Medicine keeps posing new challenges to science and technology, while the development of electronics and biomedical engineering changes surgery, diagnostics and rehabilitation.
On their stand (F4), Medtronic will show us an image of a brain during surgery. With new medical scanners, surgeons get a much bigger picture of the whole situation. Detailed recording of movements allows for “replaying” the surgery, thus improving the skills of other doctors. Combination of new scanners and movement detection systems are elements of neuronavigation in surgery. Here, you will find out more about it and have a chance to try out your skills at a surgical simulator.
After the surgery, patients often need rehabilitation. At the stand of the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of PAS (A66), we’ll check how virtual reality can accelerate patient’s recovery and help regain full mobility. A computer system precisely monitors all patients’ movements and thus helps do rehabilitation exercises more accurately.
It’s hard to imagine the development of medicine without chemistry. At the stand of the Institute of Physical Chemistry (A36), we’ll enter a mini-diagnostic lab. Thanks to miniaturisation, the processes which used to require the presence of whole research teams now fall within one electronic system. Soon, it will be possible to make some medical tests at home and measure some parameters on an ongoing basis. This will allow, for instance, for an earlier detection of heart attacks. At the stand, all visitors will have an opportunity to design a simple diagnostic system and find out how easy and how complex diagnostic medicine can be.
Surgery and transplantology have become part of medicine for good. Kidney and heart transplants or surgeries on the spinal cord are common practice, even though 50 years ago they seemed totally impossible. Cuts and transplants are really fascinating, because they re-define our thinking about humans. For example, how do we perceive our body, if we live thanks to someone else’s kidney? Is an insulin pump or an implanted pacemaker an integral part of a person’s body? Where to draw a line that determines whether someone is alive or whether only their biological functions are sustained? Medicine not only cures but also inspires discoveries in other areas of science. It doesn’t only make us healthier but also “more human.”
Together with the Cardiac Surgery Development Foundation (stand F5), we’ll find out how medicine and engineering inspire mutual progress. We’ll control an artificial heart and watch how surgeons train on a special simulator. We’ll also discover how material engineering changes the equipment used in operating rooms.
At the stand of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (D24), visitors will have an opportunity to perform a surgery on a teddy bear. Despite appearances, this is far from easy, as it requires keeping everything sterile, obeying procedures and staying calm – just like during a real surgery. For the youngest, this is a great chance to learn how to stay focused and in control, which is the first step towards becoming a professional surgeon.
The stand of BeLivers (F14) – a student association of the Warsaw Medical University –will take us into the operating room, where transplants are performed. We’ll learn how to prepare tools and how medical staff get ready to surgery. We’ll also discover what the most important elements of a transplantation surgery are.
Becoming a doctor requires many years of education, practice and continuous improvement of knowledge and skills. Regardless of the level of stress and fatigue, doctors have to always expand their medical expertise and try implementing new methods in practice. The development of science also challenges medical staff, as patients expect increasingly better treatment.
At the stand of Anna Mazowiecka Clinical Hospital (D22), we will witness an everyday life of a Warsaw hospital. Visitors will have a chance to talk to doctors and nurses, see an operating room, a diagnostic room and a room where prematurely born infants are treated.
The Military Medical Institute (A27) will reveal the secrets of working as cardiac surgeons and military doctors. Visitors will also see modifications of heart valves and learn about different types of surgeries.
Together with Polpharma (F3), we will discover step-by-step how medicine is absorbed by our body. We’ll see what patients can do in order to increase the effectiveness of medicines. We’ll also check the “journey” of a medicine – from a research lab, through a chemical reactor, all the way to becoming a pill.
Oncology is one of the most complex branches of medicine. We already know that there is no one cure for cancer because different types of cancer may have various medical causes and effects. We also know that each type of cancer is potentially dangerous to our health. Modern oncological research aims at choosing a therapy optimal for a given cancer type. In other words – a therapy that will harm the other (healthy) parts of the patient’s body to the lowest possible extent.
Before commencing an oncological therapy, doctors have to detect tumour in a patient. At the stand of the Institute of Physics of PAS (C51), we’ll show you luminescent markers which – when activated with a laser – precisely detect ill tissues. They can also be used in therapies for some cancer types. Which types? You will find out at the Picnic.
How to distinguish one type of cancer from another? How do healthy tissues look like? At the stand of the Foundation of Experimental and Clinical Oncology (D27), we’ll have a chance to see tumour with our own eyes and conduct simple experiments on ill tissues.
The development of nuclear technology has also influenced available oncological therapies. The stand of the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology (A35) will feature a device for radiotherapy based on synchrotron radiation. A synchrotron is a tunnel in which elementary particles are accelerated and directed precisely onto the ill tissues. As can be seen, medicine, physics and technology combine their forces to effectively help people stay healthy.