The real future of medicine discussed at Moscow Urban Forum 2017
"The Real Future of medicine", a popular science event conducted by the Moscow International Medical Cluster, was held in the venue of Moscow Urban Forum 2017 with participation of experts from hi-tech companies, scientists and businessmen.

On 8 July, the participants spoke about changes in medicine and healthcare technologies, the role of genetic research in modern medicine, the importance of digital biomarkers and other important matters.

Konstantin Donin, advisor to CEO of IMC Foundation opened the session with a speech on technological singularity towards which modern medicine is heading.

The topic of the presentation made by Evgeny Kutsenko, head of HSE ISSEK Russian Cluster Observatory, was "Cluster approach – is it a model of development of medicine of the future?". He spoke about the economic rationale of clusters, their emergence in various spheres of medicine and challenges posed by digitalization.

"Clusterization concerns activities with export potential. Forming a web of formal and informal interactions, the cluster allows its various parts to successfully interact with each other. A study of 189 transnational corporations demonstrated that this sector is growing. Innovative clusters include higher education institutions, scientific organizations and clinics. Using the opportunities provided by these and other institutions, the Moscow International Medical Cluster acquires a huge potential for transition from symptomatic to personified medicine," said Evgeny Kutsenko.

The speech of Sergey Yudovsky, co-founder and CEO at Surgera.io, focused on teaching doctors in alternative realities.

"Previously, to train doctors it was necessary to find real patients, a cadavre with a specific disease was required for students to practise and perform surgery. Technologies we have at our disposal nowadays make such manipulations unnecessary. The new generation of surgeons uses the digital medium for practice instead of real patients. At the same time, the program allows doctors from all over the world to exchange experiences with the help of the World Wide Web," commented Sergey Yudovsky.

In the second part of the session, Yuri Deigin, vice-president at Science for Life Extension Foundation, spoke about key longevity studies and possibilities of anti-ageing.

"It has been proven that ageing is a genetic program. If we look at the great polar whale living to an age of 200 years, a turtle living to an age of 150 years, or a shark which can live to an age of 400 years, we wonder what the difference is between us and them. All living bodies have a mechanism restricting cell division. Telomeres are one of such mechanisms. Many people believe they protect us against cancer, while in reality they only restrict cancer cell replication. However, the ageing program built in the body can be slowed down, and hormesis is one of the proofs for that: in deteriorating environment, under stress the organism increases its life span. Besides, epigenetic influences can reverse ageing. But in order for science to defeat ageing, social demand must emerge, and, according to forecasts, it will only happen in 50 years," said Yuri Deigin.

Artem Elmuratov, director for development, co-founder, member of the board of directors at Genotek, presented the key way of implementation of genetic studies in medical practice in his speech and spoke about the role of genetic studies in modern and future medicine.

"The history of genetics began in the 20th century when people started thinking about the structure of DNA. DNA sequencing methods were developing rapidly, even compared to computer technologies. In 2006, first companies which started to make use of knowledge about human genome appeared. In the past period of time, the cost of genetic information sequencing has decreased dozens of times. Using genetic studies, we can identify individual risks and predisposition to certain diseases. The goals of genetics consist not only in making personal genetic information accessible but also in assurance of its safekeeping," Artem Elmuratov explained.

Mikhail Krundyshev, General Director at ExoAtlet, spoke about modern rehabilitation methods for patients with lower limbs paralysis and shared experience of use of exoskeletons in the Russian and global markets.

"At the moment, there are about 360 thousand people in Russia who could benefit from wearing an exoskeleton. There are only 5 models of exoskeletons in the world, and we have a reason to be proud that one of them was designed in Russia. At the same time, rehabilitation currently occurs in common physical therapy rooms which, in the best case, look like fitness rooms. Based on our observations, we can state that an exoskeleton is neither a toy nor a gadget. It is revolutionary equipment. Eventually, rehabilitation with use of exoskeletons is to go beyond inpatient facilities, and we hope that in the near future operators using exoskeletons in their rehabilitation courses will appear," said Mikhail Krundyshev.

Alexander Lyskovsky, founder of Welltory, introduced the topic of digital biomarkers. According to the speaker, development of health care technologies allows to use lifestyle data as the basis in preventive medicine.

"About 75% of health is the consequence of our lifestyle. Classical medicine takes care of a person who is already sick. As little as 3% of the population are conscious about their lifestyles, despite the growth of prevalence of diseases on the global scale. The key reason is lack of motivation. We want to be healthy and strong, not at a later time but immediately. Collecting data related to heartbeat, weight and other parameters, we can analyse which consequences our lifestyle will bring about. For example, thanks to the application we discovered rather quickly that a cold is preceded by lack of sleep and a long time en route resulting in sharp increase of stress," said Alexander Lyskovsky.

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