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Transforming healthcare through engineering and technology

On September 5, 2018 Professor Sebastien Ourselin, Head of the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at King's College London spoke at the 2018 FORUM Annual Lecture, ‘Transforming healthcare through engineering and technology’.

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Held by the Academy of Medical Sciences in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the 2018 Lecture brought together world leaders in the medical technologies and engineering fields to discuss how the latest technological advances will impact the clinical pathway, from early research and development through to trials and delivery, and what practical and ethical considerations should be in place. 

The panel was chaired by Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Provost and Senior Vice-President of Health at King College London, and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners.

Omar Ishrak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Medtronic, and alumnus of King’s College London, delivered the captivating keynote speech on how healthcare technology evolves through innovation, invention, and disruption. “There’s no line in the sand in 2018 that says it’s going to stop,” he said. Further, Ishrak also argued that the economic value of new developments must be considered during research to ensure technology can be fully realised.

Prof Ourselin’s talk, titled “From Academic Research to Clinical Impact in Surgical and Interventional Engineering”explored how the field of surgery is being reshaped through advances in sensors, robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence. “Patient-specific information can be gathered and analysed in real-time, from years before the intervention, during the surgery, and over the rehabilitation and long-term follow-up, making patient treatment safer and more effective,” he said. However, he explained, in order to evolve from present surgical methods to AI-powered technology, the gap between clinical research and industry implementation (known as the ‘translational gap’) needs to be bridged. “Investment in platform development, agile quality management, and system integration plays an essential role in bringing the next generation of surgical innovation to the clinic.”

The distinguished panel also included Professor Alison Noble OBE FRS FREng, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci, Chair in Electrical Engineering from University of Oxford, and Professor Chris Taylor OBE FREng, Professor of Medical Biophysics and Professor of Computer Science from University of Manchester. 

For more information about the event, please visit the event page.