by SHIV GAGLANI on Oct 2, 2013

With only one month left till FutureMed 2013 (Round Two), the Medgadget team is getting pretty excited. As the first installment of this Fall’s coverage, we had the opportunity to speak with Executive Director Daniel Kraft about the upcoming conference.

Medgadget: FutureMed 2013 (round 1) was only seven months ago! How has the content changed to keep things fresh and exciting?

Dr. Daniel Kraft: The content is constantly evolving. Certainly, even within the past few months. At the last FutureMed, for example, we had Babak Parviz, the lead on Google Glass at Google.  Since then several of our FutureMed participants have pioneered glass in the clinical arena (1st to use Glass in the O.R. for example) and several academic groups and startups are rapidly building on this platform. On the mobile front, we just had the announcement of the Nokia Sensor XChallenge, and on the Medical Tricorder Xprize front competitors like Scanadu (which started at the 1st FutureMed) have broken records in crowd-funding and making further progress. 3D printing continues to break ground in the clinical arena, including its combination with technologies like tissue engineering or drug delivery.

MedgadgetMore generally speaking, how will the upcoming FutureMed be different than the ones at Singularity University each year?

Dr. Kraft: As we were significantly oversubscribed for our initial 6 day FutureMed programs based at Singularity University (can only fit ~85 participants at our core classroom and in NASA-Ames housing), we decided to hold a FutureMed at a larger and very special venue – the iconic Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego-  also with a shorter 3 1/2 day length to better accommodate busy clinicians, innovators and executives.

We will maintain the core elements (understanding exponential and fast moving technologies (kind of a Singularity University 101), and dive into the future of Personalized Medicine, Data Driven Health (to include digital health and AI), Future of Intervention (from drugs, devices to robotics), Regenerative Medicine, Neurotechnology, Practice of Medicine, Medical Entrepreneurship and beyond, as well as hands on demos, and workshops ranging from the Future of Pharma (Pharmageddon?) and clinical trials, to the Future of Oncology and beyond. As many of the participants could certainly serve as faculty as well, we will again have an ‘Unconference’ element where FutureMed’ers can share their work, innovations and ideas.

We will also be holding the November FutureMed at the magical and iconic Hotel Del Coronado. It was built in 1888, is on the beach, and is a very special venue.

MedgadgetWhich events and speakers do you think Medgadget readers will be most excited about? Which ones are you most excited about?

Dr. KraftWe have many terrific faculty joining us at FutureMed.  Having Dr. Eric Topol (Chief Academic Officer atScripps, and editor of Medscape) who is certainly a preeminent practitioner, innovator and thought leader in as he calls it the ‘Creative Destruction of Medicine’ will be a highlight.  The combination of Dr. Marty Kohn (IBM-Watson medical lead) with Dr. Ari Caroline (who is piloting Watson in cancer care as Director of Quantitative Analysis and Strategic Initiatives at Memorial Sloan-Kettering) will help illuminate the cutting edge of AI and where it is headed in medical practice.  Harvard Professor George Church is a driving force of personal genomics. Dr. Dean Ornish will share some of his work on more integrative healthcare innovation.  Intuitive Surgical’s Catherine Mohr and Stanford’s Peter Fitzgerald will share the cutting edge and near term next generation evolution in minimally invasive interventions. Dr. Peter Diamandis (Xprize) combined with Walter DeBrour (Scanadu, a medical tricorder competitor) should be fun. Personally, sometimes the less know faculty can be surprising and exciting. Last FutureMed we had Jack Andraka, winner of the ISEF science fair.  This FutureMed we’ll be joined by Eric Chen, grand prize winner of the Google Science Fair (of which I was fortunate to serve as a judge), who as a 17 year old has demonstrated a disruptive novel approach to drug development.

MedgadgetThere are so many conferences popping up around medical innovation. What makes FutureMed different? 

Dr. Kraft: At FutureMed we look at the trajectory (i.e. the cutting edge where will many of these technologies be in 2-5 years) and convergence of fast moving technologies from across the biomedical spectrum (to include pharma, medical device, and beyond)  and ask how might we ‘rethink’ and ‘reinvent’ new and improved solutions to many of the challenges in wellness, prevention, diagnosis, therapy.  So unlike other conferences we really attempt to break down silos, provide new frameworks, mix participants and faculty from across disciplines to share and innovate and inspire and enable the next generation of solutions.

MedgadgetWhat would your advice be to readers who want to apply to attend FutureMed?

Dr. Kraft: If you are looking to broaden your perspectives, mix it up, and share your own passions and endeavors, come participate at FutureMed. Simply apply via the FutureMed ( FutureMed2020.com ) website. We offer non-profit and academic rates, as well as scholarships for medical and graduate students.

Proceeds from FutureMed go to support scholarships for the 10 week summer Singularity University Graduate Studies Program of which many of the projects and companies which emerged were focused on addressing global health grand challenges.

A summary FAQ on the November FutureMed at the Hotel Del is here: http://futuremed2020.com/november2013/

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