Innovative Technologies Within the Healthcare-Science Industry

Hello everyone,

There are many pieces of disruptive technologies that are drastically changing the way in which doctors and nurses are conducting their day to day activities. New advancements in medical science are enabling computers to detect diseases, conduct in home screenings, and devise the best treatment options for patients. IBM, Metabolomx, Wize Mirror and a handful of other companies are now developing new innovative ways to improve the healthcare sector. The writing below are some details that I found after my research. Please watch the Youtube video that can be accessed through this hyperlink to gather more information on the innovative technologies.

Watson is a super-computer produced by IBM. A supercomputer takes inputted data, stores and processes it, and then generates a result at a much faster speed than a normal computer. Rather than using serial processing, supercomputers use parallel processing which is faster because it works on many things at once. Serial processing takes data, divides it up into separate pieces, and formulates a result based on what you asked the computer to do. Parallel processing splits problems into pieces and works on many pieces at once which allows for faster processing time. Processors are “the brain of the computer” because it interprets what you want done and relays it back to the computer before sending a response back to you.

Watson understands unstructured data which comprises 85% of the data humans provide to other humans according to IBM. Unstructured data consists of tweets, literature, blogs, articles, Facebook posts, etc. Watson uses natural language, meaning that it not only highlights words similar to how you would type keywords in on a Google search engine, it can read and interpret the words that have been written. It understands context and tries to understand what the user wants. It can search multiple inquiries and responses at once to formulate the best response possible. Watson formulates responses faster than humans ever could and is even finding new solutions to problems. Within the healthcare sector, Watson is now being used to match people for clinical trials which allows patients to take part in experimental theories to move them into practice. Watson takes information taken from patient data and matches the patient with the best clinical trials that currently exist and match the opportunities unique to the individual. Results are listed on the highest to lowest statistical match.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is one of America’s first cancer treatment centers that has paired with IBM Watson. MSK feeds information into Watson and the supercomputer is then able to analyze large quantities of data that would normally be too much for one individual to analyze, and reduces the data down to critical decision points. Watson has access to the most well respected medical reports and cases and is taught by specialists and it learns from the cases that range from patient to patient. Watson is now being further developed to include monitoring patients and gathering more personalized treatments for patients.

Watson is currently being used at:

  • Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago;
  • BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia;
  • City of Hope National Medical Center, Monrovia, California;
  • Cleveland Clinic;
  • Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina;
  • Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska, Omaha;
  • McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis;
  • New York Genome Center;
  • Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, South Dakota;
  • University of Kansas Cancer Center, Kansas City;
  • University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center, Chapel Hill;
  • University of Southern California Center for Applied Molecular Medicine, Los Angeles;
  • University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle; and
  • Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, Connecticut.

Another company called Wize Mirror which was created by researchers across Europe employs breath monitors, 3D scanners, video cameras, and imaging systems to analyze the healthcare of its users. According to The Daily Beast this machine can detect changes in users’ faces, monitor circulation, search for signs of anxiety, and test breath for heart attack inducing chemicals.” It has the potential for revolutionizing early detection, in home diagnostics, and reciprocating the results of tests to doctors. We use mirrors everyday and this mirror has the capability of detecting what may be wrong with you once out of the prototype stages. Researchers released a video on how Wize Mirror operates, just follow the hyperlink to watch.

Metabolomx is a cancer sniffing device through the use of a small desktop PC with a hose attached to it. It can be wheeled from patient to patient and individuals are instructed to breathe through the tube for four minutes. Organic compounds otherwise known as VOC’s are carried in a person’s breath. The machine can detect VOCs that carry tumor signatures and can analyze the type of cancer a person has. After a study of 229 people, lung cancer was detected in the patients more than 80 percent of the time.

Currently Metabolomx is offering a breath exam after a person undergoes a CT scan which can increase life expectancy by approximately 20%, according to the National Cancer Institute. Metabolomx is also being used to detect tuberculosis and colon cancer. The major benefits of the technology include rapid results, fast to administrate, reliable, and is administered at a low cost.

All three of these technologies have a common theme. They each are working towards the goal of administering personalized medicine through the incorporation of machines that can process data and deliver results much faster than humans can. The issue of privacy with each of these technologies and ones similar to Watson, Metabolomx, and Wize Mirror will be discussed in later blog posts and videos. However, an important factor to recognize is how much medicine will be changing through the use of machinery in future.

