Tuesday, April 28, 2015

SxSW 2015: Notes Volume 2

There was a Medical Technology track this year at SxSW Interactive. Many interesting topics were discussed and there was a fun MedTech expo with great swag.
Steve and I attended the following talk together.

SxSWi: Making Medicine Democratic

Speaker: Eric Topol, Director of Scripps Institute

The democratization of medicine is happening very quickly now.

  • Patients are driving health care.
  • Ubiquitous data is available across the globe.
  • Moore's law is coming to medicine: technology is cheaper, faster, smaller

Issues that this democratization will help:

  • Fourth leading cause of death in US: Medication errors
  • Serious errors in diagnoses
  • Instead of mass screening, now we can have individual precision.
He mentioned that the Precision Medicine Initiative introduced by President Obama is indicative of the shift in looking at health care.

Some current and near-future technology

  • Google medical map of each person: demographic, anatomic, genomes -- from pre-conception to post-death
  • Fetal sequencing: Also get info on mother, ex: cancer
  • ECG through a smart phone.
  • Apple Watch heart rate and glucose-every-minute app (and much more coming soon)
  • Blood pressure watch
  • Monitors to sense and track seizures, oxygen saturation, ECG
  • Band aid to detect sleep apnea, respiratory rate
  • Brain waves headband
  • View skin lesions through a phone with microscope
  • Environmental trackers, such as radiation
  • Soon: Do all your blood tests through a smart phone
  • Soon: Add an otoscope to a phone and perform ENT exams
  • Soon: Perform x-Rays on a phone and send digital file to the radiologist

Current missions

  • In Rwanda, diagnose HIV and syphilis in minutes for pennies.
  • Diagnose Ebola remotely
  • Health Care: Africa's Next Mobile Revolution
  • Researching how to help those with mental health issues. People are more comfortable interacting with an avatar than a person.

What consumers need to do

  • Ask how much it's going to cost! There are apps that consolidate costs by area.
  • Weigh in on privacy issues. Who should have access to your DNA or medical history?
  • Participate in remote large group studies. Enroll in ResearchKit. "Now everybody can do their part to help medical research."

What providers need to do

  • Understand that on-demand medicine is here. 1 in 6 visits were virtual last year.
  • Build healthier hospitals! 
Read the Scientific American issue on Living in the Connected World.

Friday, April 03, 2015

SXSW 2015: First round

I attended SXSW Interactive to gather knowledge and ideas for ASI. I've been posting my notes about those sessions to my blog at work, but I have many photos and comments about the surrounding hoopla that I will share here.

Volume 1:
The weather started out beautifully, though rain drenched a good bit of the next weekend.

 The lines for check-in were long, of course.

 But volunteers in costume were fun for those of us who could stand to look up from our phones.

I got my Chi'Lantro fix in early, because the lines were only destined to grow longer and longer.

On the first morning, I knew I'd come to the right session when I saw this at the entrance:

At the end of the session, the emergency lights started flashing and some sort of warnings were announced in Italian. By the time we figured out it was a fire alarm and we needed to evacuate, there was no way to pry the techies from the candy bar. They weren't leaving until those bags were full!