by Audrey Kinsella
From conference host and mobile device advocate Joe Kvedar, MD, to Aubrey de Grey, with a PhD in the Biology of Aging, presenters at the recent Partners Connected Health symposium in Boston strongly suggested caregivers and their employers develop new theories for elder care. Most presenters shifted from messages of survival to talking about thriving in better health.
Dr. Grey, who is the Chief Science Officer at SENS Research Foundation and VP of New Technology Discovery at AgeX Therapeutics, coined the phrase, "From Aging in Place to Thriving in Motion" during his presentation, titled "Rejuvenation Biotechnology: Why Age May Soon Cease to Imply Aging." Dr. Kvedar took a different road to the same conclusion. In "The New Mobile Age," based on his co-authored book of the same title, he discussed the mobile health devices that can be used to help elders to not merely attain longevity but also to remain healthy throughout a longer lifespan.
In another keynote, AMA president David Barbem M.D. focused on the need for physicians to have a place at the table among new healthcare technology development companies. Titled, "The New Era of Digital Medicine: Physician Insights and Leadership Critical to Success," Barbem also stressed patient input as key to gauging effectiveness of new technologies. Absent input from those two groups, he reported, you wind up with the problem prevalent today of physician burnout, with many doctors saying that technology is "not working for them." Many mention "an overwhelming amount of clerical work." "Obviously," Dr. Barbem suggested, "there is a great need to make life easier for physicians as a way to help them help us get healthy.
Lastly, we heard the push for acceptance of artificial intelligence technologies from IBM vice president Kyu Rhee MD, who is CIO of its Watson Health division. He changed this reporter's way of thinking about AI’s use in healthcare when he noted that familiar EMR systems may be key to building a static system of record but they are not necessarily systems from which we can learn. AI systems, on the other hand, continue to "learn" from medical records and improve them. Rhee concluded with an invitation. "Let's work together to transform health with AI."
The Partners Connected Health Symposium will return to Boston next October.
Audrey Kinsella, MA, MS, is HCTR's telemedicine reporter. She has written on home telehealthcare and new technologies for home care service delivery for 20 years, in 6 books, multiple web sites, and more than 150 published articles. Audrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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