Gelena Lifshists, Senior Project Manager of the Biomedical Technologies cluster, discussed the program that her cluster prepared for the StartUp Village

Gelena, tell us please, which themes will be discussed in the events program of the biomedical cluster on StartUp Village, which speakers and events can the guests expect from your cluster in Skolkovo?

G. Lifshists:

Possibly the most interesting part of the program from the biomedical cluster at StartUp Village is promising to be the theme of M-Health (Mobile healthcare) and the new pharmaceuticals that show up at the intersection of biology and information technology. Panel discussion in this field will be conducted on the fourth floor of Hyperclub, while the pitch-session by start-up companies-in the pavilion "Science on Life". The pitch is organized in collaboration with the IT cluster and we expect unique foreign guests. We will be focssing on the trend of using mobile interfaces in as medical devices in order to monitor personal health conditions. The four pillars of these technologies are: electronics, bioinformation, biochemistry, and genetics. We will discuss this theme together with the top global experts, amongst whom, for instance, is Walter De Brouwer, the founder of the American company Scanadu from San Francisco, and the inventor of the prototype of a real Tricoder, author of the famous slogan "People can check their health condition as fast and easy, as their email."

Just as interesting is participant in the panel discussion-Dr. Atul Booth from Stanford, who will describe how with the help of a computer, internet, and several thousand dollars, and course, own creative brainpower, it is possible to create a successful pharmaceutical company in ones garage.

Why is this theme so important, especially right now?

New opportunities are opening up as a result of smartphones developments and the spread of online services. Currently, smartphones are becoming serious medical devices that can collect, analyze, and share key data on the health condition of its owner. For instance, data in relation to the heart can be shared via a high quality radiogram, as well as the amount of oxygen in the blood, and even the key evaluation of the cardiac output. Modern mobile device can help a person monitor their health personally and more importantly, he can monitor it right at the moment when he does not feel well and not when he has to wait in line to see the cardiologist. Smartphones can also tell the condition of one's respiratory systems from the air exhaled by a person. For instance, it can diagnose infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and even the early stages of lung cancer. New and widespread opportunities are being opened up in diagnosing genitourinary infections, flu, and other viral infections in adults, children, and animals. One of the most advanced devices of this type will be shown to the guests of our cluster: De Brouwer will bring with him and demonstrate on StartUp Village his medical "tricoder".

on photo: Gelena Lifshists presents at the Skolkovo MD Conference

A guest at the conference will also be the Swiss company Lumeden Medical. They are famous for advancing further than anyone in developing programs that can remotely monitor pregnancy. Lumeden technologies allows the woman to monitor the condition of her fetus, its position and heart rate without an in-person medical consultation. If there is something wrong, then the program transmits an "Alert!" that notifies who needs to be immediately contacted, and what precautions must be taken.

Aside from mobile medicine, which other promising directions will you discuss at the StartUp Village?

Without a doubt, an interesting panel discussion will be about prolonging life, "longevity". We will exchange ideas with our colleagues on a widespread range of questions that are related to this topic and most of all, by how long it is actually possible to prolong life. In order to participate in the discussion, which received a colorful name "Prolonging of life- an ambitious goal or a cynical business?" we invited notable specialists in the field of longevity: Professor-gerontologist from Arkasas University Doctor Shmucler-Rice, Professor from Roswell Park Cancer Institute-Andrei Gudkov, founder of the Fund "Science for Prolonging Life" Mihael Batin, and Honorary President of OAO VimpelKom, founder of the Fund "Dynasty"-Dmitry Zimin.

An interesting talk is also expected by the University of Southern California Professor Vladimir Zelman, who dedicated his scientific career to study the critical conditions of an organism, as well as collecting unique scientific material on nations who due to the unique features in their organism are resistant to the spread of certain types of cancers and who transfer the genes of "longevity" to their offspring.

Also an interesting discussion is promising to on the the future of personalized medicine. Today we understand that the same medicine may not be fully compatible with various people even if they have the same diagnosis. Scientific achievements in the field of genotyping will allow to create individualized medical treatment for each patient. On StartUp Village, there will be 10 start-up teams who will pitch on the topic of personalized medicine.

It seems the technologies you have listed, demand first of all, self-discipline, and taking responsibility for one's health?

Yes, of course, and subsequently, there will be a presentation of a famous doctor, native of India and Russian patriot, Somansyndaram Subramanian. He is famous both amongst doctors and patients-he founded the Eurasian Federation of Oncology, which is one of the first associations in our country dedicated to fighting cancer and today is actively working on a project to educate patients, and by doing so attempting to instill in Russia a culture of informed care of one's health, and develop an appropriate relationship between patients and medicine. All our speakers are notable people and professionals in their respective fields. Therefore, the information on the present and future medicine will be offered to the guests of StartUp Village from "first-hand" sources.


Registration for the major international conference Startup Village is open exclusively until May 20!!