Twelve diseases that afflict mankind
It begins with unborn children: how can expectant mothers reduce their child’s risk of disease? How can we improve the diagnosis, treatment and the handling of breast cancer, for example? The “Innovation Think Tank” (ITT) has for the first time developed complex treatment plans for twelve diseases which pose the biggest risk to mankind. The core idea: technological innovation. Some treatment plans were presented internationally at the annual external ITT Exhibition on July 11, 2019.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. According to the WHO, it is estimated that 627,000 women died from breast cancer in 2018 – that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women. For the patients themselves and their social circle the disease is tragic and traumatic, much the same as many other sometimes fatal diseases. “We want to change that. That's why at ITT we’re analyzing the most difficult points in the treatment paths of the deadliest and most costly diseases over the entire life and disease cycle of humans. This begins in the womb and ends with aftercare,” explains Sultan Haider, founder and head of ITT at Healthineers at this year's Innovation Think Tank exhibition (eITT 2019) in Erlangen.
Basis for joint research and development
He addressed the 130 participants from around 40 international organizations: “We are aware of the problems with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare of diseases like breast cancer. Action must be taken, and that’s exactly what we are doing: our response is technological innovations which will help patients, doctors and others involved to prevent the disease or to halt its progress. The technology is available! The important thing now is that all of us - technology companies and start-ups, research institutes and universities - work together to make it operational.” The health system is also groaning under the weight of the worst diseases, says Haider, so much of it is also about reducing the financial burden along the whole treatment pathway. Again, new technologies are the key here.
How do technological innovations help?
They are designed to save time, and therefore money, improve the patient experience and enable access to important information for the doctors, hospital administration or governmental bodies. Specifically, it is about three fields of technology: digital technologies, such as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), the 5G mobile communication standard, artificial intelligence or Blockchain which we are combining in the treatment pathways with automated solutions – focusing here on robotics and sensors – and clinical innovations such as new diagnostic methods, digital pathology or minimally invasive procedures for example.
Which diseases are being looked at?
Haider’s ITT team have identified twelve diseases whose global burden – both social and economic – is particularly high:
1. Lung Cancer; 2. Breast Cancer; 3. Leukemia; 4. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); 5. Tuberculosis (TB); 6. Multiple Sclerosis (MS); 7. Alzheimer’s Disease; 8. Parkinson’s Disease; 9. Coronary Artery Disease; 10. Stroke; 11. Diabetes; 12. Traumatic Injuries
Around 150 employees in different ITT teams around the world have already been working for several years to build an enormous and broad database of these diseases. The data comes from, among sources, health organizations and scientific journals. In order to develop the matrix-like, highly complex treatment pathways they followed the life and the progression of the patient with all the different interfaces to their social and medical environment.
What does a treatment pathway look like?
Working prototype of a portable ultrasound device for remote diagnosis.
Each treatment pathway includes predefined stations through which the patient moves. In the case of breast cancer, for example, these are: prenatal, prevention, symptoms, diagnosis, rehabilitation and outpatient care, which includes reintegration into everyday life after inpatient cancer treatment.
- The situation: A patient can sense changes in her breast.
- Points of difficulty: She does not go to a regular check, perhaps because she is worried about the somewhat uncomfortable situation during the examination or the examination itself.
- Possible solutions: An app (digital innovation) reminds her to get her breasts examined. She receives a portable ultrasound device (clinical innovation) for remote diagnosis, which instructs the patient on how to screen her breast herself at home. In addition, if the woman has difficulty detecting changes in her breast an intelligent sensor-equipped bra (digital innovation) could also help her.
The audience are appreciative of ITT's extensive analysis and treatment pathways. Peter Schardt, Chief Technology Officer and responsible for the Technology & Innovation (TI) organization, to which ITT also belongs, is impressed: “The treatment pathways provide the unique basis for a comprehensive collaboration that will benefit all of us and the patient. As a technology supplier, for example, we can gain valuable information through a mutual, open exchange in order to adapt our products and solutions to the requirements of our customers. Through its global infrastructure, deep data analytics, workshops and ultimately events like the one today, the ITT creates an innovation-friendly environment and a sheer inexhaustible knowledge pool that we should all use. Thanks very much to the ITT team!”
Impressions from the ITT exhibition 2019
Information regarding the eITT Exhibition 2020 and application guidelines for it will be coming in the beginning of 2020.
About Innovation Think Tank
What is Innovation Think Tank?
Driven by the need for interdisciplinary self-sustaining infrastructures accessible for the entire location/company, Innovation Think Tank (ITT) was established and now has 16 innovation labs across Germany, China, India, Turkey, the United States of America and United Kingdom which are covering projects from 23 Siemens locations and have achieved break even for all established labs within 0 to 2 years. ITT has worked on over 1750 projects with 550 experts and managers. Over 12000 Siemens employees have taken part in various events. Over 1500 inventions have been filed and ~1200 projects continued. Furthermore, over ~2500 researchers and students from ~150 universities from 38 countries have worked with ITT.
Innovation Think Tank was founded and is headed globally by Sultan Haider, who also holds a Principal Key Expert, awarded by the Siemens Healthcare’s Executive Committee for his outstanding innovation track record which includes the establishment of 16 innovation labs and over 500 inventions and patents filed to date. Haider has been awarded honorary directorships and developed infrastructures for top institutions. The innovation best practice has been implemented in several university courses and certifications. For instance:
• Innovation Think Tank Lab at the University of South Carolina, USA
• Baskent Hospital chain and University, Ankara with with Siemens Healthineers Turkey
• Innovation Research Lab at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
• Oxford University Hospitals with Siemens Magnet Technologies, Oxford
• Bogazici University, Istanbul with Siemens Healthineers Turkey
• Innovation Think Tank Acibadem Lab, Istanbul, Turkey
• Innovation Management and Leadership Certification program at Siemens Healthcare Private Limited, Bangalore, India
• Innovation Research Lab, Bogazici university
• Innovation Management Certification program at Peking University in collaboration with Siemens Shanghai Medial Equipment (2016)
With its global infrastructure, ITT supports the identification and creation of business opportunities and contributes to solution implementation.