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The medicine of the future, between artificial intelligence and space exploration

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The medicine of the future, between artificial intelligence and space exploration

With a market that is already valued at 20.9 billion dollars, with an expected annual growth of 48% which according to forecasts will lead it to exceed 148 billion dollars in 2029, artificial intelligence (AI) applied to medicine is one of the hottest topics when it comes to the future of healthcare. Thanks to extraordinary computing power and continuous improvement of operating algorithms, AI is already part of the system today and is expected to help realize the promise of effective precision medicine. Like any other form of progress, however, they must be regulated: change must be planned, not immediately.

This will be discussed at the World Health Forum Veneto, which from 20 to 23 March will attract over 100 internationally renowned experts to Padua, engaged in a plan full of events, in a climate of dialogue and discussion open to all, professionals and non-professionals. “Veneto has always been a global reference for medicine but also for a broader concept of health” – comments the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia. “From the Serenissima – with the first public ‘health system’ tested at the Arsenale and with great attention to quarantine and protection from infections in international exchanges – to the recent successes of surgery and medical research. We want to create an event that can tell all this, but is projected towards the future. A fervent laboratory for discussion and ideas on the best of global medicine.”

AI medicine

As explained by Mihaela van der Schaar, director of the Cambridge Center for AI in Medicine who will be speaker at one of the meetings of the World Health Forum Veneto, Machine learning systems have a major transformative impact on personalized medicine: their integration into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment protocols improves the precision of medical care. AI – adds Roberto Vettor of the Department of Medicine of the University of Padua – can also provide emotional support to patients similar to that of a real doctor, improve communication between healthcare professionals and patients, and therefore the overall quality of assistance, simplify administrative procedures by reducing waiting times, and much more. An epochal change in medicine, which is only at the beginning and which presents new challenges, for example how to avoid transmitting misinformation through these tools and how to meet the same standards of clinical evidence required for all other interventions. “The questions we will ask ourselves shortly will be whether we have helped guide our healthcare system through the vortex of this rapidly evolving technology, ensuring that patients are offered an unprecedented standard of healthcare, all while safeguarding autonomy and the dignity of the patient – Vettor specifies – And if we have effectively supported the design and implementation of artificial intelligence so that the practice of medicine is emotionally and intellectually rewarding by promoting integrated training programs in medical schools that allow new graduates or medical specialists to master this topic.”

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From cybersecurity to space

Another highly topical topic that will be addressed during the World Health Forum Veneto is that of digital health and how to protect our systems from increasingly frequent attacks, with insights into hacker-proof quantum networks, already tested in Veneto. A focus will be dedicated to human health understood as a global system, i.e. interconnected to environmental and animal health, and which goes beyond the borders of the Earth. It is no coincidence that the program will also talk about space exploration, a new field of experimentation in medical sciences, the discoveries of which could benefit the inhabitants of our planet.

Healthcare is also an industrial sector, with profound political and economic implications: representatives of leading pharmaceutical companies will dialogue with those from the IT sector, with technicians and political representatives. This is the focus of the session organized by Motore Sanità. “The World Health Forum Veneto confirms the centrality of Venetian healthcare and that of Padua in particular, at a national and international level” – comments the Mayor of Padua, Sergio Giordani. “With this forum we want to take on a central role in the international debate on the future of medicine and health in a broader sense, also remembering that the event will not only be an opportunity for comparison and debate at a scientific level but also an opportunity for numerous companies who operate in the biomedical field in our territory. Finally, I want to underline the fundamental collaboration between institutions and bodies, which made the organization of this international level meeting possible.”

At the end of the event, there will also be space for first-person stories from the protagonists of the frontiers of scientific research and pharmaceutical startups, ending, on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd at the Padova Congress, with a show organized by the Teatro Stabile del Veneto, which will stage passages from the history of literature that talk about medicine and the “breath of man”, accompanied by music performed live.

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“The various institutions involved in the World Health Forum – concludes Antonio Santocono, President of the Padua Chamber of Commerce – are demonstrating the ability to systematize their skills to plan together an event that will help turn the spotlight on Veneto and Padua: a territory which is characterized by the excellence of research in the healthcare sector and the significant presence of biomedical companies and which, thanks to the conference centre, is also establishing itself as a reference destination for medical and scientific conferences”.

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