Nanjing, China (June 18, 2016) - The Zijin Conference Hall of Nanjing Jinling Conference Center with a capacity of over 1000 people was packed. More than 1000 participants gathered here to witness the grand opening of the 6th Annual Academic Congress of Chinese Society of Digital Medicine & Founding Conference of International Society of Digital Medicine & 1st International Conference on Digital Medicine and Medical 3D Printing. These participants came from 28 countries and regions, among whom there were 6 academicians coming here to deliver a speech at the ¡°Academician Forum¡± and also 58 experts coming from abroad. Altogether, 283 plenary and invited speeches were included. This conference was sponsored by the Chinese Medical Association and the Chinese Society of Digital Medicine, and organized by Nanjing Medical University Nanjing Hospital. The authorities concerned from the Chinese Medical Association, Nanjing Medical University, and Nanjing Hospital attended the conference to extend congratulations.
At this conference, a total of 79 scientists of digital medicine, who came from 28 countries and regions, including China, USA, Canada, France and Italy, jointly signed the Statute of the International Society of Digital Medicine on behalf the scientists in this domain of each country, which officially proclaims the birth of a new international academic organization¡ªthe International Society of Digital Medicine (ISDM)¡ªin China. In a digital era, establishing such an academic platform worldwide is historically significant for advancing the rapid development of digital medicine internationally, enhancing international communication and cooperation, and improving medical scientific research and the public health. At the first council meeting after the establishment of ISDM, eight professors were elected vice presidents of ISDM, including Liming Wang from Nanjing Medical University Nanjing Hospital of China, Joseph S. Alpert from USA, Jiming Kong from Canada, Uwe Spetzger from Germany, Paolo Milia from Italy, Marc Thiriet from France, Jie Tian and Jie Zheng from China. Professor Shaoxiang Zhang from the Third Military Medical University of China, who is currently the president of the Chinese Society of Digital Medicine, was elected the first president of ISDM. In addition, Professor Guoyan Zheng from Switzerland was appointed secretary-general, and Professor Qingqiang Yao from China was appointed deputy secretary-general.
This conference aims to review the latest achievements of basic research and clinical application in the field of digital medicine, and exchange innovative academic thought, scientific theories and techniques, so as to promote the rapid development of digital medicine as an emerging interdiscipline in span and scope, and to strengthen international exchange and cooperation. Ultimately, it aims to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and precision of treatment as well as intelligence in clinical management, thus raising the level of medical science and technology, and making historical contributions to protecting human health.
The conference has a special meaning for Chinese medical community. Since the establishment of the Chinese Society of Digital Medicine in Chongqing, China, in May 2011, six annual academic meetings on digital medicine have been successfully convened in consecutive years, which not only plays a pioneering and ground-breaking role in the cause of Chinese digital medicine, but also advances its rapid development nationwide. Based on these previous achievements, this conference pushes the digital medicine in China into the international arena. The interdisciplinary talents of digital medicine in China get trained and cultivated in the communication, collision and cooperation with international colleagues, which lays a solid foundation for accelerating the progress of digital medicine in China and putting research and application of Chinese digital medicine at the forefront of the world.
At present, life science and informatics science are taking a leading position in the development of scientific frontier. The rapid development of informatics science, especially the computer science and technology, ushers human society into an era of digitalization. Digital technology revolution triggered by computer and network technology has reached various fields. Life science boosts its own development with the use of digital technology. With the intersection, infiltration and mergence of two cutting-edge sciences, there emerge many new development opportunities of disciplines and hot research fields.
Digital medicine is a science that explains medical phenomena, solves medical problems and explores medical mechanisms using modern digital technology to improve the quality of life. As a new interdiscipline, it results from a combination of modern medicine and new & high-digital technology, and with medicine as its mainstay, it involves computer science, mathematics, informatics, electronics, mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering. The core of digital medicine is to improve clinical diagnosis and treatment using digital high technology.
