Effective healthcare at manageable cost is an escalating worldwide challenge. This workshop will bring together scientists, engineers, and technologists with experts in the unmet clinical needs, economics, regulation, and commercialization of health care technologies. Our goal is to identify needs and define opportunities for micro- and nano-technologies, materials, and systems to shape and improve our future healthcare landscape.
A key workshop theme is "closing the healthcare loop:" managing health through periodic assessment in order to adjust treatments and therapies, as opposed to simply diagnosing, treating, and largely abandoning patients to decide when or if follow-up is needed. A closed-loop approach--one component of which might be personalized medicine--will add costs in additional measurements, diagnostics, and communications between patient and provider even as it saves costs by providing better patient outcomes, heading off health issues before they become medical crises, avoiding hospitalizations, and making more effective use of expensive drugs. Micro and nano technologies must play an enabling role if the savings are to outweigh the added expense.
Keynote and invited speakers, together with workshop participants, will describe need-based drivers and resulting breakthroughs utilizing nano- and micro-technologies to shape the future of healthcare: