This month we profile Eduardo Delamare, Lecturer, Dento-Maxillofacial Radiology at the Sydney Dental School, The University of Sydney. We asked Eduardo to tell us about himself and his work.
Can you please tell us about a day in your life?
I usually begin my days having conversations with my 2.5-year-old daughter about her toilet training skills. After getting ready, I drop her off at childcare and take the train to the Dental Hospital, where I spend most of my working week. I look at my weekly planner and take some time to reorganise my day in order of complexity, so I get as many tasks completed before I supervise students at the Oral Radiology clinic. After I review cases with them, I attend meetings and go about doing everything else that makes up a lecturer workload: external reviews, grant proposals, reading papers, organising/analysing data, contacting potential collaborators and so on. At the moment, most of my effort is in working on the development of clinical decision support systems for Dentistry and, more specifically, Maxillofacial Imaging.
At the end of the day, I either stop by the gym or pick up my daughter. She usually gives me a few tips on how to improve my crayon technique before bedtime.
How do you define digital health?
My understanding of digital health is a long-term process which has the potential to create conditions for a new era of scientific breakthroughs in health-related research (which has seen mostly incremental changes in the last 30 years). From this perspective, my definition needs to be separated into two parts: present and future digital health.
Present digital health has already permeated into everyday life, and you just need to look around to see it for what it is: mass migrations to electronic health records; big data analytics; machine-learning integration; the development of sensors and devices to better collect patient data. As this present vision of digital health unfolds, it will create the conditions for a more speculative and idealised version. In this future vision, we see all the potential benefits coming to reality: routine clinical precision medicine; minimally invasive/high-precision treatments; routine pharmacogenomics, and so on. I like to think people who work in this field have this vision in mind.
What do you think will enable digital health projects and innovations to succeed?
A series of gradual changes in processes and attitudes, such as overcoming bureaucratic hurdles imposed by traditionally structured governing bodies overseeing these projects and innovations. At the same time, improving our own understanding of the ethical implications these technologies may have on individual privacy and social dynamics. This will not come without a change in culture I suppose, which may take even longer to happen than the development of the technologies themselves.
Have you come across any surprises or challenges along the way?
I work in multidisciplinary teams, so one of my main challenges is being the translator between Dentists and technologists and get their comprehension of each other’s expectations and capabilities to align. Explaining the subtleties of Dentistry to computer scientists and vice-versa is a lot harder than I anticipated.
Do you have any interesting resources or helpful networks people should know about?
Connect with Eduardo:
A very big thank you to Eduardo for being our October member profile!