By Michael Bachner/TPS
Haifa (TPS) – Hundreds of international researchers and healthcare professionals gathered at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa this week for a conference dubbed “State of the Heart.”
The conference addressed global challenges in cardiovascular treatment and highlighted innovative changes in the field as a result of cutting-edge technology. The Rambam Health Care Campus is a 1,000-bed academic hospital serving over two million residents of northern Israel.
The conference culminated with the Rambam Award ceremony, 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.”
Awards and honorable recognition were given this year to Professor Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, Sandor Frankel of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and to Professor William Brody, the former president of the Salk Institute.
Brody was recognized for innovations in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. He specializes as a physician and engineer in imaging technologies—an aspect of cardiovascular treatment that has come a long way with MRI and CT scan capabilities.
“You could think of the scanner as slicing up the body like a butcher and then we could put these slices on a computer to create a three-dimensional image,” Brody said in an interview with TPS. “When I first saw that, my jaw dropped. It was like staring at a human body with the skin removed. We were able to use this to create interesting new ways of evaluating heart function. These images could then be produced on home computers and today this probably can be done on your iPad. This shows how far computing has gone.”
Professor Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling author of the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, spoke at the conference about what he described as the future of medicine—the changing focus from healing the sick to “upgrading” the healthy.
“We see the annual summit as the apex of Rambam’s year-round commitment to medical research and innovation. The best and latest of cutting-edge medical technologies are presented at the conference as well as the methods and practices that make up the digital medicine frontier,” said Rambam Health Care Campus Chief Executive Officer and Director General Rafi Beyar.