The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Conventional techniques of diagnosis and therapy are no longer enough to address patients’ various and complicated demands. To tackle this issue, healthcare professionals are implementing cutting-edge technology and practices that are altering the industry, with the objective of delivering better healthcare. Intelligent medicine, brain computing, medicine in the metaverse and psychedelics are examples of recent technologies and practices that hold enormous potential to enhance healthcare outcomes and boost efficiency.
On Tuesday, May 16, we invite you to join our virtual Health Policy Symposium to hear from top Baylor College of Medicine experts and keynote speaker, best-selling author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, about what the future will look like for medicine. Panelists will explore:
This is a fundamental differentiator that is transforming illness detection and therapy. Intelligent medicine can identify patterns and predict patient outcomes with high accuracy by employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-learning algorithms to examine massive volumes of patient data. By minimizing unnecessary treatments and hospitalizations, this method can maximize patient outcomes while lowering healthcare expenditures. Our panelists will explore how AI is currently used in healthcare, its impact on patient outcomes, regulation and steps providers should take to ensure its use is ethical and equitable, and how else AI could transform medicine, research and teaching. ChatGBT will be a key focus of this discussion.
Another intriguing and rapidly developing area is brain computing. By directly connecting the human brain to external equipment, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are redefining healthcare. BCIs have the capacity to restore lost motor function, boost cognitive performance, and improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. BCIs are also being investigated for their potential application in mental health, with researchers looking into how they may be used to treat depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Our panelists will discuss current clinical uses, how it may be used with other technologies (virtual reality, robotics) and ethical concerns.
Medicine in the Metaverse
This is a new area that has gained increasing popularity in recent years, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the demand to restrict in-person encounters, the adoption and spread of virtual consultations and remote monitoring has grown in popularity. This technique broadens the reach of healthcare delivery with the possibility of caring for patients independent of their physical location, thereby improving access to treatment for underserved populations and eliminating healthcare inequities. Healthcare experts are also investigating the potential of immersive technology (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality, games and interactive apps) for medical training and teaching, which presents fascinating research opportunities. Our panelists will define the metaverse, describe how they are incorporating it into their work, discuss benefits, challenges and brainstorm ways to incorporate the metaverse into research and teaching in the short and long-term.
The therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds such as psilocybin, LSD and DMT has received widespread attention. Their potential profound impact on consciousness may enable scientists to discover the underlying causes of mental health illnesses and apply novel treatment approaches. Nonetheless, it is critical to address the ethical issues and potential risks involved with these therapies. This panel will discuss some of the most promising studies/applications of psychedelic therapy, the policy implications, the ethical considerations that need to be taken into account and how the medicalization of psychedelics might impact the broader field of mental health treatment.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a renowned data scientist, author and keynote speaker, will provide attendees with takeaways from his research, including how this knowledge can change healthcare professionals’ behaviors and how we relate to patients. He will also discuss the differences, challenges and opportunities of using public domain data sets in research and delve into the ethical implications of big data for social science research. Finally, he will share what other areas of big data he hopes to explore, providing a glimpse into the future of this emerging field. Attendees can look forward to a thought-provoking presentation and moderated discussion that will leave them with a better understanding of the role of data in healthcare policy and practice.
By Jacquelyn Welsh, student helper, Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine