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Headlines from the Future
Written by Kathryn Myronuk
Toothbrush Upgrade: More Tests, Faster Results
Replacement Module Expands Options for Monitoring Chronic Conditions
As capabilities move from equipment only found in hospitals and large laboratories to that found in smaller labs (or portable equipment), more test devices will have a size and price range that makes them practical for home use.
Nicholas Strand et al. Chemically Polymerized Polypyrrole for On-Chip Concentration of Volatile Breath Metabolites. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical Volume 143, Issue 2 (January 7, 2010): 516-523. doi:10.1016/j.snb.2009.09.052.
Karine Faure. Liquid chromatography on chip. Electrophoresis Special Issue: Instrumentation for CE and Microchip-CE. 31:15 (August 2010): 2499–2511. DOI: 10.1002/elps.201000051.
Buszewski et al. Human exhaled air analytics: biomarkers of diseases. Biomedical Chromatography Volume 21, Issue 6 (June 2007), pages 553–566.
Kavita A. Patel et al. Disease Markers In The Exhaled Breath Condensate Of Infants And Preschoolers. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 181:A3288.
Virtual Concierge Medical Office
Patients Create International Interdisciplinary Teams, Not Always with Doctors’ Knowledge
What happens at the intersection of interdisciplinary collaboration, medical tourism and telemedicine, given increased bandwidth and real-time translation?
Valorie A. Crooks. What is known about the patient’s experience of medical tourism? A scoping review. BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:266doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-266.
Bernd Blobel et al. What is missing in health informatics standardization for pHealth? Studies in Health Technology and Informatics Volume 156, 2010 Medical and Care Compunetics 6. DOI: 10.3233/978-1-60750-565-5-3
Konstantin Petoukhov. Measuring the Effectiveness of Interdisciplinary Health Care Teams in a Primary Care Setting: A Review of Published Evidence. Manitoba Health Physician Integrated Network.
Helen Aikman and Phillip Coppin. Digital Homecare Experiences: Remote Patient Monitoring. Handbook of Digital Homecare; Series in Biomedical Engineering, 2009, 299-327, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-01387-4_15.
“Precrime” Disease Detectives Flag Viruses Likely to Become Dangerous
Small but Significant Changes Exist Years Before Outbreaks
The combination of deep sampling (over regions, species, and time), fast sequencing and more tools allows scientists to move from early detection of viruses that have already infected humans to ever-earlier detection of viruses which have the potential to become dangerous to humans.
Global Viral Forecasting Initiative.
USAID: Emerging Pandemic Threats Program, PREDICT Project.
World Health Organization. WHO Pandemic Phase Descriptions and Main Actions by Phase.
Brian Walsh. A New Project to Track Animal Diseases Before They Infect Humans. Time Magazine February 8, 2011.
New Standard for Depression Treatments: Medicines Effective within Hours or Days
Older delayed-onset medications took multiple weeks, multiple tries
Initial research in fast acting treatments for depression, and on detecting and predicting positive clinical outcomes from medications, changes patients’ expectations.
Marks, Pae, and Ashwin A. Patkar. Triple Reuptake Inhibitors: The Next Generation of Antidepressants. Current Neuropharmacology 2008 December; 6(4): 338–343.
Cryan and O’Leary. A Glutamate Pathway to Faster-Acting Antidepressants? Science 329:5994 (August 20, 2010) 913-914.
David Feifel. Is Ketamine a Game Changer for Severe Depression? Medscape News Today, January 26, 2011.
Rodrigo Machado-Vieira et al. Ketamine and the next generation of antidepressants with a rapid onset of action. Pharmacology & Therapeutics 123: 2 (August 2009) Pages 143-150.
Chen et al. Brain Imaging Correlates of Depressive Symptom Severity and Predictors of Symptom Improvement After Antidepressant Treatment. Biological Psychiatry 62:5 pages 407-414 (September 2007).
Stanford University Clinical Trial: Functional MRI Before and After Treatment for Depression.
