Researchers, educators, students, doctors and entrepreneurs gathered Thursday for the second French American Innovation Day, held at the Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute.
“I consider this French American Innovation Day as a unique opportunity for the French and the Texas Medical Center leaders of research and innovation to get to know each other and explore possibilities of scientific and technological advances,” said Yves Frenot, Ph.D., counselor for Science and Technology of the French Embassy in the United States.
Organized by the embassy’s Office for Science and Technology, the event promotes new ideas, methods and products in France and the United States. This year’s theme: “Procedural Medicine in the Digital Age.”
Barbara Bass, M.D., chair of the department of surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital and executive director of the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE), welcomed the group and highlighted how medicine has evolved over the course of her career.
“The Texas Medical Center is really amazing because it has always lived on that constant edge of innovation,” Bass told the audience. “I will say that I am old enough now to reflect on my career and in the old days we all started as biologists—biology was the driver of medical innovation and medicine. But these days, the last 10 or 15 years, there has been a rise of new disciplines that are key to advances in health care these days—computational sciences, engineering, artificial intelligence.”
Speakers from Rice University, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, NASA, Houston Methodist Hospital, the University Grenoble Alpes and the University of Lyon addressed the crowd throughout the day on topics that ranged from remote medicine in outer space to the evolution of robotic surgery.
At the end of the day, startups from the U.S. and France had a chance to pitch their products to experts.
“I think it is really an exciting time in health care and this platform is an example of what that new world looks like,” Bass said. “Instead of taking drugs from bench to bedside, it is about taking technologies, innovative products and systems to the patient, wherever that patient may be. And we have a whole new set of tools to do that.”
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