The future of diagnostics: digital and closer to the patient
Constance/ Lake Constance | Around 150 diagnostics experts from industry, hospitals and research met in Constance at the invitation of the international BioLAGO health network. At the two-day Diagnostics-4-Future Conference, challenges and new research results, methods and products in diagnostics were discussed. IBM Research presented new diagnostic devices that can be controlled at home via smartphone.
- BioLAGO conference Diagnostics-4-Future in November 2019 brought 150 experts from 10 countries to Lake Constance
- Companies, hospitals and researchers discussed challenges and solutions for better detection of diseases such as cancer or antibiotic resistance
- Young researchers awarded for innovative ideas
This year’s event, organized by BioLAGO, once again brought leading experts from all over the world to Constance. With its innovative concept of presenting the diagnostic needs of physicians and directly discussing possible solutions, the two-day conference attracted a great deal of international interest. For example, Martin Widschwendter from University College in London reported on how the identification of suitable features in the blood enables cancer to be detected much earlier and hence enables therapies to be started earlier. Precision medicine in cancer therapy was also the topic of the panel discussion, which was attended by international scientists, including those from Trinity College Dublin, Schwarzwald-Baar Hospital in Villingen-Schwenningen, Goethe University Hospital in Frankfurt, CeGat GmbH and University Hospital in Tübingen. The importance of improved diagnostics for genetic patient analysis was emphasised. Based on this information, doctors would be able to select individually adapted therapies and increase the success of treatment.
On the advance: Artificial intelligence in diagnostics
Benedikt Brors from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg presented how artificial intelligence can improve cancer diagnosis and therapy to the patient’s benefit. A particular challenge is the large amount of patient data required for the development of reliable applications. The IT giant IBM Research provided insights into the development of a novel rapid-tests-at-home-application. This would enable chronically ill patients to perform routine blood tests themselves using a smartphone and a handheld device instead of going to a clinic.
500,000 deaths due to antibiotic-resistant germs: Hope for rapid diagnostics
Another focus of the Future Conference was the role of diagnostics in combating antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Marlieke de Kraker from the University Hospital of Geneva showed prognoses according to which 500,000 people will die annually from resistant pathogens in the future if resistance is not contained. Improved diagnostics are one of the most important factors in preventing this development. Markus Dettenkofer from the Institute of Hospital Hygiene & Infection Prevention at the Radolfzell Hospital focused on the prevention and control of multi-resistant pathogens in everyday clinical practice and obstacles that need to be overcome. The Buchinger Wilhelmi Clinic in Überlingen described its need for diagnostics for the medical evaluation of fasting cures.
Young researchers awarded for innovative ideas
This year, the conference was supplemented by an international cooperation market. In organized “Speed Datings” companies and researchers were able to talk directly to each other. Young researchers were also honored for their innovative ideas, including Sarah Ochmann from the University of Munich (LMU) for a new approach to the detection of neurodegenerative diseases, Lennart Grabenhorst from the LMU and Christina Zach from the VIVIT Institute in Dornbirn. For the first time this year, the conference was accompanied by an exhibition. Event partners included leading companies such as Siemens Healthineers AG.
Future conference becoming established in diagnostics industry
With its unique concept, the BioLAGO-organized conference brings participants from all over the world to Constance every year and has become well established in the international diagnostics sector. “The conference focuses on the needs of clinicians and diagnostics users. We specifically bring them together with solution providers,” said Michael Steinwand, BioLAGO board member and co-organizer. The Diagnostics-4-Future Conference is part of the BioLAGO competence network DiagNET, which was initiated in 2016 funded by the Interreg programme “Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein” as well as by the District of Constance and the City of Constance. The next Conference will take place on the 20th and 21st October 2020 in Constance.
About BioLAGO e.V.
BioLAGO is the health network in the Lake Constance region and links industry, science and hospitals for innovation. It unites over 120 members in the field of health. These include sectors such as diagnostics, pharmacy and medical technology. In the international BioLAGO competence network for diagnostics “DiagNET”, more than 50 partners are working on the improvement of diagnostic methods. BioLAGO is certified as an excellence cluster by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the German government and the European Union (Gold Label).
(Quelle: Pressemeldung BioLAGO, 12.12.2019)
Dr. Simone Brunner-Zillikens, BioLAGO board member and managing director of Labor Dr.Brunner opened the conference © BioLAGO
Prof. Dr. Benedikt Brors spoke about artificial intelligence in cancer diagnostics. © BioLAGO
The highlight of the conference was a high-calibre panel discussion on cancer diagnostics: f.l. Dr. Simone Günther (BD), Dr. Rudolf Morant (Krebsliga Ostschweiz), Prof. Stephen Finn (Trinity Dublin), Prof. Paul Graf La Rosée (Schwarzwald-Baar Klinikum VS), Prof. Michael Rieger (Goethe University Hospital Frankfurt), Prof. Martin Widschwendter (University College London) © BioLAGO
Prof. Dr. Martin Widschwendter spoke about new strategies for early cancer detection. © BioLAGO
Dr. Francoise Wilhelmi de Toledo of the Buchinger Wilhelmi Clinic presents the results of a study on fasting. © BioLAGO
The project “DiagNET- Diagnostics for Future” was funded by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund in the programme “Interreg V Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein”.