People waiting for the right time to reveal old secrets are told that this time has nearly expired. Genetic sharing on social networks shows how close friends are distant relatives: unexpected connections, gaps may bring awkward questions.
Frank Stajano et al. Forensic genomics: kin privacy, driftnets and other open questions. WPES 2008 – ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society. Available from Forensic Genomics.
Brad Templeton. The privacy risks of genetic genealogy (23andMe part 2). Brad Ideas Blog, March 8, 2010. Available from Brad Ideas.
Charmaine D. Royal et al. Inferring Genetic Ancestry: Opportunities, Challenges, and Implications. The American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 86, Issue 5, 661-673, 14 May 2010. Available from Science Direct.
Trevor Woodage. Relative Futility: Limits to Genetic Privacy Protection Because of the Inability to Prevent Disclosure of Genetic Information by Relatives. Minnesota Law Review, December 2010, Volume 95, No. 2. Available from Trevor Woodage.
Mark Anderson. Genome as Commodity: In a few years, millions will have purchased their own genome. IEEE Spectrum, February 2010. Available from IEEE Spectrum.
Peter Border. Genomics: Sequence sharing. Nature 470, 169–170 (10 February 2011). Available from Genomics.
C. Heeney et al. Assessing the Privacy Risks of Data Sharing in Genomics. Public Health Genomics Vol. 14, No. 1, 2011. Available from Public Health Genomics.
Small Team of Patients Discovers New Disease
Shared symptoms and translation software brought them together: shared data pointed to cause
Health 2.0: the increasingly seamless integration of web/mobile/telemetry to affect monitoring and feedback loops for prevention and treatment. Direct-to-consumer access and control of their own health information and feedback and DIY diagnostics has significant implications for how individuals interact with their physicians and healthcare team, with changes in how we obtain and share healthcare data and information and how we track our own bodies and therapies. Compliance, behavioral health, privacy and social networking will further alter the dynamics of relationships and have impact on wellness and disease intervention.
Sarah Arnquist. Research Trove: Patients’ Online Data. New York Times, August 25, 2009. Available from New York Times.
Raoul Frijters et al. Literature Mining for the Discovery of Hidden Connections between Drugs, Genes and Diseases. PLoS Computational Biology September 2010. Available from PLoS Computational Biology.
Gilles J. Frydman. Patient-Driven Research: Rich Opportunities and Real Risks. Journal of Participatory Medicine December 18, 2009. Available from the Journal of New England Medicine.
Michael Nurok et al. The International LAM Registry: a component of an innovative web-based clinician, researcher, and patient-driven rare disease research platform. Lymphatic Research and Biology. March 2010, Vol. 8, No. 1: 81-87.
J.M. Raddick.Galaxy Zoo: Exploring the Motivations of Citizen Science Volunteers. Astronomy Education Review, 9:1 (2010). Available from Astronomy Education Review:
J.F. Pearson, C. A. Brownstein and J. S. Brownstein. Potential for Electronic Health Records and Online Social Networking to Redefine Medical Research. Clinical Chemistry 57: 196-204, 2011.
Patients Fund Research Program to Engineer Medicine
Why wait for someone else to take an interest?” asked group
Crowdsourcing and citizen science; cloud computing and desktop supercomputers; computational drug discovery and molecular engineering: the shape of research will change at every stage, from original discoveries through clinical trials.
Bernard Munos. Can Open-Source Drug R&D Repower Pharmaceutical Innovation? Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 5, 723-729 (September 2006); doi:10.1038/nrd2131. Available from Nature.
Melanie Swan. Emerging Patient-Driven Health Care Models: An Examination of Health Social Networks, Consumer Personalized Medicine and Quantified Self-Tracking. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2009, 6(2), 492-525. Available from International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Andrew Hessel. Reinventing the Pharmaceutical Industry, without the Industry. The Futurist December 2009-January 2010. Available from The Futurist.
Seth W. Glickman et al. Ethical and Scientific Implications of the Globalization of Clinical Research. NEJM 360:8 (February 18, 2009).
