The Media and I: Historic Medical Technologies

By Henry I. Miller, MS, MD — Mar 14, 2024
From vaccines and AI innovations to imminent breakthroughs, discover the cutting-edge advancements shaping the future of healthcare in this conversation with radio host Mark Hahn.
Image by Michi S from Pixabay

Mark and I began our conversation by reflecting on historical medical achievements, highlighting the transformative impact of vaccines, especially the Salk polio vaccine, and the remarkable progress in open-heart surgery. I underscored the significance of GLP-1 agonists, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, which have evolved from treating diabetes to becoming game-changers in weight loss.

Transitioning to upcoming breakthroughs, the discussion touched upon the critical need for new antibiotics to combat antibiotic-resistant infections and the rarity of new antibiotics. (The FDA hasn't approved a new class of antibiotics in the past 50 years.) Artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine emerged as another hugely promising area, particularly in medical imaging.

Genetically engineered organisms and gene therapy also take center stage, and I recounted my involvement in developing the first "biopharmaceutical" -- E. coli genetically engineered to produce human insulin. Mark asked about using CRISPR technology and gene splicing to modify the genetics of fetuses in utero to prevent hereditary diseases. I explained that application to embryos for preventive purposes has not been realized yet.

You can find our entire conversation here.

Are you looking for a deeper dive into the subjects?  Check out the following!

Are We On The Cusp Of Historic Medical Technologies? Part IPart II.

The Ethics Of Pre-Natal Genetic Prophecies

'Genelection': Should We Select Children Based On Their Genetic Scores?

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, is the Glenn Swogger Distinguished Fellow at the American Council on Science and Health. His research focuses on public policy toward science, technology, and medicine, encompassing a number of areas, including pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering, models for regulatory reform, precision medicine, and the emergence of new viral diseases. Dr. Miller served for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a number of posts, including as the founding director of the Office of Biotechnology.

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