“The future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed”.
–William Gibson, American-Canadian science fiction author and noir prophet
I have always been greatly influenced and continually inspired by exemplary innovative giants like Leonardo da Vinci (“He who thinks little errs much”), Walt Disney (“imagination has no age and dreams are forever”), Steve Jobs (“the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do”), and Michael DeBakey (“always think ten or even twenty-five years ahead”).
With the IBM supercomputer Watson making its debut in February of 2011 and thus heralding the advent of modern artificial intelligence, I decided to pursue additional education and expertise in artificial intelligence under the auspices of the Biomedical Informatics program at Stanford School of Medicine.
During my frequent sojourns to the wondrous academic milieu at Stanford, it was quite obvious to me early on that there is an impending convergence of artificial intelligence with several other maturing or emerging arenas (or as Stanley Schimidt the futurist of The Coming Convergence aptly calls “the metaconvergence”).
As I pursue additional knowledge in these other areas in the form of conferences, I realized that most if not all of these educational forums, as excellent as these are, focus mainly on adult-oriented diseases with relatively few references to children and their unique future medical and health challenges.
The inaugural PEDIATRICS2040 meeting is a unique, first-of-its-kind program that promotes interest and fosters research in the following seven inter-related emerging areas that are relevant to the future practice of pediatric medicine (see below):
- Genomic Medicine and Personalized Medicine
- Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells
- Pediatric Nanomedicine
- Robotics and Robotic Surgery
- Medical Devices and Mobile Technology
- Artificial Intelligence and Big Data
- Innovations in Health Care Delivery
I like to thank Dr. Nick Anas and my numerous professional colleagues as my ardent supporters here at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and University of California-Irvine (in particular, Drs. Paul Lubinsky, Maria Minon, Mustafa Kabeer, Kenneth Grant, Jason Knight, Neda Zadeh, Diane Nugent, Sharief Taraman, William Feaster, Antonio Arrieta, Bill Loudon, Jim Korb, Ralph Clayman, Dan Cooper, Tommy Wang, Leonard Sender, Phil Schwartz, and Elizabeth Campbell as well as my close colleagues in pediatric cardiology Drs. Pierangelo Renalla, Michael Rebolledo, Nita Doshi, Gira Morchi, Linda Muhonen, Mitch Recto, Mel Singer, Anjan Batra, and Nafiz Kiciman and Drs. Fred Hagigi and Eric Handler who all have been with me from the inception of the entire effort.
I also like to express my deep gratitude to Ms. Kimberly Cripe, Ms. Kerri Ruppert Schiller, Ms. Elaine Bauer, Ms. Louise White, Mr. Mark Headland, Ms. Jan Lansing, and the rest of the executive management team, the hospital and foundation board members, Mr. Daniel Holloway, Ms. Denise Almazen, and Mr. Graig Eastin and Mr. Brian Panique of the hospital foundation who all have undauntedly supported me from the outset of this long journey.
I am equally and deeply grateful to our renowned faculty friends from around the country who despite their hectic schedules and numerous commitments, have allowed me access to their insight and given us their wisdom. I am also very fortunate to have spent the recent summer months with a dozen bright young summer interns who reminded me the potent synergy of youth and curiosity (you will meet some of them at the ePoster session).
I owe a special debt of gratitude to our dedicated PEDIATRICS2040 program team: Ms. Mary Hickcox, Ms. Patricia Adams, Ms. Susan Schwamb, Ms. Karen Rowe, Ms. Trisha Crain, Ms. Nancy Cooper, Ms. Nicole Borchard, Mr. Jonathan Aarhus, Ms. Joyce Morell, and, Ms. Ann Lee who were all unwavering in their support for this challenging inaugural effort with endless patience and professional aplomb on a daily basis.
Our most generous contributors and sponsors assured the viability of this unique pediatric meeting: Mr. Joe Kiani of Masimo, Dr. Joseph Stauffer of Ikaria, and Ms. Michelle Lund and Mr. Robert Wilson of the Sharon D. Lund Foundation, which not only generously contributed to this meeting but also funded the nascent Sharon Disney Lund Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute (MI3) here at CHOC, the first institute of its kind to focus on the use of artificial intelligence and innovation strategies in a hospital.
The new CHOC Tower, the iconic symbol of the next 25 years at CHOC, was only possible because of the enormous transformative gift from Mr. Bill Holmes.
I like to thank the Grand Californian Hotel for all they have done to assure the venue is a safe and enjoyable one. I would also like to thank the World Journal of Pediatrics for their efforts to publish the highlights and the abstracts from this inaugural meeting for a future international collaboration.
I would like to express my gratitude to my patients’ families (especially the Sheridan, Avina, and Litzau families) to participate in this wondrous event and also to my own family (Dr. Edith Morales and Ivan) who unselfishly accommodated and supported my major commitment to this endeavor the past few years with the utmost patience and understanding.
Finally, on behalf of our PEDIATRICS2040 program committee and Children’s Hospital of Orange County as well as our renowned faculty, I sincerely thank each and every one of you for your participation and passion for assuring an even brighter future for our children and families.
Despite the current imbroglio of financial distress, medical errors, and delivery inefficiencies in health care, the next 25 years of pediatric care hold promise to be the most exciting and rewarding.
See you back in California for our next PEDIATRICS2040 conference in 2015!
Anthony C. Chang, MD, MBA, MPH
Founder and Medical Director, The Sharon Disney Lund Medical Intelligence and Innovations Institute (MI3)