This year’s Evening Rounds lineup has hit the halfway mark! We’re meeting up with health leaders and communicators to talk about ongoing projects and advances being made in the digital space. Join us!

Over the last dozen Evening Rounds, we’ve covered a lot of ground, from crowdsourcing health solutions to mental health app development and getting buy-in from data. You can review those topics on our YouTube channel if you want to relive the magic, right now, here’s a few fascinating topics we haven’t covered (yet).

3D Printing Medical Supplies

One big obstacle in health care is delivery and equipment to rural areas and emergency sites. In Haiti, recently ravage by an earthquake, it’s not easy to maintain supplies in hospitals around the country. He heard from a nurse who ran out of umbilical cord clamps and ran through much needed rubber gloves delivering babies. Simple supplies like clamps, gauzes and basic instruments could be 3D printed in theory, and now iLab Haiti is testing 3D printed supplies for safe use. Check out the interview with iLab Haiti on NPR.

Crowdsourcing Discovery

New discoveries take a lot of investment - space, lab equipment, time, expertise, and supplies. That leaves research organizations and pharmaceutical companies alone to discover and develop new drugs and treatments. The ILIAD Project aims to recruit citizen scientists to study plants and insects for antibiotic properties. If a specimen looks promising, it’s sent to the study leaders for additional research. This is a really exciting way to involve more people in the discovery process and teach people about antibiotic resistance.

Read more about it here.

The medical relevance of rare diseases

This is a long read, and completely worth it! Rare diseases are expensive to treat and prevent, and because they are rare, they often don’t affect enough people to garner support or funding.

But as the Atlantic succinctly puts:

“A rare disease is a natural experiment in human biology. A tiny alteration to a single gene can produce a radically different outcome—which, in turn, can shed light on how the body works in normal conditions. As William Harvey, the British doctor who discovered the circulation of blood in the 17th century, observed more than 350 years ago, “Nature is nowhere accustomed more openly to display her secret mysteries than in cases where she shows tracings of her workings apart from the beaten paths.”
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Only recently, though, has medicine begun to formally recognize the value of the “secret mysteries” that rare diseases can reveal.”

This story takes you through one person’s experience living with a rare disease and the experience of a doctor who nearly “committed career suicide” by focusing on her rare disease instead of more typically lucrative research.

Enjoy the whole thing from The Atlantic.

Register to join us on Tuesday for our holiday meetup, and keep sharing new ideas and innovations in health and science!