On Wednesday, October 24, Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), will address participants at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s 6th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound in Reston, Virginia. A top healthcare advocate and policy expert, Whitaker will discuss the benefits of technology in medicine – including focused ultrasound – for improving the lives of patients and for society in general, as well as current challenges and obstacles facing the industry during an onstage interview.

AdvaMed is the world’s largest medical technology association. Its members make the medical devices, diagnostic products, and digital health systems that are transforming health care. As CEO, Whitaker is the voice of the medical technology industry and works with diverse stakeholder groups to advance medical technology innovation and timely patient access to next-generation treatments and cures.

“AdvaMed has become an ally for the Foundation as we share similar goals of accelerating new therapies and improving the lives of patients,” says Neal F. Kassell, MD, chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “We are pleased to have Scott share his experience in medical technology innovation with Symposium participants and are eager to apply his insights as focused ultrasound moves ever closer to widespread commercialization.” 

“The life-changing innovations our industry produces are making such an impact on patients worldwide – allowing them to live longer, healthier, more productive lives,” says Whitaker. “Technologies such as focused ultrasound are part of the cutting-edge of advances that are providing solutions to our most vexing healthcare challenges, and I can’t wait to be part of the Symposium." 

Prior to AdvaMed, Whitaker was chief operating officer of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, and president of the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest biotech conference.

The 6th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound will take place October 21-25, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia. For more details and to register, please visit www.fusfoundation.org/symposium.

 

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, which annually produces CES®, the largest technology and innovation show in the world, will deliver a keynote address at the 6th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, in Reston, Virginia. Shapiro will discuss the importance of innovation at the intersection of technology, business, and healthcare. 

“In the past decade, we’ve seen a trend in technology toward empowering healthy lifestyles,” says Shapiro. “But, I think we are starting to see that idea go one step further – using technology to streamline the healthcare paradigm. Focused ultrasound is as significant as anything I have ever seen in my lifetime in terms of changing human pain and suffering and healing people. I am honored to be a part of this meeting and eager to see how the dedicated researchers and clinicians around the world will evolve this therapy.”   

“Gary’s insight into how technology influences and disrupts the world around us is astounding,” adds Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “Focused ultrasound is an exciting example of how technology is being used to disrupt healthcare while improving patient outcomes and decreasing cost. The Foundation is a unique organization dedicated to advancing a technology, and thought leaders like Gary are critical partners in making the Foundation’s goal a reality.” 

As a catalyst to the dynamic technology industry, CTA is a US trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies. The Foundation recently participated in CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, to raise awareness of focused ultrasound technology among an unprecedented worldwide audience of more than 182,000 attendees. Shapiro recognized focused ultrasound during his keynote address at CES, and also interviewed Dr. Kassell and Foundation Board member and best-selling author John Grisham about focused ultrasound.

Shapiro joined CTA in 1982 and now directs a staff of more than 160 employees and thousands of industry volunteers. In addition to his role at CTA, Shapiro is a vocal advocate for innovation and technology in Washington, DC. He has testified before Congress on multiple occasions and works to help direct policymakers and business leaders on issues pertaining to technology. Shapiro has been repeatedly named one of the 100 most influential people in Washington by Washington Life magazine and a Tech Titan by Washingtonian magazine.

Shapiro has also authored two New York Times best-sellers, “Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses” and “The Comeback: How Innovation will Restore the American Dream.”

Focused ultrasound pioneer, Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD, will serve as the Honorary President of the 6th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound, to be held October 21-25, 2018 in Reston, Virginia.

“The field of focused ultrasound is still a tight-knit community, so to have the opportunity to gather and catch up on the latest advances and techniques is an invaluable experience,” says Dr. Ghanouni. “At the Symposium, we’re able to create collegial contacts who we can reach out to with questions as we broaden focused ultrasound’s impact into new indications. It’s an honor to be asked to be a part of the 2018 meeting.”

Dr. Ghanouni has an impressive clinical reputation in focused ultrasound at Stanford University. He currently treats two or three focused ultrasound patients each week, and estimates that he has treated more than 120 patients over his career. The majority of his clinical work has been for bone metastases, uterine fibroids, and essential tremor in adults. Also a pioneer in the pediatric arena, Dr. Ghanouni treats soft tissue tumors in children and teenagers and osteoid osteomas – benign but painful bone tumors. 

He is currently collaborating with a multidisciplinary team at Stanford and a number of other institutions in the US on clinical trials to treat prostate cancer and to treat uterine fibroids to improve fertility. He hopes to begin a trial soon with colleagues in Psychiatry and Neurosurgery to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, and additional trials are being planned to use focused ultrasound to treat pancreatic cancer, pediatric brain tumors, and depression. 

Beyond his clinical work, Dr. Ghanouni is a champion for focused ultrasound within Stanford as he works to bring departments together to make focused ultrasound an option for as many patients as possible.

“From the nurses to technologists, engineers and the administration, the team at Stanford has been supportive as we have introduced this new technology. Physicians here see focused ultrasound as a potential answer to unmet needs, and our engineers and physicists view focused ultrasound as an opportunity to see their research translate quickly to clinical care. I feel very fortunate to be a part of that collegial atmosphere.”

But Dr. Ghanouni also recognizes that if focused ultrasound therapy is going to take hold, others within the institution need to be able to treat patients. 

“For years, I have been the one to do all of the focused ultrasound treatments at Stanford,” he says. “But that model limits the number of patients we can treat based on my schedule. Soon we’ll have other radiologists trained to complete the pediatric, brain and prostate treatments. This will not only mean that patients won’t have to wait as long to be treated, but it really is an essential step to the growth of this technology.” 

“Peji is a model innovator for focused ultrasound. He is persistently working inside and outside of Stanford to knock down barriers to progress,” says Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “His enthusiasm for the technology is only surpassed by his passion for helping patients.”

Dr. Ghanouni began his focused ultrasound career treating bone pain from metastatic cancer during a National Cancer Institute fellowship. His first eye-opening moment came in 2011, after treating his first bone patient - a farmer whose melanoma had spread to his hip. The pain had not responded to radiation treatment, and he could barely endure sitting down to meet with Dr. Ghanouni. Days after the focused ultrasound treatment, he was sitting normally; a few months later, he was riding his horse. “That was when I realized that we had an incredibly effective, non-invasive solution that could be applied to many challenging cases,” said Dr. Ghanouni. Read his 2015 investigator profile >

Stanford University was designated a Foundation Center of Excellence in July 2016. The Center is directed by Dr. Ghanouni and his colleague Kim Butts Pauly, PhD. 

Plan to attend our Symposium – the world’s leading forum for sharing the latest translational and clinical advances in focused ultrasound. Targeted to scientists, clinicians, and other stakeholders, the meeting offers a multifaceted exploration of this emerging field and features plenary sessions, panel discussions, poster presentations, and technical exhibits. Symposium topics include neurological, oncological, musculoskeletal, women’s health, and emerging applications of focused ultrasound.