A special salon evening of medicine, music, mystery (and even ultrasound) …was hosted this week by Dr. Jordan Shlain of Private Medical Services at the historic Sherman House (thanks also to the hosting of Peter Getty) in San Francisco bringing together a diverse crowd to mix, learn and discuss various aspects of medicine and to enjoy some magic. The evening was inspired by Leonard Shlain, Josh Felser of Freestyle Capital and Carleen Hawn of HealthSpottr.com
After mixing, noshing and wine under the spell of a stellar string quartet and some top-notch up close magic by Tom Nixon we gathered in the main hall for 3 presentations with Q&A.
After a brief magic interlude… Thomas Goetz spoke. He is a journalist and executive editor at WIRED, (with a masters in public health as well) and is the author of a terrific new book, The Decision Tree. Thomas discussed some of the implications of our increasing ability to
have access to increasingly available and accurate medical information. These data sources range from our cholesterol and other lab results (often accessible online), to information streams newly being made open and available from the gove
rnment, to collaborative health tools, and self-tracking data from consumer devices such as the Nike Fit (which ran the world’s largest marathon) , the FitBit and other ‘quantified self’ technologies.
Dr. Catherine Mohr who directs robotic surgery research and innovations at Intuitive Surgical shared some of their new work on enhancing the sense and vision for surgeons. The field of minimally invasive robotic surgery is booming. More than 80% of prostatectomies (surgical removal of the prostate in the setting of cancer) are now done with surgical robots (and a surgeon… at least still at this point) as compared to 8% less than a decade ago. The surgeon, who now sees into the patients via a 3-D viewing station, will in the future overlay additional information such as the location of hidden blood vessels, cancerous lymph nodes that light up, or the integration of CT and MRI data to enhance the surgical intervention. Catherine showed research protocols with fluorescence Imaging on the da Vinci Surgical System for Intraoperative Near Infrared Imaging which augments the limits of normal vision.
The salon continued- with chamber music, more wine, conversation and of course… what is a medical salon without a demo of a the Signos hand held ultrasound. I tried it… remarkably small and inexpensive (~$4K)… and while I’m not a radiologist, got the hang of using in in a few minutes and could find the gall-bladder, kidneys etc of the patient ultrasound model.
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