Last Thursday, we met up at the Red Victorian as part of the NeurotechX meet up (thanks Micah!). I gave a talk on Spectra, Marion and I did a live demonstration, then we had a biomedical imaging discussion group and round table. Thanks also to John Naulty for your recent Linux compatibility contribution at openeit.github.io.
One of the upshots of the Thursday Meetup is that we're starting a biweekly hacknight, where we play with Spectra and work on a few projects that were suggested. All are welcome, though we have a limited number of devices right now and encourage everyone to back the campaign. Join us at the NeuroTechSF Meetup!
The incentives within US healthcare are largely based on increasing profit margins for health insurers, and aren't necessarily aligned with the health outcomes in patients. It seems we need to rethink how healthcare works so that profit and health outcomes are aligned.
Here are a few examples of how the current health system is broken:
One of the major costs in MRIs and CATSCANS is the infrastructure around them, from helium quenching chambers to dedicated technicians and radiologists. Whilst an open source biomedical imaging device is not competing with a CATSCAN right now, as it makes no pretence of being diagnostic (that's a much longer path to market), what it shows is that perhaps the technology itself is accessible, and can move forward quite fast. It can only move forward fast ironically, whilst it makes no distinct diagnostic claims as then you'd have longer term clinical trials and insurance reimbursements to focus on.
If we all had a cheap, safe, accessible, and portable biomedical imager, something like the tricorder in Star Trek, we could take a very different approach to preventative medicine. What if we could do yearly or even more frequent body scans to find 'suspect' areas - using the data acquired and machine learning to advise you whether to get a more indepth set of tests from your local hospital? This could play a great role in keeping us all healthy, as well as decreasing costs for health providers.
Take this as an invitation to support the Spectra campaign to make this world a reality.