In two weeks’ time, Donald Trump may meet Kim Jong-Un in Singapore and the World Cup will begin, though even more importantly the Royal Society of Medicine will be holding its fourth Future of Medicine event in partnership with the Institute of Engineering and Technology: on June 13th to be precise.
The full title is the Future of Medicine: the role of doctors in 2028. The conference will explore just how far the delivery of health and care will be improved by the availability of new technology over the next decade, and what the latest predictions are by those working in the field of how this will change the way medicine will really be practised. It is aimed primarily at senior executives in the health and care world whose decisions today will hasten – or hinder – the arrival of improved technology-enabled care, though it’s relevant to anyone with an interest in knowing what’s happening at the cutting edge of how medical technology is changing medicine.
One area of focus will be training doctors to work in this new world: Professor Joanne Martin will describe how Barts are tackling this, and Dr Jean Nehme will describe how technology can specifically help train surgeons. Dr Harpreet Sood (not yet in the published programme) has kindly offered to talk about how the NHS Digital Academy fits into the picture. The future of the profession will be explored by Dr Will Cavendish, now at Arup, and Professor Pali Hungin.
AI is a key topic running through the event, for which Dr Clare Novorol of Ada.com and Dr Richard Dybowski of Cambridge University will offer contrasting views and Dr Vishal Nangalia will look specifically at its impact on surgery. Promoting innovation is clearly key, and our distinguished ‘regular’, Professor Tony Young will give another of his high-intensity presentations on it. Speakers on specific key relevant topics will include Professor Rachel McKendry on rapid diagnostic tests, Dr James Wollard on changing the way mental health is managed and Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu on the future of nanomedicine. Finally, wrapping it all up, Andy Wilkins, Consultant, and Chris Burghes, CEO, The Royal Free Charity, will describe the new vision they have been developing of the future of person-centred care.
Another great day, in short, and at the usual very low cost RSM rates!
For more information, and to book, click here.
(Disclosure, this editor was involved in putting together this conference.)
The following is a brief summary of a joint Royal Society of Medicine/Institute of Engineering & Technology event held at the Academy of Medical Sciences on 6th May. The event was organised, extremely professionally, by the IET events team. The last ticket was sold half an hour before the start, so it was a genuine sell-out.
The speakers for the event were jointly chosen by this editor and by Prof Bill Nailon, who leads the Radiotherapy Physics, Image Analysis and Cancer Informatics Group at the Department of Oncology Physics, Edinburgh and is also a practising radiological consultant. As more of those invited by Prof Nailon were available than those invited by this editor, the day naturally ended up with a strong focus on advances in the many aspects of radiology as applied to imaging & treating cancer, as a surrogate for the wider examination of how medicine is changing.
The event began with a talk by Prof Ian Kunkler, Consultant Clinical Oncologist & Professor in Clinical Oncology at the Edinburgh Cancer research Centre. Prof Kunkler began by evidencing his statement that radiotherapy delivers a 50% reduction in breast cancer reappearance, compared with surgery alone. He stressed the importance of careful targeting of tumours with radiotherapy – not an easy task, especially if the patient is unavoidably moving (eg breathing) – Cyberknife enables much more precise targeting of tumours as it compensates for such movement. Apparently studies have shown that 55% of cancer patients will require radiotherapy at some point in their illness.
This was followed by Prof Joachim Gross, Chair of Systems Neuroscience, Acting Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging & Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, University of Glasgow, talking about magnetoencephalopathy (MEG), which enables excellent spatial & temporal resolution of the brain. However it currently uses superconducting magnets that in turn require liquid helium, so is very expensive to run. He then showed an atomic magnetometer which apparently is developing fast and will be a much cheaper alternative to MEG – he expects people will be able to wear sensors embedded in a cap soon. He then went on to show truly excellent graphics on decoding brain signals with incredible precision; he explained that the 2025 challenge is understanding how the different brain areas interact. Finally he described neurostimulation, using an alternating magnetic field with the same frequency as brain waves to change behaviour; whence the emergence of neuromodulation as a new therapy. Both exciting, and just a little scary.
Dr David Clifton, Lecturer, Dept of Engineering Science & Computational Informatics Group, University of Oxford, followed with a talk on real-time patient monitoring. He began by explaining the challenges that clinicians face with this wall of patient data coming towards them: only “big data in healthcare” enables all the data generated by patients to be analysed to identify the early warning signals that are so important to minimise death and maximise recovery. (more…)