Healthcare & Lifescience Talking Points | 21/11/2017

In today’s talking points: First head transplant surgery raises ethical questions; New technology could allow testing on a virtual human body; First Robot to pass China’s medical exam; China’s Health system enduring expansion.


First head transplant surgery raises ethical questions

A team of Chinese doctors, in partnership with Italian professor Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group performed a head transplant on a corpse for the first time ever. The operation was completed in the Heilongjiang province and the results will be published in the US journal of Surgical Neurology International in a week. The leader of the medical team, Ren Xiaoping believes that a transplant on a living body will be imminent. Despite the success of the surgery, Zhai Xiaomei, a professor in life ethics at Beijing Union Medical College Hospital posed the ethical question, “Suppose the head of Person A is transplanted to the body of Person B. Who will be the new person after the surgery, A or B?”

Read more at:  China Daily


New technology could allow testing on a virtual human body

New technology using virtual reality will revolutionise the healthcare industry as medical scientists can use the technology to create a virtual human body. This will allow a new method of testing which had otherwise been done on animals or on human volunteers. According to Zhao Qinping, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, “A virtual human body is expected to be transferred into a new medical platform, where some operations and drug development can be done.”

Read more at: China Daily


First Robot to pass China’s medical exam

A Tsinghua University built robot, Xiao Yi, is the first robot to pass the minimum cut-off required for China’s top medical examination, scoring 456 out of 600. The robot undertook intensive study of 53 medical books, 440,000 pieces of medical literature and two million medical records. Starting next March, Xiao Yi will undertake further study and training to further enhance its ability.

Read more at: International Business Times


China’s Health system enduring expansion

China is investing greatly into local healthcare infrastructure and reforms, aimed at improving the healthcare sector across the county. These changes are part of the broader “Healthy China 2030” initiative. According to research by McKinsey & Co, China’s healthcare market is projected to grow at an unprecedented compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 12%, reaching $1 trillion by 2020, up from $357 billion in 2011.

Read more at: Healthcare Global