature of the smart hospital. Both measures will contribute to an optimized management of workflow.
Current projects in ambient assisted living aim at a number of features which will impact the smart home of the future. Interactive walls allow telecommunication with a physician, visible on a large screen. Interactive floors with carpet sensors detect falls. Home-based telemonitoring of critical parameters of chronic diseases, e.g. heart insufficiency or hypertension, will be controlled and communicated by tablet PC, similar to domestic lighting or alarm systems.
Smart homes and smart hospitals are part of the health care infrastructure of the smart city: the healthcare network is sector-spanning, connecting hospital clinics, private practices and home care. Current examples under development are networks for emergencies in myocardial infarction or stroke (cardio net, stroke net). Although most of the supporting technologies are readily available, the bottlenecks of implementation are the cooperation of multiple stakeholders, standardization and reimbursement issues.


Stefan Launer
Vice President Advanced Concepts and Technologies, Phonak AG, Switzerland

Title: Smart Medical Devices: the connected hearing implant
Abstract: Recent developments in micro- and nanotechnology are paving the way for completely new approaches to smart medical devices for health monitoring, sensors and actuators. Combined with the current progress in the field of ultra-low power wireless connectivity this will allow to develop new “smart medical devices” for a broad range of health care applications. The integration of diagnostic and monitoring functionality within a medical device, eg a neurostimulator, a drug delivery system or a pace maker, combined with a control function and remote accessibility provided by a mobile device, eg a smart phone or a tablet, will strongly change the current approach to health care provision in many respects. Based on examples from hearing health care provision I will discuss the potentials, hurdles and limitations of smart integrated medical devices and systems.


Karsten Hiltawsky
Head of Advanced Engineering Solutions, Draeger Medical GmbH, Germany

Title: Anesthesia and Critical Care Ventilation - The Tools of 2020
Abstract: Healthcare costs are rising and have reached levels that are impacting the global competitiveness of national economies - without delivering concomitantly rising levels of output, e.g., in terms of quality or outcome. We must find ways of using our increasingly limited healthcare resources much more efficiently. Technology is one of the key levers for achieving this and for transforming healthcare.
Healthcare technology's innovation cycles are far slower than those of, say, consumer and mass market technologies. These technologies are powerful drivers and enablers for medical product innovation. Looking at those fast-moving technologies we can glimpse the future of medical technologies. Anesthesia and critical care, at the core of the value delivery chain in hospitals, experience the same strong drivers that drive the transformation of healthcare. Cognizant of the fact that no future will ever happen as predicted, we nonetheless take the leap and attempt to highlight some possible futures of how technology will transform anesthesia and critical care.
We finally have the technology at performance, reliability, and cost levels that will enable us to implement all those visionary dreams and concepts for the acute point of care that were academically explored in the 1980s and 1990s, when computers and networks nascently became available for broad use. Perhaps the most transformative elements of future technologies will be the augmentation of the clinical care provider through natural device interaction and information delivery, ubiquitous and mobile access to information and expertise, and automation of automatable tasks. We are on the brink of bringing modern mass market mobile and information technologies to the acute point of care. Important challenges include reliability, usability, and addressing true user needs. It is a very exciting time to be working in this field today.


Richard Sieben
Worldwide Channel Manager, Intel-GE Care Innovations, USA

Title: Inventing the personal health technology marketplace - Improving care, lowering costs and the impact of an aging world population
Abstract: Intel-GE Care Innovations™ is a unique joint venture between Intel Corporation and GE which combined forces—GE’s expertise in healthcare and Intel’s expertise in technology— to change the way care and solutions are delivered.
For three larger categories Care Innovations™ creates technology-based solutions that give people confidence to live independently:
(1) Senior Living (wireless monitoring technologies are used to improve the continuum of care)
(2) Health care/disease management (remote patient monitoring and virtual care coordination is used to prevent crisis points and shift care away from hospitals and into homes and communities) and
(3) Assistive technologies (true text-to-speech technology. addresses those with learning disabilities, vision impairment and those facing literacy challenges and gives them access to the printed word)
We are making incredible progress in helping people live more independently, but the potential of using technology to help identify, prevent, and quickly respond to major health and life events is growing every day, while development languishes. Opportunities that combine sensing technology with computing power may be able to help detect pending events such as stroke or heart attack. But how could capabilities in facial feature recognition, voice pattern analysis, coupled with motion, and audio analysis integrated into home healthcare monitoring devices assist remote clinicians detect pending events with patients that live alone? Can cognitive testing and agility testing administered remotely help to predict the likelihood of a fall? Can audio monitoring detect a fall requiring assistance?
This talk shares the views of Intel-GE Care Innovations™ on future health-care applications by showing in-house solutions which address the needs of an aging population and societal requirement to contain the accelerating costs while not limiting the care that can be provided.


Olaf Such
Global Head of Clinical Science, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems, Philips Healthcare, Netherlands

Title: Global Healthcare Trends 2020 – on the Pathway towards Distributed Health
Abstract: Global Demographics show alarming indicators that will affect the capability to provide healthcare within the next generation. The current delivery model that has emerged in mature geographies will not be sustainable in this context. The economic feedback loops that are in place in the current system have lead to an optimization towards an inefficient and ineffective system. A paradigm that has the promise to break up this dilemma is “Distributed Healthcare”. By taking a patient centric view on personal care needs, and designing a care model around these needs and the associated data flow - that is derived from the medical decision making following this care cycle - the current centralized model of care delivery can be made more effective, efficient, and patient friendly. This innovation trajectory will be fueled by technology advancements from consumer electronics and IT, clinical evidence creation, and socioeconomic modeling. It is a complex system redesign and – as all innovations in Healthcare – will take 15 to 20 years to realize. The talk will reflect on underlying reasons, current developments that show promise, technology vectors that this paradigm change will build on, and make an attempt at predicting which directions can be expected in the ten to twenty year timeframe.


Richard Funk
Chair of Anatomy, Medical Theoretical Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

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