Transforming Health Care

author: Dennis Freeman, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
author: Martha L. Gray, Health Sciences and Technology, Center for Future Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
author: Peter Szolovits, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
author: Eric Grimson, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
moderator: Barbara Liskov, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
published: March 27, 2012,   recorded: May 2003,   views: 2705
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Description

MIT research is helping to speed the diagnosis of disease, and easing our most common afflictions.

Dennis Freeman is working on a better hearing aid. He describes how our ears can perceive sounds that make the eardrum vibrate less than the diameter of a hydrogen atom. He envisions a computer chip that will emulate sensitive cells in our inner ear that both react to sounds and communicate them to the brain.

Martha Gray is developing methods to look inside joint tissue, at the molecular level, to diagnose arthritis early enough for useful therapies. An estimated one in three Americans suffer from this painful disease.

Fifty to 100 thousand people a year are killed by medical errors. Peter Szolovits imagines a computer health record devised and controlled by a patient over a lifetime, which could play a key role in avoiding mistakes in medical diagnosis and treatment.

Eric Grimson says the imaging techniques he’s developing will bring nothing short of a revolution in surgery. His animated, 3D models are strikingly successful at guiding surgeons before and during such high-wire acts as the removal of brain tumors.

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