Digital medicine, in a narrow sense, is the study about solving problems of basic research and clinical application in the field of medicine (including clinical medicine, basic medicine, preventive medicine and traditional Chinese medicine) using modern digital technology, so as to improve the understanding of life and the nature of disease, and to improve systematic theories, knowledge, technology and methods associated with diagnosis and treatment. On the other hand, digital medicine, in a broad sense, is actually much more than that. It involves the development and application of digital medical equipment, construction of digital hospitals and digitalization of hospital administration, as well as medical informatics.
Digital Medicine is a newly emerging interdiscipline in the field of modern medicine, and is the most dynamic and representative one in terms of theory, knowledge, technology and methodology innovation. Digital medicine is applying the latest theories, technologies and products of modern science£¬represented by computer science and information science, into medicine, and is overturning some traditional theory, concepts, technology, methodology, and mode and procedure of diagnosis and treatment. The impact of digitized human body on traditional healthcare, scientific research and teaching is a typical example. Organs and tissues in a digitized human body are simplified into the permutation and combination of 0 and 1 technically, which can be recognized and processed by computer and broadly transmitted through Internet. The advent of surgical robots enables surgeons to steer away from the direct use of scalpels. 3D printing and rapid prototyping are turning personalized healthcare into a reality. Digital imaging is placing diagnosis in transition from gross morphology into physiology, function, metabolism and genetic imaging. Imaging analysis is developing from "qualitative" to "quantitative" stage. The mode of imaging diagnosis has already changed from diagnosis through film collecting and reading to digital image acquisition, electronic transmission and personal computer or mobile phone reading. Interventional diagnosis and treatment is moving into digitization, 3D display, minimal and non-invasiveness, and radiation-free¡
Digital medicine, as an emerging interdiscipline born out of traditional disciplines, is quite different from its predecessors in many aspects, including knowledge structure, disciplinary content, research focus, research methodology, scope of exploration, academic system and rules of development, and possesses its distinct characteristics and a new development direction. A brief review of the emergence of new disciplines in the past reveals that new disciplines came into being in the crossing domain of interdisciplines. Though belonging to the category of medical science, digital medicine involves some unprecedented technology, methodology, knowledge and theory that do not exist in traditional disciplines of medicine, some of which are the results of the revolutionary reform of traditional concepts, thinking pattern, systems and rules. For example, surgical navigation, minimally invasive surgery, personalized artificial organs (such as joint and pelvis), and 3D imaging diagnosis supported by digital technology are quite different from traditional clinical theories, technical operations and work flow. If we remain confined to traditional disciplines and knowledge and only make modification by adding just a few new technologies and tools, we will inevitably fail to adapt ourselves to the requirements of medicine development in the digital era.
The widespread application of digital technology in medicine has greatly improved the clinical diagnosis and treatment. Some diseases which used to be undiagnosable can now be diagnosed by digital technology, and some treatment procedures which were unable to be carried out in the past can now be performed. To list just a few examples: for imaging diagnosis, the 3D or 4D images have replaced the 2D images obtained by X rays, CT and MRI, greatly enhancing the accuracy and precision of imaging diagnosis; for surgical operation, navigation technology and computer design for individualized surgeries improve the accuracy of surgeries and individual matching. With the in-depth research of digital technology and its widespread application, surgery and even the medical science are developing towards ¡°precision, individualization, minimal invasiveness and remoteness¡±. Further development of digital technology will continuously lead to tremendous changes in medical science. Professor Zhiqiang Huang, a famous surgeon in China once predicted: ¡°When digital medicine is developed to a certain level, if the doctors and nurses are unwilling to learn new knowledge and methods of digital medicine and are unable to operate new stuff under the digital working conditions and, they will become outdated medical staff, even if they once had a solid knowledge of basic medical theories and rich clinical experience. Therefore, it is an inevitable trend that surgeons will work together with robots in the future¡±. His words precisely predict the significance of digital medicine and the development orientation of modern medicine.
(Secretariat of ISDM)