Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Sheikh Zayed Institute, including Kurt Newman, MD, senior vice president of both the Institute and the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care at Children's National, and Nabile Safdar, MD, are featured under Success Key #3: Physicians and IT working together. The section focuses on the unique integration of technology and medical expertise built by the Institute.
"You see this approach in industry and business, and you see some aspects of this approach in various academic medical centers, but pulling together so many disciplines into one institution is highly unusual in academic medicine," Dr. Newman said."You'll see more hospitals and institutions adopt our integrated team model and approach toward innovation."
The story also features initiatives under way at other pediatric hospitals around the country, but with some themes quite familiar to the Sheikh Zayed Institute, including minimally invasive surgery, especially the use of robotics in pediatric procedures.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
At the heart of the plan is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), which opened its doors to graduate level students in 2009. The Institute is a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that seeks to provide a world-class research and education environment for future leaders and critical thinkers in science and technology, with a particular focus on advanced energy and sustainability. Masdar’s unique design hopes to inspire its students to reach greater heights by making the campus environment thematic inspiration. It consumes 55 percent less in cooling demand compared to UAE baselines, uses 54 percent less water, and has a 75 percent waste-heat recovery. MIST is a great example of how the research environment, including the architectural design, can act as a catalyst for greater discovery.
These approaches are inspiration for the team at the Sheikh Zayed Institute, who are working to create their own state of the art research space back in Washington, DC. That space, expected to open in 2011, will encourage and initiate team science, collaborative research across the four core program areas of the Institute, and innovative thinking aided by state of the art research tools. And, as additional environmental inspiration, the location on the top floor of the main Children’s National building means that the children who will one day benefit from the research are never far from sight or mind.
(Photo: Dr. Sze, Dr. Peters, and Dennis McClellan of the Children's Hospital Foundation met with Inas Khayal, PhD, Assistant Professor, Engineering Systems and Management, MIT Abu Dhabi faculty.)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The World Health Congress Middle East concluded yesterday. Today, the team has one more hospital visit. While on site at the Congress, our doctors had the unique opportunity to spend time understanding the health care challenges that many countries face. Some themes are similar: sustainability, affordability, overall health care reform, and service delivery. Some themes are unique to individual countries, for example how governments approach the difficult task of ensuring health care reaches every corner of a large, diverse population. The spirit of open dialogue, innovation, and collaboration that was emphasized throughout the conference was clear even in the media coverage of the event. Many Middle Eastern news outlets featured the events and highlighted some of the innovative ideas presented. This included coverage of the team at the Sheikh Zayed Institute who played an active role both in the conference dialogue and in several meetings and visits with local medical professionals and hospital administrators. Here are some stories that highlight the shared goals of the conference and Children’s National. Additionally, Dr. Peters and Dr. Sze were featured in Ittihad, the primary Arabic language newspaper in Abu Dhabi (see image above).
- Paediatric care to be less invasive and pain free , Gulf Today
- Experts from Children's NMC visit Abu Dhabi to share vision on pediatric surgical care, WAM—Emirates News Agency
- Experts from Children's National Medical Center Visit Abu Dhabi to Share Vision for Making Pediatric Surgical Care More Precise, Less Invasive, and Pain Free, Zawya
- Human geneticist speaks at World Health Care Congress, Gulf Today
- Children's National Medical Center to present impact of personalized medicine on public health at World Health Care Congress Middle East, AMEInfo.com
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Today, Dr. Peters spoke from his expertise as a clinical pediatric urologist. He provided information about the current treatment protocol and research findings for treament of urinary tract infections and vesicoureteral reflux. He emphasized that he looks not only at the immediate clinical symptoms, but also at the long term behavior patterns of a child with a urinary tract infection. While medical treatment tackles immediate uncomfortable symptoms, many young children need to be assessed for behavior issues as well (such as "holding it too long") during the clinical visit to prevent recurrences, which can lead to serious long term damage and other complications including renal scarring. Urinary tract infections are ubiquitous, affecting 8% of all girls and 2% of boys worldwide, and it was clear from the dialogue that most of the medical staff in the room had experience handling the disorder at some point during their medical careers.
Additionally, Dr. Hoffman presented data on his groundbreaking research into steroid use for conditions like muscular dystrophy and asthma. His team is working on the development of a glucocorticoid that accomplishes many of the same treatment effects as steroids like prednizone, with fewer side effects. The SKMC doctors were extremely interested in digging deeply into this area and had many technical questions throughout the presentation. This is in part because there is a large population of people with asthma in Abu Dhabi, and the medical community and the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi are developing public health initiatives to address asthma, and to understand and develop better treatments for people who suffer from it.
At the same time we were at SKMC, Dr. Sze and several other team members traveled to Mafraq hospital, where Dr. Sze discussed the applications of medical imaging to identify indicators of long term issues like child abuse in the United States. The team reported that Dr. Sze also had an engaging discussion at Mafraq, and learned much from his hosts.
Since innovation is a key theme of this trip, as an interesting sidenote some of the team briefly stopped in Dubai to visit the Burj Khalifa--the tallest building in the world. Not only is the architecture amazing, but the fact that the entire project was done in just about 5 years, completed in early 2010, is unbelievable.
Monday, December 6, 2010
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.
Ethical Questions About Security Screenings Underscore Radiologists' Responsibilities, Institute Doctor Says
Dr. Safdar went on to say, "Informed consent is not the signature at the bottom of the page which allows you to do research or allows you to do a procedure. Informed consent is a conversation, at a level a patient can understand, about risks and benefits to make sure people are truly aware of what it measn to be involved in that research or to undergo a procedure." Click on the image below for the full article from the RSNA Bulletin.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Today’s session began with welcoming remarks from H.E. Eng. Zaid al Siksek, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, who set the stage for the day's theme by noting that effective innovations in health care benefit not just one city or country, but every society around the world.
The promise of innovation is a key focus of the Sheikh Zayed Institute and Children’s National. Our doctors will carry this theme through their own panels and presentations on Monday, December 6, adding the unique perspective of pediatrics to the ongoing conversations here in