Sharon F. Terry and Patrick F. Terry. Power to the People: Participant Ownership of Clinical Trial Data. Science 3:69 (9 February 2011). Available from Science.
Daily Test Compares Gene Expression Before, After Exercise
The $100 genome and related technologies will increase understanding and use of the base genomic code and the ability to inexpensively measure gene expression in normal and diseased tissues.
Munzner et al. MulteeSum: A Tool for Comparative Temporal Gene Expression and Spatial Data. IEEE Trans. Visualization and Computer Graphics 16(6):908-917 (Proc. InfoVis 2010), 2010. Available from Munzner et al.
Donna L Mendrick. Transcriptional profiling to identify biomarkers of disease and drug response. Pharmacogenomics, February 2011, Vol. 12, No. 2, Pages 235-249 , DOI 10.2217/pgs.10.184. Available from Future Medicine.
Rosenberg S. et al. Multicenter Validation of the Diagnostic Accuracy of a Blood-Based Gene Expression Test for Assessing Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease in Nondiabetic Patients. Annals of Internal Medicine October 5, 2010 vol. 153 no. 7 425-434. Available from Annals of Internal Medicine.
Levenson, Victor. DNA methylation as a universal biomarker. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, Volume 10, Number 4, May 2010 , pp. 481-488(8). Available from ingentaconnect.
Major Medical Discovery Comes from AI Researcher
AIs integrate exponentially increasing knowledge across diverse fields in interdisciplinary ways, leading to new approaches for old problems and fundamental new discoveries at the edges of science.
Larry Greenemeier. Meet Adam and Eve: AI Lab-Bots That Can Take On Reams of Data:Scientists build autonomous labs that use computers, robotics and lab equipment to experiment and analyze results. Scientific American, April 2, 2009. Available from Scientific American.
Alberto Riva et al. An automated reasoning framework for translational research. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 43:3, June 2010, Pages 419-427.
Ross D. King et al. Inductive Queries for a Drug Designing Robot Scientist. Inductive Databases and Constraint-Based Data Mining (Džeroski, Goethals and Panov, editors) 2010, Part 4, 425-451, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-7738-0_18. Available from SpringerLink.
Passengers Exposed to Virus on Plane: Vaccine Waiting at Arrival Gate
Nurse’s Cell Phone Confirms Bioinformatics, data mining, nanotechnology and other devices for biosurveillance and point of care diagnostics together bring about rapid response, design and production of anti-virals and vaccines.
Globalizing Public Health and Bio-Surveillance (Panel, 2010) F. Doro et al. 2009.
Surfome Analysis as a Fast Track to Vaccine Discovery. July 1, 2009 Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, 8, 1728-1737. Available from Molecular & Cellular Proteomics.
Michele Kutzler and David B. Weiner. DNA vaccines: ready for prime time? Nature Reviews Genetics 9, 776-788 (October 2008) | doi:10.1038/nrg2432
Mike May 2009. Engineering a New Business. Nature Biotechnology 27, 1112 – 1120 (2009) doi:10.1038/nbt1209-1112. Available from Nature America, Inc.
Robert Carlson 2009. The changing economics of DNA synthesis. Nature Biotechnology 27, 1091 – 1094 (2009) doi:10.1038/nbt1209-1091.
Donor Organ Transplants Reach Record Lows: Printed Ones Grown to Order
Organ printing and the ability to build organs from scratch ex-vivo (including vasculature) are a major aspect of regenerative medicine, used to address the huge unmet need for organ transplantation.
Ringeisen, Spargo and Wu, Eds. Cell and Organ Printing. Book, 2010 e00p. ISBN: 978-90-481-9144-4.
Kristine Rustad et al. 2010. Strategies for organ level tissue engineering. Organogenesis. 2010 Jul–Sep; 6(3): 151–157. Available from: Organogenesis.
“Locked In” Stroke Victim Controls Exoskeleton, Car, House with Implant
Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI): Fully implanted BCI to control devices such as computers and wheelchairs just by thinking, and deep brain stimulation to alter the course of Parkinson’s, depression and other diseases.
