By Michael R. Neuman
In August 2015, attendees from around the world gathered in Milan, Italy, for the 37th annual Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC). The organizers noted that it was one of the largest of these annual conferences so far with about 3200 attendees and over 3800 presentations and posters. The first day was devoted to workshops and tutorial sessions, and these appeared to be well attended mostly by younger people and students. This was followed by three and one-half days of the conference itself.
During the conference, I had the opportunity to attend many interesting talks from a diverse set of speakers. For example, there was a workshop on the latest advances in applying engineering approaches to perinatal and antenatal medicine presented by several active European groups. One group shared their vision in applying signal processing to data that was obtained during pregnancy to predict problems such as fetal distress or premature delivery. Another group discussed the ultrasonic imaging techniques used to follow the progress of labor. In addition, the impact of the brain initiative was evident in the conference with several sessions and workshops focused on this important topic. These were just a few of many innovative research areas presented and discussed throughout the conference.
Figure 1: Donna Hudson introduces the LSTC Update session at EMBC15.
Figure 2: Carole Carey opens discussion on the LSTC Standards Committee.
The Life Sciences Technical Community was also present, in both a session to update members (Figures 1 and 2) and a larger-scale panel session devoted to “Accelerating Biomedical Technologies Through Open Standards Development,” which we feature throughout this month’s issue of the IEEE Life Sciences Newsletter. Now is an exciting time in the development of medical standards as the field evolves to encompass new technologies and new communications (Figure 3). We encourage you to join the discussion in this important arena, as the diverse perspectives of the life sciences community have much to offer to the successful implementation of new standards.
Figure 3: The standards development life cycle.
Michael R. Neuman is the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Life Sciences Newsletter.