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Expo At Tarrytown's Doubletree Puts Focus On Health Tech

Innovation panel: "Brimming with Innovation: How Westchester's Health Tech Hub is Changing the World" at the podium
Innovation panel: "Brimming with Innovation: How Westchester's Health Tech Hub is Changing the World" at the podium Photo Credit: Carolyn Mandelker
Doug, 41, with two degrees from MIT, suffered a stroke two years ago and was immobilized. With extremely hard work with his Burke therapists, he can now walk over 1000 steps in the exoskeleton.
Doug, 41, with two degrees from MIT, suffered a stroke two years ago and was immobilized. With extremely hard work with his Burke therapists, he can now walk over 1000 steps in the exoskeleton. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mandelker
Examples of 3-D printing -- models of hearts that were used by cardiac surgeons at Columbia University Medical Center prior to surgery on a pediatric patient. These models helped them prepare for incredibly complex surgery.
Examples of 3-D printing -- models of hearts that were used by cardiac surgeons at Columbia University Medical Center prior to surgery on a pediatric patient. These models helped them prepare for incredibly complex surgery. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mandelker
Dr. David Putrino, Burke Medical Research Insitute, holding 3D models of brains used in planning patient-specific therapies.
Dr. David Putrino, Burke Medical Research Insitute, holding 3D models of brains used in planning patient-specific therapies. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mandelker

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The Health Tech ’15 Conference, held this week in Tarrytown, was a tribute to Westchester’s scientific, medical and technological communities that are leading research and discoveries that are impacting health worldwide.

More than 600 people attended the two-day conference, which was held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel and organized by the Westchester County Association. There were more than 50 sponsors, including Daily Voice.

There were several highlights, but none as gripping as when Doug Schreiber, a 41-year scientist with two MIT degrees, who was paralyzed by a stroke two years ago, “walked” into the ballroom, assisted by an EKSO skeleton and showed first hand the miracle of modern science.  He and his wife, Manhattan residents, journey to Burke Rehabilitation Center three times a week. And the progress has been nothing short of astonishing, according to Doug’s wife.

Another highlight of the Health Tech expo included physicians explaining and presenting how they prepared pediatric cardiac surgery using 3-D printing technology.

“We had to consider How do you build tunnels without problems? How do we not disrupt the heart’s rhythm? How do we build conduction pathways without causing obstruction?,” said Anjali Chelliah, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Columbia University Medical Center, where the successful surgery took place.

Five Westchester-based biotech firms showed how innovative technology and invention are having world-wide impact.

The luncheon keynoter, Dr. Laura Forese, president of New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, described the changing healthcare delivery models, and explained how the consolidations of New York City’s hospitals with Westchester’s community hospitals bring to local communities the power of Big Research while maintaining close community relationships.

On the Big Data panel, IBM’s Craig Rhinehart pointed out that Medical information by 2020 will double every 73 days, and by 2025, there will be a shortage of 20,000 primary care doctors.

“There’s a gap between what humans are capable of doing and the amount of information out there,” he said. "But technology is a big part of daily life now, and devices are being developed and used to improve people’s health and change behavior."

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