Here We Go Again

Examination period is over and I could not be happier! To be honest, when ETH exams were getting closer I was not quite sure about whether I was going to make it. At the end, however, all the sleepless nights and tense moments added up to lots of new knowledge and some nice grades in my transcript so I really feel all this effort has been worth it.

In addition, the Spring Semester 2017 is starting tomorrow and I am really excited about it! In the next few months I will learn about Game Theory, Theory, Programming and Simulation of Neuronal Networks, Statistics for Experimental Research and Wearable Devices among many others.

If I had to pick only two I would go for Industry and Competitive Analysis which teaches you a very practical set of methods to quickly obtain a good grasp of an industry. By the end of the course, I should be able to understand factors that impact on the financial performance of an industry as well the financial performance of firms within it.

The second course I am very thrilled about is High Tech Start-up Management, a seminar organized by the HSG and the ETH that gives insights into conceptual knowledge and methods for the development of scalable business models. Since it is not a regular course, it had an individual application process so I am really proud they selected me!

What have I been up to these days? Well, after finishing the exams I flew back to Barcelona and started putting together my brand new 3D printer. I still have to callibrate it (which will be a major headache) but you can already see the pictures of the assembling process and the first prints!

Furthermore, I kept working on the pulmonology project (let us call it DeepBreath from now on) and even though we had a lot of trouble cutting the respiratory cycles (and this is the reason why the classifiers were not performing as intended) it seems that we have finally found a proper way to do it. As you can see, the preliminary results look promising:

image

Finally, Medmake (the association I co-founded with my colleague Joan Puig) was hired by Hospital Sant Joan de Déu – Althaia (Manresa, Spain) to teach a group of twenty-five extremely motivated doctors how to turn medical images such as CT or MRI scans into 3D models that can be printed afterwards. The best part is that it does not end here: there will be an incoming session in which we will sit together with these doctors again and discuss their particular clinical cases.

Last time I did such a collaboration was an incredible success. Together with the cardiology team from Hospital Clínic (Barcelona, Spain) we developed an intervention planning system to aid TAVI procedures.

Do not know what TAVI means? Transcatheter aortic-valve implantation (TAVI) is a technique that provides an alternative for high-risk patients in need of an aortic valve replacement. Currently, the only clinical effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis is valve replacement but, unfortunately, one-third of the patients cannot undergo surgery because of several risk factors. TAVI provides an alternative for such patients.

More than 40.000 transcatheter implantations have been done since 2012 and the potential market is large. However, TAVI procedures are about 20.000€ more expensive per patient and in one-third of cases there are complications afterwards. Good news are that these potentials adverse effects could be partially avoided improving patient selection, intervention planning and aortic sizing with the support of medical imaging. This is why we builded up an intervention planning system that will help cardiologists to find the more well-suited implant for each patient. If you are curious about it, please take a look at our published article!

In conclusion, I strongly believe this kind of interdisclinary collaboration between technical and medical professionals is critical to solve the current and future healthcare challenges and I can only celebrate the hospital’s commitment.

 

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