Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center delivers ‘tomorrow’s medicine today’

Speaking Sunday at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, Gamzu took the audience on a journey through modern medical innovation that started with medical decision making.

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April 30, 2018 19:29
2 minute read.
Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the CEO of Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center.

Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the CEO of Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center speaks at the 7th Annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on April 29th, 2018.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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The role of a director of a hospital nowadays is to look upon the future and align the hospital’s service to everything that is and will change, said Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the CEO of Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center.

Speaking Sunday at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, Gamzu took the audience on a journey through modern medical innovation that started with medical decision making.

“It used to be that doctors carried out clinical investigations – detectives looking for clues, signs and symptoms. We had to dig for data,” said Gamzu. “Gradually, we have increased the amount of data to which we have access. Now, we have tons of data – not only numeric, but graphic – that we can analyze.”

To do so, he said, doctors and researchers have access to “perfect technologies,” technologies that are transforming the medical arena. Rather than analyzing a single test, doctors have access to data insights gained through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Moreover, he said, doctors can use AI to predict many situations “that we used to do with simple tests and technologies. AI has upgraded the way we diagnose and treat. We can tailor treatment to each case.”

But it is not just medical decision making. It is also genomics. Now, doctors can sequence anything, from the genome, to the exome, to the RNA.

“It is not only the sequence,” continued Gamzu. “We will also detect and treat the defective genes. We will edit the genes. We will be able to change genetic defects and treat people with chronic diseases.”

Drug companies are currently producing drugs that manipulate DNA.

And how about diagnosis?

“We have a lot of diagnostic modalities nowadays,” said Gamzu. “But most of them, they are all too wide. They are not targeted to molecules. That is going to change.”

He said doctors will be able to not only diagnose on the tissue or organ level, but through the molecules of a specific patient. More than that, physicians will be able to use holographs and augmented reality to see beyond what is viewable to their two eyes. This aspect, he said, “will happen in the future.”


How is cancer treated today?

By bombarding the body with “canon bullets” called chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But gradually, said Gamzu, hospitals are introducing immunotherapy.

“The future is personalized cancer treatment tailored to the tissue of the patient,” he explained. “We will take out the immune cells, target the immune cells against the cancer cells, allowing for a better, more tailored treatment that focuses on the cancerous tissue and not the whole body.”

He said surgery will be done by robots that are “more precise, more flexible, more able to multi-task” than human surgeons. Navigation technologies will allow surgeons to improve precision, as well.

Then, Gamzu paused.

“This is not only the future,” he said with passion. “At Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, we are delivering tomorrow’s medicine already today.”

He said that in Tel Aviv’s neonatal ICU, doctors can detect 10 hours beforehand when a neonate is coming into sepsis. In the hospital’s medical center, advanced therapies are being used to treat cancer patients. And the researchers are designing drugs for treating Parkinson’s disease using genomes.

“And we are doing all this in a public hospital that is for all citizens of Israel,” he said.

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