67 blogs about the topic
It has been my privilege to serve as Executive Producer of Lab Tests Online for the last twelve years, overseeing its launch in the United States and expansion into 16 other countries. Of course, to say I “oversaw” the launch does not quite capture the roll-up-the-sleeves intensity of those early days in 2001 when I and then-intern Ellen O’Connell worked sometimes through the night and in collaboration with our Editorial Review Board to build and develop all that became the foundation of Lab Tests Online. In those first two years, the pace was unrelenting as we continued to develop, learn, and re-develop various aspects of the site, steadily improving the content and laying the groundwork for a model that would dramatically alter the scope of our work in a few short years.
From the day I embarked on my journey in the world of medical technology as a Eucomed Communications Intern, I have been impressed by the wide spectrum of technological breakthroughs that surges forward with unprecedented speed. At the same time, I have come to realise that innovation plays a key role in the medtech industry as it helps to improve patients’ lives. And one technology that substantially contributes to driving innovation is three-dimensional printing – also termed ‘additional manufacturing’ – which has already been used for the production of medical devices, bones and, most lately, for a tracheal splint that saved a baby’s life. This printing technique takes on yet another dimension when it comes to producing human tissue and manufacturing human organs. However real this may seem, researchers at Princeton University in New Jersey, the United States, have made the impossible possible. The team has conceived a 3-D ‘bionic’ ear, interwoven with electronics and tissue – and capable of hearing radio frequencies by far surpassing the range of a natural human ear. If only Van Gogh and Beethoven were still alive, one would think.
We are currently facing a crisis in medicine, one that I believe has much larger repercussions than climate change and would endanger each and every one of our lives.
What’s happening is that we are seeing the emergence of these “super” diseases that mutate to be resistant to medical treatments and are difficult to diagnose, one of the main ones being cancer. In the next few years several cancers are predicted to increase their death tolls by 200% because of the lack of new medical innovation. These diseases are mutating at rates that are far faster than our current rate of medical innovation, and in the natural world it is survival of the fittest.
As an activist for maternal health rights in Romania and the Head of the White Cross Foundation for Maternity Healthcare Services, increasing health literacy and access to healthcare for as many Romanian mothers as possible is extremely instrumental to me. It is important that they understand the role and significance of prenatal tests. Though we [my organisation] had already been directing women to Lab Tests Online as part of an effort to help them better understand the role and importance of these tests, we relied on the languages that were available – English, French or German (as most educated women in Romanian are fluent in at least one of these languages), Hungarian (as Romania has quite a large Hungarian-speaking minority), Italian and Spanish (spoken by many low-income Romanian women who engaged in seasonal work in Spain and Italy). Unfortunately, the great service Lab Tests Online sites provide was not available in Romanian, or at least so was the case until the launch of the country’s own site in November 2012 through the noteworthy efforts of the Romanian Association of Medical Products Providers.
I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type I in December 1997 at the age of 19. I had just graduated from high school, moved to the city, started university and was in the middle of applying for Harvard and MIT scholarships. I thought personal computers and Microsoft Windows 95 uncool, had gone through my range of Ataris and C64s, and was proud owner of my first Apple Macintosh Performa – 56k modem and all. And my first, brick-like cellphone was soon to be exchanged for Nokia’s 7622, one of the first mobile phones with WAP technology: Internet on the go.
For the past two years, I have been working with great passion on the subject of mobile health (or mHealth), having set up the global mHealth programme of the GSMA – the organisation that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. I am therefore very pleased that the momentum for mHealth has really been building.
Posted on 23.05.2012
Two weeks ago I attended the eHealth 2012 conference in Copenhagen, along with 2 500 other delegates, policy makers, providers, industry and many others. Coming out of there, my strongest take-away is the amazing opportunities innovation in technology can bring -for patient empowerment, improved health and more efficient provision of care – and the frustratingly slow pace at which it is being adopted in the health care system.
eHealth is booming, hospitals, doctors, clinics, SMEs, big companies, everybody seems to be developing an app nowadays. It is great to see how many people are throwing their weight behind eHealth initiatives in every possible way: remote monitoring of demented senior citizens by means of image interpreting software, decision support systems, …, you name it. […]
When health and technology go hand in hand, safe, efficient and cost-effective solutions are often the result. Realising the immense potential that these two fields possess if they are well attuned to one another, the Commission is focussing a lot of its attention on eHealth and the benefits that these exciting technologies can bring. But not only the Commission is showing increased interest – people are talking about it, thinking about it or working with eHealth technologies.