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What will our healthcare systems look like 30 years from now? Why does it matter?

OCTOBER 17, 2020




     The theme of our 2020 Live Panel Discussion was Uncovering Our Blindspots: The Future of Healthcare. The live event pushed our participants to not only explore how healthcare might evolve given the rapid advancements in biotechnology, but also identify and recognize the blindspots that we might overlook.

The conference challenged participants to ask and explore two key questions: 


What will our healthcare systems look like 30 years from now, given the rapid acceleration of biomedical innovation?


What are potential risks and dilemmas that may arise from this acceleration?



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Dr. Nancy Allbritton is the Frank & Julie Jungers Dean College of Engineering and a Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on the development of novel interdisciplinary methods to answer fundamental questions in biology & medicine. Her lab has developed partnerships with other investigators in the areas of biology, medicine, chemistry, physics, and engineering to design, fabricate, test, and utilize new tools for biomedical and clinical research. Dr. Allbritton has also developed software and instrumentation to support these applications areas. She has over 20 issued patents and over 25 pending patents which have led to 15 commercial products. Dr. Allbritton’s discoveries have also grown into four successful companies in partnership and collaboration with global biotechnology companies.


Vanessa Mason is the research director at the Institute for the Future for Vantage Partnership, a network of future-smart organizations that support strategic foresight research into the urgent futures that will shape the next decade across the business, social and civic spheres. Her research and foresight work delivers and scales real-world impact with a focus on health and healthcare, equity and technology. Ms. Mason has also worked in a variety of roles at the intersection of inclusive design, innovation, and health, advancing product and business strategy for technology that advances health equity and programs and strategies that foster entrepreneurship among underrepresented populations.

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Dr. Sean A. Valles is an Associate Professor with an appointment in the Michigan State University Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Philosophy. His research spans a range of topics in the philosophy of population health, from the use of evidence in medical genetics to the roles played by race concepts in epidemiology. His teaching extends to questions about the goals and limits of biomedicine, as well as the ethical responsibilities of biomedical scientists. Dr. Valles is the author of the 2018 book, Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era. He is also Director of the MSU Science and Society State Program, supporting interdisciplinary faculty collaborations that join the humanities, arts, and sciences.


Dr. Katharine Rendle is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She is an interdisciplinary behavioral scientist, with formal training in medical anthropology, epidemiology, and cancer prevention. As a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, she previously led a range of quantitative analyses aimed at describing the diverse factors that shape healthcare decision-making and cancer care, including cervical cancer screening adherence, and international and domestic patterns of cancer awareness and beliefs. In her research, Dr. Rendle uses a range of methods from ethnography to multilevel modeling to describe how individual, cultural, social, and system factors impact the delivery of cancer treatment and preventative care.

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Dr. John Ayanian is the inaugural director of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan. The Institute is one of the world's largest groups of healthcare and health policy researchers, involving more than 600 experts from across the University and partner organizations. He also serves as the Alice Hamilton Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Healthcare Policy in the U-M Medical School, professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health, and professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Dr. Ayanian has focused his career on health policy and health services research related to access to care, quality of care, and health care disparities, and has served in key health policy advisory roles to state and federal government.

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