Jonathan R. Wolpaw 2010. Brain–Computer Interface Research Comes of Age: Traditional Assumptions Meet Emerging Realities. Journal of Motor Behavior Volume 42, Number 6 / November-December 2010.
Daniel P. Ferris 2009. The exoskeletons are here. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation 2009 June 9;6:17. See also: Daniel Ferris, Editor. Thematic Series: Robotic Lower Limb Exoskeletons. Available from the Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation.
Ferris, Sawicki and Daley 2007. A Physiologist’s Perspective on Robotic Exoskeletons for Human Locomotion. International Journal of Humanoid Robotics 2007 September; 4(3): 507–528. Available from the NIH and the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics.
USF News 2009. Researchers Develop “Brain-Controlled” Wheelchair Robotic Arm, January 28, 2009. Available from the University of Southern Florida.
One Nurse, One Cellphone, 800 Passengers Screened for Virus Before Landing
After Virus Detected, Lab-on-a-Chip Used to Find Patient Zero
Lab-on-a-chip technologies allow for rapid, point of care disease detection and treatments. Examples: sepsis detection (short term) and treatment (medium term), noninvasive fetal cell sampling to replace amniocentesis (medium term), nanofiltration replacement for dialysis (long term).
Grifantini, K. Lab-on-a-Chip Made of Paper: Paper-based microfluidic devices could yield cheap, disposable diagnostic tests. Technology Review. May 14, 2008. Available from: http://www.technologyreview.com/biotech/20771/.
Farmer, Melanie A. Columbia engineer designs handheld device used to diagnose illness. PhysOrg.com. October 15, 2010. Available from PhysOrg.
Engineering team invents lab-on-a-chip for fast, inexpensive blood tests: Next step will turn blood testing into a smartphone application. EurekAlert! January 11, 2011. Available from EurekaAlert!
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First Robotic Surgery on Everest: Fallen Climber Required Immediate Attention
Helicopter Delivers Autonomous Robotic Surgeon
Increasingly autonomous, minimally invasive robotic assisted surgery, and integrated telemedicine will enable remote medical supervision, and superior clinical outcomes for many procedures where the hands of the surgeon will be supplanted of those of a robot (initially human controlled, but increasingly with more and more autonomy).
Cleveland Clinic Unveils Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2011. Available from Cleveland Clinic.
“Telehealth monitoring for heart failure patients”. Nguan, C et al. Pre-clinical remote telesurgery trial of a da Vinci telesurgery prototype. The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery. 4: 304–309. doi: 10.1002/rcs.210
Wang, Brian. Pill-size to bacteria sized robots for surgery and in-body therapies. Next Big Future, October 15 2010.
Cancer Treatments Made to Order
With exponentially cheaper genomics (and the ability to fully sequence a tumor and compare to the individuals normal genome), with point of care proteomics, each patients cancer can be fully characterized at the molecular level, and a cocktail of most effective, cancer specific drugs prescribed. Cancer stem cells are targets for specific, less toxic and curative chemotherapies. A paradigm shift in treatment of malignancies,
integrated with advances in detection, imaging, biomarker measures,
and disease tracking leads to increasing prevention and cure rates.
Massachusetts General Hospital. Improved device provides more rapid, comprehensive analysis of circulating tumor cells. March 31, 2010. Available from MGH.
Caltech Media Relations. Caltech-led Team Provides Proof in Humans of RNA Interference Using Targeted Nanoparticles: Researchers unveil scientific results from siRNA Phase I clinical trial in cancer patients. March 21, 2010. Available from the California Institute of Technology.
Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic Unveils Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2011. November 3, 2010. Available from Cleveland Clinic
Singularity Hub. A Smartphone-Enabled Device that Detects Cancer in Under an Hour. March 10, 2011. Available on Singularity Hub.
National Cancer Institute. First therapeutic cancer vaccine approved by the FDA. Carmen Phillips. March 4, 2010. Available on National Cancer Institute