It’s clear that medical innovation can not solely be done by doctors or just by biomedical engineers, physicists, or mathematicians. They must join forces — to clearly define problems, and find the right technology, science and computational intelligence — and then prepare solutions for physicians to evaluate and incorporate into treatment protocols. We understand that medicine in the 21st century will be next to the patient wherever he or she is, and not in the hospital. How do we do this? ApplySci sees several trends:
–The smartphone. We see a multitude of applications trying to utilize every sensor in the phone, to obtain vital sign and usage information, and produce medical conclusions. While it is smart to use what is already available, the question is whether is clinically sufficient. We are beginning to see a trend of wellness apps being given FDA approval. But it is likely that the apps that will survive five years from now will only be those which have been have shown true medical utility based on accurate measurement in clinical trials
–What we have on the phone might not be enough. We need additional sensors. One way is to innovatively extend the limits of existing sensors, with well known, proven science behind them, miniaturizing them, and making them easy to use. Examples include Empatica, which has disrupted seizure detection, created by roz picard, and the apple watch, which has moved from a slick consumer device to a medical grade wearable, particularly when it comes to monitoring the heart.
–Looking at existing hospital technology and saying “how can we do it better?” To miniaturize, reduce costs, and apply digital signal processing and machine learning to create a more useful device to provide better information than large scanning devices.
–Technology is rapidly advancing basic research, and biosensing materials for tracking, diagnostics, and drug delivery. From optogenetics to sweat composition to movement analysis and more.
-In addition to assessment and early detection of disease, there are lifestyle applications that require medical grade monitoring. Sleep is the focus of many, for good reason. Many sleep apps that measure movement with the phone. Because movement is not a sufficient indicator of sleep, this is not enough. Advanced sleep sensing plus advanced sleep engineering, requiring visual or auditory brain stimulation before or during sleep, has a very strong potential to improve quality of life, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases.
These are just a few of many innovation paradigms that will be discussed at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley — the 13th edition of ApplySci’s conference, and the live embodiment of the ApplySci blog. Join us as. we combine the thinking of physicians, physicists, engineers, and mathematicians to take healthcare delivery and drug discovery forward.
The conference is co-sponsored by the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (e-WEAR). Become an affiliate member of e-WEAR and learn more about Stanford activities on wearable electronics. The annual affiliate member meeting will precede the conference.