Exponential Medicine Summit: What we learned

Last week, Open Web Technology had the chance to attend the Singularity University Exponential Medicine Summit. For one week, we discussed new technologies, healthcare problems, global health, and how they all form an exponential ecosystem. We learned a lot, and here’s the most important.

Exponential Medicine Number Presentation

Situation of healthcare in 2018
Before introducing the major breakthroughs we discovered, it is important to understand what healthcare is today. There are three main opportunities in the health world.

1. Healthcare is the most expensive it has ever been, because of the aging population, the rise of mental diseases and the increase in research costs. If we focused on preventing instead of just treating, we could lower costs by almost 30%.
Cost of health exponential graph

2. Opinions triumph on data when it comes to medicine. If every diagnosis was based on systematic trials and studies, almost 50% of the recommendations  made  in  guidelines  could be different as they usually are based on opinions or case studies.
3. Medical errors are the third most common causes of death. With new technologies, 25% of necessary interventions could avoid being missed.
However, health workers everywhere are trying to improve their domain, and ease those three pains.

What’s coming in 2019?

Revolutions in the world of medicine now happen almost every day, from amazing discoveries to never before seen solutions emerging more frequently. During the week we spent in San Diego, we discussed many trends and ground-breaking solutions. Here are the ones we were most impressed by.

From doctor-first to patient-first
Medicine is not made by doctors anymore. Today, patients know what they want, and drive initiatives for cures and treatments themselves. For example, crowd-sourcing leads to the most efficient medical trials. But today, 48% of research sites fail to recruit enough people when 87% of patients would like to participate in them. On those 87%, less than 3 will participate, according to Noah Craft.
Presenting patient first now
By creating a platform to bridge the gap between patients and research sites, science 37 offers a solution to this issue.

Individualized treatments
Nowadays, thousands of treatments exist, all made to heal an averaged population. But hardly anyone fits 100% in the “average” category, and this can lead to discrepancies between a treatment’s expected effect and its actual effect on one individual, sometimes even worsening the condition. Take diabetes for example. It used to be Type I or Type II, but today we can identify multiple sub-titles, as explained by Daniel Kraft.
Individualised diabetes treatments
This allows diabetes patients to be treated better, with finer granularity in the treatments. Today, we are slowly shifting from a mass product of standard medicines to a custom made medicine, where patients are scanned to create tailor made treatments based on their condition, body, habits, etc.

Living longer is a wish many of us have, but only if it means living in perfect condition. Many disease and problems come with ageing, like Alzheimer's for example.
Vaccine cures alzheimers
However, a team of researchers at United Neurosciences are developing a vaccine to the disease, which could prevent every person carrying the gene to contract the disease, presented Mei Mei Hu.

Many other trends were discussed, such as de-aging solutions, biopharmaceuticals medicine or new wearables. At OpenWT, we will keep those trends in mind to help our clients in health go digital.

Learn more about our health cases:

When hospitals Go Digital

Enabling smart drug administration with IoT

Serving all organ donors and receivers in Switzerland