PHOTO: Rambam “State of the Heart” 2016 Summit participants observe a simulated surgery in one of the underground’s operating theatres in Rambam’s underground 2,000 bed hospital.
Haifa, Israel – Leading researchers, healthcare professionals and supporters gathered at the Rambam Health Care Campus for its annual healthcare summit recently where they showcased some of the most exciting innovations and solutions to the global strategic challenges facing cardiovascular innovations and digital health.
Prof. Yuval Noah Harari, the best-selling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, spoke about the future of medicine: the changing focus from healing the sick, to “upgrading” the healthy. “We’re on the cusp of perhaps the greatest change for the human race with what is happening in the biotech field, in artificial intelligence. We will see real changes in humans themselves – in their biology, in their physical and cognitive abilities and while we have enough imagination to invent new technologies, we are unable to foresee their consequences.”
Participants were shown cutting-edge technological capabilities such as a robotic cardiac surgery and optogenetic treatments of abnormal heartbeats. Attendees also had the opportunity to explore the Rambam facility, including a tour of the Sammy Ofer Underground Fortified Emergency Hospital.
The conference culminated with a gala reception and ceremony where two leading researchers were recognized with The Rambam Award, which recognizes remarkable individuals for their contributions to medicine, science and technology, as well as their passion and special generosity to the State of Israel. This year’s recipients were: Prof. William Brody, the former president of the Salk Institute who was recognized for innovations in the treatment of cardiovascular disease; and Prof. Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Institute, for his work on digitizing and democratizing medicine; and Sandor Frankel and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Professors Brody and Topol both delivered key lectures at the summit.
Prof. Brody was impressed by the innovative techniques and procedures displayed, stating that “Rambam’s doctors and researchers are doing exciting work that is at the forefront of the future of medicine. I am excited to have had the opportunity to see the amazing work being done here that sometimes seems even more science fiction than science.”
Prof. Topol stated that “This is the most exciting time in the history of medicine. Before, when we saw the patient, we had very little data and only a limited view of each individual. Now, with digitization of the medical essence, physiology sensors, the analysis of the patient’s DNA microbiome, and the widespread use of smartphones to diagnose, monitor and analyze his condition, it has all changed”.
“We see the annual summit as the apex of Rambam’s year-round commitment to medical research and innovation,” said Rambam Health Care Campus Director General Prof. Rafi Beyar. “The best and latest of cutting-edge medical technologies were presented at the conference, as well as the methods and practices that make up the digital medicine frontier. Rambam is more than just a hospital. We believe that to best serve our constituents, we must always be leading the way in developing a bright future for the community.”
Beyar added that his collaboration with Prof. Brody dated back to 2001 when he was the dean of a joint program in medicine and biomedical engineering between the Technion and Johns Hopkins University, “which exemplifies how such collaboration benefits both countries.”
Rambam Health Care Campus is a 1,000-bed academic hospital serving the over 2 million residents of Northern Israel. Providing comprehensive medical services in all medical specialties, Rambam is the tertiary referral center for 12 district hospitals. Rambam Health Care Campus’s garage can be converted into a 2,000-bed full-service underground hospital, the largest in the world. In addition to the citizens of Northern Israel, Rambam serves the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command, UN Peacekeeping Forces, and the US 6th Fleet. Many of Rambam’s physicians participate in cutting-edge research projects to bring new therapies and treatments not only to their patients, but the greater community of the world. Rambam Heath Care Campus proudly believes that everyone deserves the highest quality of care and has always opened its doors to all those in need, regardless of their religious, race, and ethnicity. Visit http://www.rambam.org.il/EnglishSite.