December 6 is day 2 of the World Health Care Congress Middle East. All of the presenters from Children's National Medical Center were on the schedule today. Here are the highlights:
The morning kicked off with a special breakfast session featuring Craig Peters, MD, and Raymond Sze, MD. Dr. Peters, chief, Surgical Innovation, Technology, and Translation, Children’s National; principal investigator, Sheikh Zayed Institute, showed the promise of "Using Tomorrow's Surgical Technology Today," including emerging technologies like robotic surgery that have been created for adults but are well suited for use in children as well.
"You have to understand the technology to truly understand the potential of robotics and where we may go with it," noted Dr. Peters (right). "This technology is in phase one of where we think it could go in terms of minimally invasive surgery applications for children in the future."
Dr. Sze, chief of the Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology and principal investigator at the Sheikh Zayed Institute focused on "Winning the Imaging Arms Race," including a history of where the field of medical imaging began and drawing a sharp contrast with the practices of today.
"Imaging tools are growing so precise that it's not impossible to think that with time, we might able to 'drill' down to the molecular structures of the body with such clarity that we may one day diagnose a disease like cancer based on a scan, with no biopsy needed," said Dr. Sze.
Both presentations emphasized that precision is a key component to pediatric surgical innovation--greater precision in both imaging and surgical procedures will lead to surgeries that are less invasive and cause less pain for children.
The idea of precision also played a role in the presentation of Eric Hoffman, PhD, "Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine." Dr Hoffman, principal investigator in the Sheikh Zayed Institute and the director of the Research Center for Genetic Medicine at Children’s National, discussed how understanding the precise genetic differences between patients can improve health delivery through predicting medical outcomes, preventing the onset of serious diseases by detecting problems when they remain microscopic, and tailoring treatments based on how a specific person will respond.
In a nod to yesterday's theme of innovation, Children's Chief Medical Officer, Peter Holbrook, MD, outlined how Children's National constructed a unique hospital management model that has enabled innovations across all of the hospitals main priorities: care delivery, advocacy, research, and education.
The day ended with a panel discussion moderated by Kurt Newman, MD, senior vice president of the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care and the Sheikh Zayed Institute, that included: Dr. Peters, Dr. Sze, Bernard Algayres, PhD, eHealth General Manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa GE Healthcare IT, and Andrew Conrad, PhD, Scientific Officer and co-founder of LabCorp's National Genetics Institute.
"Great leaps in technology can be used to improve care and outcomes," said Dr. Newman. "But, how does this translate to a new health care model?"
Through the examples of more precise imaging, surgery, health care management, and genetic analysis, each member of the panel reinforced the idea that these advances will lead the way to an entirely new approach to the medical field--"Precision Medicine," which directly contrasts with the traditional methods of medicine.
A busy but productive day here in Abu Dhabi.