FutureMed executive director Daniel Kraft, MD kicked off Rock Health‘s second Demo Day last week in San Francisco by summarizing some of the most exciting developments that have the potential to improve medicine. Kraft, who is also the inventor of the MarrowMiner, started by looking “back to the future” at his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Mass General Hospital in Boston. Kraft had visited the hospital a number of months ago, some fifteen years after his residency, and realized that in many ways, not much had changed.
One of the things that has remained the same is that medicine in practice is still siloed into different specialties. “We are not just a bucket of body parts,” he said. “We are much more complex than that and we are in a new age.”
Although there are countless exciting medical innovations, when you look at the field as a whole, it has not seen the tremendous upheaval exemplified in other aspects of our lives. Over the course of the last decade or so, the way we pay for things, how we read and share the news, take and share photos, for instance, have been completely reinvented and reimagined.
Healthcare would do well to follow this path and ride the exponentially accelerating technologies that have made such innovation based on convergence possible in other aspects of our lives, and, to a certain extent, it is doing that. But much more is possible.
Another aspect of this convergence comes from people. “What is exciting about Rock Health in particular is that it has brought in all of these people who may have not initially been in healthcare and brought them into this really exciting era of convergence,” Kraft said.
Kraft then dove into a whirlwind summary of some of the recent developments that could ultimately have a big impact on medicine. Examples of these include:
- Health Datapalooza.
- Mobile-based technologies such as the FDA-approved iBGtar.
- AliveCor’s iPhone ECG, which Kraft said is “getting close to FDA approval.”
- The emergence of AI technology like Watson.
- The emergence of new brain-computer interfaces.
- Low-cost genomics. “Yesterday I got my exome back from 23 and Me,” Kraft said. “For a thousand dollars.”
- The emergence of proteomics.
- Synthetic biology, which will give scientists “the ability to do very powerful molecular biology in [their] own garage.” “If we are going to to address some of these huge challenges we have across the healthcare spectrum,” we need the spirit exemplified by the Maker Fair, Kraft said.
- Advances in sensing technology and the ability to integrate data from them.
- Move to a more towards a preventative paradigm in healthcare.
- Augmented reality exemplified by projects such as Google Glass.
- New ways of using data. Healthcare needs to learn how to do more with less, as Billy Beane showed in Money Ball.
- Engaged e-patients “who are at the top of their data, and can chart it, see it, and share it in new ways.”
- Predictive healthcare analytics.
Kraft, who is a pilot and a flight surgeon with the California Air National Guard, explained that there is much that healthcare can learn from aviation. “One of [those lessons] obviously is checklists.” And checklists can be appified.
Another, as the cockpits have shifted from analog to digital, is the fact that pilots now have improved their ability to see data in context. “If you are a pilot, or a physician, or a patient, you want to see that data in context. You want that heads up display so you can see that information that is relevant to you.”
Kraft concluded his talk citing the need to find inspiration to harness such exciting technologies such as these to solve some of the big problems in healthcare.
Link: Rock Health…