Exponential Medicine and Digital Healthcare — Nitish Kannan interviews astronaut Dr. Dan Barry, anti-aging scientist Aubrey De Grey and investor Vinod Khosla.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 12.27.38 PMMost people know that healthcare has rapidly become an information technology and health and medicine is changing exponentially.Just as technology is democratizing all aspects of life, no field is being disrupted more quickly than healthcare and the implications of digital will bring a trillion dollars worth of disruption to outdated diagnosis, treatment and delivery of healthcare. Moreover, the human race will live long enough soon to live forever as nanotechnology, robotics, Gene sequencing and AI cure age old problems.


No conference covers the convergence of exponential technologies more than the last exponential medicine conference I recently attended in Coronado California. Below I will give a never before covered glimpse into why Exponential medicine hands down is Singularity University‘s best conference by a long shot and the only one I’ve attended twice and keep coming back to year after year.

This year a few of the highlights were Dr. Dan Barry, who was a former astronaut and robotics expert discussing his goals to make the human civilization immortal.

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This year another major highlight was the announcement of the winner of the Nokia Xsense challenge, in which a company called DMI won. An expert panel of judges selected DMI from 11 finalists, giving DMI the highest combined score in accuracy, consistency, demonstration quality, technical innovation, human factors, market opportunity, originality, and user experience. DMI designed portable diagnostic technology that can carry out hundreds of clinical lab tests on a single drop of blood—and provides accurate results within minutes.

Nothing was more fulfilling for me than becoming good friends Nigel Ackland, who is dubbed the “Bionic Arm Man” by the British press, Nigel Ackland lost his right forearm in an industrial blender in 2006. His elective trans-radial amputation left him without use of his right arm. In 2012 he became one of the first users of the advanced Bebionic hand, which now allows him a wide array of restored hand functions. In other words he’s the real life Deus Ex, and he told me there is no reason why every amputee and war veteran can’t have a bionic arm soon.
Exponential technologies like 3D printing and sensors and smaller chips are enabling sub 1000 dollar custom designed robotic arms which are far superior to a hook and a stick. He is the first true bionic man in some sense. He uses a computer, ties his shoes shakes hands with everyone he meets and even challenged the Navy seals in Coronado to try to pull of the arm and they didn’t succeed. Hearing his heartwarming story and becoming a friend was one of my highlights of the conference and gave me great optimism on where technology is going.Now, speaking about the Navy seals, a few of them were in attendance and even did a seminar. The seals were humbled by the technologies available to them today and told many of the executives and scientists that there was no better place to impact a billion people than through the military and scale technologies and test them. For instance the military would love having prosthetics, drones, exoskeleton suits, and better medical testing and treatments on the battlefield.


The Seals were begging developers to build better remote telemedicine options and AI for doing remote battlefield medicine. Getting another look into these brave men and women and how interested they are integrating exponential technologies and medical devices and sensors into battlefield medicine was a humbling experience.
Another highlight of the conference was speaking with Dr. Craig Venter about human longevity and his goal to radically improve the human lifespan, which naturally led me to interview my good friend Dr. Aubrey de Grey on SENS and what he thought about CALICO and Human longevity. Video below.[su_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP1YGCh7S3w”]


Finally, what always makes exponential medicine the best conference is the thought leaders, investors and executives that really make game changing technologies get funded and executed in the real world. My personal highlight at Exponential medicine was spending time for a couple days and picking my friend Vinod Khosla’s mind on the future of exponential medicine and how radically disrupt medicine using smartphone physicals, telemedicine, and robotics AI and the impact the singularity would have on human civilization. How often do you get to spend a couple days and interview a billionaire and pick their brains on what you’re organization should be doing. Here is my interview below.

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All in all, what would I describe exponential medicine as? I would call it a mind meld of 197 IQ Walter O’Brien type people from the TV show scorpion hanging out for a few days, speaking on a range of mind blowing topics, beach parties, dinners, lunches and exercise sessions. Heck for the brave a run with the navy seals in the morning. It’s the culmination of a retreat of the mind, body and most importantly a place where you can get a renewed vision for what’s changing in technology and what your company needs to implement right away to keep with the ever changing landscape of exponential technologies in medicine, health, AI, robotics, self driving cars and even fringe technologies that will replace humans and doctors. The future is near are you ready?


To learn more or attend look at the link below. Thank you Dr. Daniel Kraft, Rob Nail, Peter Diamandis and all the faculty as usual for making this year as good as the last. To infinitiy and Beyond.http://exponential.singularityu.org/medicine/the-experience/

1 Response

  1. February 11, 2015

    […] h+ Magazine | Exponential Medicine and Digital Healthcare – Nitish Kannan … No conference covers the convergence of exponential technologies more than the last exponential medicine conference I recently attended in Coronado California. Below I will give a never before covered glimpse into why Exponential medicine hands down … Read more on h+ Magazine […]

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