Emory Health Sciences magazine
Dr. Fred Sanfilippo
Summer 2008  
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Health care soon will be transformed—as most other service industries already have been—by advances in information and communication technology.

  From the Executive VP
Science fiction no more

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It’s easy to take the marvels of modern technology for granted. After all, who would have thought 10 years ago that it would be possible to carry Internet access or thousands of songs in your pocket? But these days, you can’t go to a mall or a park or even sit in traffic without seeing someone using a Blackberry or iPod. In the short time these wonders of information and communication technology have been around, their prices have dropped and their quality has improved, creating a world never imagined just a few years ago.
    There’s no reason why the same shouldn’t be true of the extraordinary new medical technologies that are revolutionizing health and health care. We have every right to expect the most effective health care based on the latest scientific discovery—which often means new technologies that would have sounded like science fiction in the recent past.
    Health care soon will be transformed—as most other service industries already have been—by advances in information and communication technology. Information about our own personal health and decision support for our treatment options will be available at our fingertips and provided for the convenience of patients—rather than for insurance companies and health care providers. That’s the idea behind Emory’s Predictive Health Institute, in partnership with Georgia Tech, and it’s one of the many ways we’re transforming health and healing.
    As you read through this issue, you’ll see many examples of Emory doctors and scientists pioneering and delivering promising new technologies that already are radically changing health care. You’ll learn about new imaging capabilities that are not only offering clearer and more accurate views within the body but also helping diagnose disease in its earliest stages, when treatment is likely to be most effective. You’ll understand the process of how a biotechnology product comes to market so it can serve the people who need it, and you’ll be introduced to four biotech start-ups being developed with Emory inventors.
    Read further, and you’ll find that we’re not only about new technologies. We’re also about new ideas and ways of serving the community. For example, you’ll hear from Emory faculty, community leaders, and student advocates about their passionate efforts to save Grady Hospital and preserve an invaluable community resource.
    The stories in this issue drive one point home for me, and I hope for you. Solutions for the future of health and healing, like those being spearheaded here at Emory, are increasingly evident and achievable when we have the vision and the will to make them happen.

Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD

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