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Virtual forum will explore new health care technology

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The University’s fourth annual Smart Cities Miami Conference will expose participants to digital tools that can help them offer better health care to their residents.

How can local government leaders use technology to alert them about the rumblings of a public health crisis well before it threatens the safety of their residents?

This is one of the questions that technology experts will address at the University of Miami’s fourth annual Smart Cities Miami Conference this week, hosted by the School of Architecture and the Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC). At the virtual conference, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, participants from government, academia, and the private industry will be able to learn about the convergence of digital tools available—as well as some in development—to monitor and improve the health of their residents. They will also get a chance to meet other leaders in the field and to share knowledge about practices in place today that are making cities more digitally connected than ever.

This year’s conference theme is health and well-being in the post-pandemic city. It will begin with keynote speaker Michael Mylrea, senior technical advisor to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Center for Accelerated and Real Time Analytics (CARTA), and continue with a panel discussion. Moderated by Yelena Yesha, chief innovation officer and head of international relations at IDSC, the panelists include a host of luminaries from leading global corporations who will delve into opportunities that have evolved throughout the past year for improving health care with smart technology, as well as take a look at new tools in the works.

“The pandemic accelerated the adoption of existing technology and gave us an opportunity to develop new technology to address the many health care challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, along with a growing aging population,” said Yesha, who is also a visiting professor of computer science, and an expert in health care cybersecurity. “This panel will address those converging technologies.”

The conference will also feature a UM innovation showcase, where a team made up of professors and researchers from architecture, biochemistry, nanotechnology, chemistry, and computer science, will explain an ongoing project they are working on to reimagine healthcare in an expanded territory—beyond the hospital and clinic setting, that includes the home as a site for health checks and therapy.

Finally, Mark Wolff, chief health analytics strategist for the SAS Institute, an international data analytics firm, will give a talk entitled “Your Digital Twin will see you Now—How the Internet of Medical Things and Edge Analytics are Changing Health Care.” Wolff will explain how the increasing availability of massive data sets on health care now allows doctors to utilize digital tools to help guide their diagnosis. He will also talk about how this may be applied in the future, when a person’s avatar could visit the doctor’s office instead of them having to be physically present.

Register for the Smart Cities Miami conference here.

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