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MWA 2015: Assessing the risk of pandemics and the promise of 3-D printing

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | April 17, 2015
Last year at the inaugural Medical World Americas conference, more than 2,000 participants from 33 countries got together in Texas to exchange ideas and form partnerships in the interest of improving health care. This year's event, which kicks off in just ten days, promises to build on that momentum.

Major industry players from around the world — such as GE Healthcare, Covidien, and Shimadzu — will be speaking with attendees and exhibiting their latest innovations on the conference floor. Meanwhile, tours of the world's largest medical center, the Texas Medical Center, will give attendees a first person insight into the state of health care in action.

Presentations from world class medical leaders with a diverse range of professional backgrounds — like policy, ethics, and medical expertise — will also be conducted throughout the three-day event. Visitors will have a range of options regarding the panels they attend, and daily plenary sessions will tackle big picture topics of urgent and timely interest.

On Tuesday April 28th, two back-to-back plenary sessions will tackle a pair of paradoxically entwined topics concerning the future of medicine. The first one, Game Changers in Healthcare will look at the most show-stopping innovations happening in the industry. Visionary medical experts Dr. Anthony Atala and Dr. Rafael Grossman, will look at landmark breakthroughs like wearable technology, regenerative medicine, and 3-D printing from a perspective that explores the greater limits of these capabilities.

That session will be followed by a presentation from Texas A&M's Dr. Brett P. Giroir, entitled No Longer Science Fiction – Emerging Infectious and Tropical Diseases and the new Realities and Risks of World-Wide Pandemics. That session will address the sobering threat of deadly medical pandemics which must be mitigated in the face of a growing population and interconnected world population.

As head of the State of Texas task force on the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Giroir will lead a panel of medical experts on a discussion that will include the results and recommendations outlined in his report assessing the risk of future pandemics and the effectiveness of community response.

Additionally, three leading professional organizations will be hosting their annual conferences in conjunction with Medical World Americas: American College of Healthcare Executives—Southeast Texas Chapter, Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management—Gulf Coast Chapter, and Vendome Group’s Healthcare Design Academy.

DOTmed News recently spoke to Robert Robbins, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center and chair of Medical World America's executive advisory committee about the second annual conference.

"I’m very excited about this year’s meeting and I think in the coming years it will just continue to grow. We want to give the opportunity for people to come to Houston, see what we’re up to as far as the city goes, and highlight the incredible care and science that’s being done across our institutions, as well as the growing entrepreneurial life science community," said Robbins.

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