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Keynote speakers

Prof. Yuan-Ting Zhang, Hong Kong Center for Cerebro-cardiovascular Health Engineering (COCHE)

TITLE: Wearable “SUPER-MINDS” for the Precision Control of CVDs and COVIDs

ABSTRACT: The cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and coronavirus diseases (COVIDs) are the most current pressing health challenges globally today. This talk will attempt to address the grand challenges through the paradigm shift to Health Informatics and discuss the convergence approach to integrate technologies across multiple scales in the biological hierarchy from molecular, cell, organ to system for diseases prevention. The presentation will focus on the development of wearable ‘SUPER-MINDS’ technologies and their integrations with unobtrusive sensing, biomarker detection, biomedical imaging and machine learning for the early prediction of acute CVDs. Potential applications in the fast response and precise control of COVID-19 will also be discussed. Using the atherosclerotic plaque assessment as an example, this talk will illustrate that the health convergence approach should allow the practice of 8- P’s proactive medicine that is predictive, preventive, precise, pervasive, personalized, participatory, preemptive, and patient-centralized.

Dr. Yuan-Ting Zhang is currently the Chairman and Director/CEO of Hong Kong Center for Cerebro-cardiovascular Health Engineering (COCHE) at the HKSTP and the Chair Professor of Biomedical Engineering at City University of Hong Kong. He is a LRG member of Karolinska Institutet MWLC. He was the Sensing System Architect in Health Technology and Sensing Hardware Division at Apple Inc., California, USA, and the founding Director of the Key Lab for Health Informatics of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Zhang dedicated his service to the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1994 to 2015 in the Department of Electronic Engineering, where he served as the first Head of the Division of Biomedical Engineering and the founding Director of the Joint Research Center for Biomedical Engineering and developed the Bachelor, Master and PhD degree Programmes all in Biomedical Engineering.

Prof. Zhang serves as the Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, Chair of the Working Group for the development of IEEE 1708 Standard on Wearable Cuffless Blood Pressure Measuring Devices, and Organizer of IEEE-MDBS series. He is a member of IEEE Medal panel for Healthcare Technology Award. He was the Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine and the first Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics. He served as Vice Preside of IEEE EMBS, Technical Program Chair of EMBC’98 in Hong Kong, Conference Chair of EMBC’05 in Shanghai, and Chair of 2016-2018 IEEE Award Committee in Biomedical Engineering. Prof. Zhang’s research interests include cardiovascular health engineering, unobtrusive sensing and wearable devices, neural muscular modeling and pHealth technologies. He was selected on the lists of China’s Most Cited Researchers by Elsevier for 6 consecutive years when he involved in founding a research institute under the Chinese Academy of Science. He won a number of international awards including IEEE-EMBS best journal paper awards, IEEE-EMBS Outstanding Service Award, IEEE-SA 2014 Emerging Technology Award. Prof. Zhang is elected to be IAMBE Fellow, IEEE Fellow and AIMBE Fellow for his contributions to the development of wearable and m-Health technologies.

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Prof. Lynn Rochester, Newcastle University, UK.

TITLE:  Digital Health Technology – leveraging real-world insights in mobility

ABSTRACT: Mobility is important – the last year has brought this into sharp focus.  Mobility is not only a target for intervention, subtle features of mobility (such as how fast someone walks and how variable their steps are) provide us with a window into the brain and body and an indicator of health.  As a clinician, mobility has been my focus. In particular, how do we keep people with neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s – mobile and safe?  This propelled me towards the scientific study of gait – a key feature of mobility.  The last 10 years have seen a revolution in digital technology (such as wearables and mobile devices) advancing the study of mobility. Implementing technology in the real-world allows further insights into health previously unobtainable and a ‘living-lab’ approach to study and treat mobility loss.  Continuous monitoring captures the challenges of mobility that play out in real-time at the intersection between personal, contextual and environmental demands and bring a personalized focus to healthcare.  However, large scale implementation of real-world mobility assessment and treatment, although promising, remains tantalizingly out of reach. This talk will focus on experiences and insights using digital technology to quantify mobility in Parkinson’s disease, explore challenges to extract meaningful insights from continuous real-world mobility data, and highlight future possibilities. Throughout I will draw on my own experience using digital technology and leverage insights from the work of the Mobilise-D consortium (https://www.mobilise-d.eu/), a large international effort to translate real-world mobility assessment to research and healthcare.

Lynn Rochester is Professor of Human Movement Science at Newcastle University. She is the Specialty Cluster Lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network providing strategic oversight of research delivery in ageing, neurodegenerative disease, dementia, genetics and neurological disorders and, oversees the flagship NIHR-INCLUDE Project (https://sites.google.com/nihr.ac.uk/include/home). Lynn’s research interests focus on understanding and mitigating mobility loss in ageing and neurodegenerative disease and, conversely, what mobility can tell us about brain health. To deliver these interests she leads the Brain and Movement Research Group (BAM) (http://bam-ncl.co.uk/) – comprised of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, clinical and data scientists and clinical engineers. In recognition of her research leadership she holds an NIHR Senior Investigators award. Lynn has a keen interest in digital healthcare and the role of digital technology in management of neurodegenerative disease. She is Co-ordinator of the IMI consortium Mobilise-D (https://www.mobilise-d.eu/), aiming to develop and validate digital mobility biomarkers, and,  co-investigator in the IMI consortium IDEA-Fast (https://idea-fast.eu/) which is developing real-world digital measures for fatigue and sleep disturbance. She led the collaboration between these two consortia to form the Digital Health Catalyst (https://digitalhealthcatalyst.org/) – aiming to foster the next generation of digital health researchers and professionals. She has published >260 papers, many in the field of Digital Health.
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Prof. Roozbeh Ghaffari, Northwestern University, USA

TITLE: Soft, Wearable Systems with Integrated Microfluidics and Biosensors for Remote Health Monitoring

ABSTRACT: Soft bio-electronics and microfluidics, enabled by recent advances in materials science and mechanics, can be designed with physical properties that approach the mechanical properties of human skin. These systems are referred to as epidermal electronics and epifluidics by virtue of their stretchable form factors and soft mechanics compared to conventional packaged electronics and sensors. Here, we present an overview of recent advances in novel materials, mechanics, and designs for emerging classes of fully-integrated epidermal electronics and soft microfluidic systems. These devices incorporate arrays of sensors, microfluidic channels and biochemical assays, configured in ultrathin, stretchable formats for continuous monitoring of electro-chemical signals and biophysical metrics. Quantitative analyses of strain distribution and circuit performances under mechanical stress highlight the utility of these wearable systems in clinical and home environments. We will conclude with representative examples of these wearable systems, which have entered the commercialization phase of deployment.

Dr. Ghaffari is co-founder and CEO of Epicore Biosystems, Inc., a company developing a proprietary wearable microfluidic sensing platform. He also serves as an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University, and is Director of Translational Research at the Querrey-Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics. Dr. Roozbeh Ghaffari holds BS and MEng degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in biomedical engineering from the Harvard Medical School-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. Upon completion of his PhD, Dr. Ghaffari co-founded MC10 Inc (acquired by Medidata Inc), and served as Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Dr. Ghaffari led the development and commercial launch of the BioStamp health monitoring platform. Dr. Ghaffari’s contributions in soft bioelectronics, micro/nano-scale systems, and auditory neuroscience research have been recognized with the Helen Carr Peake PhD Research Prize, MIT 100K Grand Prize, and MIT Technology Review Magazine’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35. He has published over 100 academic papers and is inventor on over 50 issued patents.
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