Link to Youtube Video:

2 thoughts on “Innovative Technologies Within the Healthcare-Science Industry

  1. Aziz Syed

    Innovation Technology within Healthcare

    The Health Care industry has been transformed by disruptive technology to the field that has not been seen in many years. The ability of programming through smart algorithms to easily identify a patient’s symptoms to compose a diagnosis faster than humans have ever been able to in the past. The article posed by Ms. Yeckley focuses on three main technologies that have been innovative to the field that have been constructed through the past couple of years. IBM Watson has been one that the market has started testing at major medical facilities across the country. Another is Wize Mirror which implements breath monitors, 3D scanners, video cameras and imaging systems to create a simple detection system with the goal become a in home diagnosis for consumers. Lastly the article mentions a cancer detection device created by Metabolomx using a small hose that would attach to a desktop and easily detect VOC’s that are found in tumors and would be affordable to the average consumer for quick results. Over the course of this year the market has played significant investor appeal through the implementation of biotechnology corporations that strive to be the next innovators in the industry. Many believe the market is sighting a bubble as corporations have been raising valuations as the demand for new innovation at lower costs to consumers is increasing. In September RegenX, a company creating AAV gene therapy to patients suffering from homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) and Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I (MPS I) raised $138M in their IPO debut based on their large scale of intellectual property and licensing inside the gene therapy field. Their initial offering was launched at $22 a share and ended the day 37% higher above $30. This isn’t the only scenario, 9 other companies have raised over $75M since this September and the market responses have been positive on opening day. Due to interest rate rises and the higher risk of these companies we have seen the volatility, as expected, to drop the share price of many the companies today. Nonetheless, the point remains that the medical device and biotechnology industry has becoming a leader in innovation that will soon bring strong legal implications to the users of these new products. Through the article we saw IBM Watson, a supercomputer compromised of data that analyzes human to human comparables to give accurate diagnosis and proper treatment guidelines to patients. Through this we see a narrow window in the scope of liability for these patients. If a misdiagnosis occurs, who is to blame? The judiciary system already has enough trouble piercing the corporate veil of these high power corporations, imagine now when the liability falls on a machine and not the corporation.

  2. Robby Hazel

    Whether one is excited about all the recent technological advances or not, it is impossible to ignore the benefits such advances will bring to the healthcare sector. In Kathleen Yeckley’s blog, Innovative Technologies within the Healthcare-Science Industry, she outlines a few technological innovations that will greatly improve the abilities currently possessed by health care professionals, along with making their jobs a lot easier. The new programs that Kathleen discussed are Watson, Metabolomx, and Wize Mirror. Each one of these inventions has a lot to offer the health care sector and represents the future direction of the industry. However, she pointed out that there are a few issues regarding the new technologies, mainly the issue of privacy protection. Each one of these inventions have one theme in common: mass data analysis. This requires access to medical records, among other personal information, therefore the possibility of the misuse of such information is very present. However, once one weighs out the pros and cons of this very scenario, it becomes very obvious to me that the benefits brought forth by the new technological advances greatly outweigh the negative possibilities that accompany them.

    The first example of new technology, Watson, is essentially a super computer manufactured by IBM which has the capability to process large amounts of data at record speed in order to the most viable solution to a patients current ailment. It does this by processing the patient’s health records and analyzing them against similar conditions and solutions in another patient’s file. Essentially, Watson has the capability to match a patient’s current condition and find a solution for it based off of what worked for other patients in the past. While this may seem like a great idea, because it is, the fact that Watson has access to all of those files leaves it a very susceptible target for hackers that may want to access someone’s medical record.

    Wize Mirror is a groundbreaking technology that monitors the changes in a person’s face and demeanor, circulation changes, etc. in order to detect signs of heart attack susceptibility, and essentially any other ailment one may have. It is available for use inside one’s home, making it a cheaper and more convenient alternative to visiting a doctor’s office. It still is in the prototype stages of development, but once it is rolled out to the general public it will be ready for convenient use inside the privacy of anyone’s home.

    Lastly, Metabolomx is basically a breathalyzer that has the capability to scan for any type of cancer. All a patient does is breath into the computer-connected machine for a few minutes and Metabolomx will detect any form of cancerous tumor, and even tell you the exact type of cancer that the patient has. This very expedited process takes the waiting and prolonged anxiety that often accompanies such a serious diagnosis, and allows for even earlier detection than ever seen before.

    These new technological advances, and the many others like it, will likely shape the direction that the healthcare industry goes in, and will continue to positively impact the lives of billions.


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