Friday, June 8, 2018

Team DERMA wins the Golden Award at Student Design Competition WC2018

It is our pleasure to let you know that today, 8th of June team "DERMA" was announced the Golden Award winners of Student Design Competition WC2018 organized by International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering.
Delegates at the Opening of #IUPESM2018
Team "DERMA" consisting of students and members of UL SPIE made a great effort on preparing their scientific pitch for competing in the WC2018 final in Prague, Czech Republic during World Congress on Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering. 

Matiss, Emilija, Martins, Marta and Karola presenting the Mobile Device for Skin Screening
Members: Marta Lange, Emilija Vija Plorina, Karola Panke, Martins Zeidaks and Matiss Lacis represented the team at the final competition on 4th of June, 2018 giving a wonderful talk presenting their innovation: Mobile Skin Screening Device.
In the congress final on 8th of June the winners among 5 other team inventions were announced team "DERMA".

Spot team DERMA by the Charles Statue

One of the congress attendees Eng. Ashenafi Hussein, President of the Ethiopian Society of Biomedical Engineers and Technologists (ESBET) shares his impressions about the presentation of team "DERMA".

Eng. Ashenafi Hussein, President of the Ethiopian Society of Biomedical Engineers and Technologists (ESBET)

“Your development is compatible in context of science around the world, because you use an existing science (mobile device) and integrate your innovation to provide skin screening device. It is a very smart and strategic move from you guys, the only question is can you bring this to the market?”

“I am happy to see this young people working on innovation, something really helpful for society not only in Latvia but also the world, so I hope that scientists around the world will recognize your work. I give my congratulations to Latvia!”

The young scientists share their insights about the conference.

All the members of team "DERMA" are students of various sciences and have a great experience in healthcare and sciences. Emilija Vija Plorina is a BSc, currently working at the Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy (IAPS) at University of Latvia and studying Medical Engineering at Riga Technical University. Karola Panke is a PhD student at University of Latvia, Optometry and Vision Science Department. Marta Lange is studying Medical Physics and about to complete her PhD in University of Latvia at Biophotonics Lab. Martins Zeidaks is a Healthcare Managment Master student at Riga Stradins University and also works in Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital as a medical engineer. Matiss Lacis is a BSc of Medical Engineering and currently pursuing his Master Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management at Riga Technical University.

What did you most like about the congress?

Karola: The fact that this congress really attribute to its name – WORLD congress. This event did not display only successful research in highly developed countries, it emphasized also current challenges in world by organizing special sessions regarding to challenges that resource scarce communities and rural areas face, there was special session for women in medical physics to address gender issues and stand for gender equality in science, there was discussions about education and current challenges regarding safety issues and excellent educational keynote lectures.

Martins: Conference was organized in Europe, it is easily reachable for Latvians. There were 23 topics, it is the widest congress for medical physics in the world. 

Marta: At this congress I most enjoyed the Clinical Engineering topics and sessions, where essential and real hospital related issues were discussed, like, patient safety, radiation protection and solutions for a better, accurate and more efficient healthcare. 

Emilija: What I liked the most about the conference was the wide variety of topics available. From particle physics to mechanical and electrical engineering, from biochemistry to information technologies, simulations, patient safety, hospital management, etc. - it was possible to look tap into all these different sides of the field of biomedical engineering and look at the latest research, which is very valuable to a student. The lectures were of high quality and comprised of lecturers from all over the world. I learned a lot of new things in this event. 

Matiss: I enjoyed the wide variety of topics available at the congress and, having that many topics, the event was very well organized and managed. The location of conference venue was great. Prague, Czech Republic which is fascinating city with many historical landmarks. 



What was the most surprising?

Karola: During the last decades medical imaging data are often pre-processed or down sampled for human interpretation accepting a loss of information caused by processing, but right now imaging data grows much faster than the number of trained human beings who can read and interpret those data, therefore with evolution of artificial intelligence future perspectives suggest that raw data usage will be possible by using deep learning algorithms providing ability to exploit full information of medical data that will contribute to earlier, faster and more precise diagnostics, but also will introduce new challenges because data interpretability by human will be reduced, therefore the role of human will change and validation of results will become high-valued competence.

Martins: For me the surprising part was that many people recognized our presentation and afterwards came to get more information about our presented device. This lead me to the idea that Latvia is no longer a lover income country and that we are in the big business for medical engineering and we need to compete with big giants like Germany, USA, France and China to inspire other developing countries.

Marta: I guess the fact that I noticed a lot of similar issues that clinical engineers and physicians face in hospitals worldwide are very similar to those we have in Latvia. Also, I realized that at some solutions we are even more developed and manage things better or have a more efficient solutions rather than some other countries. That just makes me appreciate what we already have and to improve it, not to complain of what we don't have.

Emilija: The most surprising was the connectedness of the participants. It was very noticeable that most people are very passionate about the topics that they work on and were eager to share their knowledge and findings with the rest of the community. Engineers and physicists from different parts of the world and of different experience level were able to talk to each other here knowing that everyone involved is just as eager to find out more! 

Matiss: The biggest surprise was that there were so many Latvians and we were recognized in the event. People really enjoyed our presentation and wanted to know more during the networking time.

Matiss, Marta, Karola, Martins, Emilija with the award diploma

What do you think is the next discovery in physics / medicine / engineering?

Karola: I think that at this moment the progress of new discoveries is exceeding the ability to qualitatively implement it in existing systems where human is involved, therefore I want to point out that regardless of what exactly the new discoveries will be, it requires clear, long term plan how to apply it in existing environments.

Martins: There three things I would like to mention:

1) I could definitely say that next discoveries in engineering will be related to the Internet of Things (IoT). It will help managing sterilization instruments, organize drug delivery in hospitals or help doctors do their work during surgical procedures. 

3) As different sensors become more accessible, also training for doctors becomes closer to real life. This could help doctors gain new skills faster, cheaper and help to do more precise surgeries.

2) For medicine - artificial intelligence is the future. Medical problems will be anticipated by computers and informed without doctor’s subscriptions.

Marta: I believe that interdisciplinary cooperation is the key. It might be something very simple or extremely brilliant. I am fascinated by the development of custom made 3D printed prosthetics and dental solutions. Still, honestly, I am a bit skeptical about the digitalization of hospital patient records and data combining it to also developing cyberattacks. I think there always has to be a great balance between use of the latest technologies and classic values, as well as security. 

Emilija: To my mind, the next really big discovery will be in the field of organ 3D printing. If we will manage to create organs from cultures grown out of an adult's own cells this will lay ground for longer human lifespan and therefore many further discoveries. 

Matiss: I feel that the next steps of many applications in physics, medicine and even engineering will be introduction of artificial intelligence is much broader sense. 

The team is honored and grateful to the organizers of #IUPESM2018 and the supporters that made this trip to Prague and the attendance of #IUPESM2018 possible, especially to University of Latvia, Ministry of Education and Science, as well as the European Union National Development Plan 2020.


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