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School of Medicine Professor Explores the Future of Medicine in New Book

Monday, April 10, 2009

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 Stephen Schimpff, MD, takes a look at the future of medicine in his new book.
 

Advances in vaccines, robot-assisted surgeries, and treatments customized to your genetic makeup are among the medical advances will not only improve health care but may also lower costs, according to a book on the emerging megatrends on the medical frontier. "The Future of Medicine: Megatrends in Health Care That Will Improve Your Quality of Life," was written by Stephen Schimpff, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine.

Dr. Schimpff is a medical oncologist who was a leader in infectious diseases at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. He also served as CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center before retiring in 2004.

Dr. Schimpff’s book is a resource for the general public — not just health professionals — to understand upcoming medical developments. He interviewed about 150 medical leaders from across the country, asking them what each thought the major advances in medicine would be in the coming years. He took this data and distilled it down into a few megatrends, each representing a chapter in his book. Topics include genomics, stem cells, vaccines, medical devices, imaging, the operating room, the electronic medical record and complementary medicine.

"Genomic medicine is one of the most promising areas," says Dr. Schimpff. "In the coming years, we will see an improved ability to diagnose a disease and even to predict diseases to come later in life. Physicians will be able to select a drug based upon an individual patient’s personal way of responding to that drug, both in terms of greater effectiveness and in terms of reduced side effects."

Other medical megatrends explored in the book include:

  • Vaccines to prevent cancer, heart disease and arthritis
  • Increased use of robots for minimally invasive surgeries
  • Drugs to attack specific, targeted areas of the body
  • Stem cells to regenerate tissue lost to trauma or disease

The book is also an ideal primer on how information technology will be used to change the practice of medicine, and help people lead healthier lives.

Dr. Schimpff is already at work on a new book, which will be called, "Hospital of the Future," and is also a consultant for the Army on new facilities and technology.

"The Future of Medicine: Megatrends in Health Care That Will Improve Your Quality of Life" is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and leading book stores. For more information, go to: http://www.medicalmegatrends.com/.

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 Genomic (personalized) medicine is one of the most exciting trends explored in the book.