Research on digital health, Alzheimer's, Ebola draws nearly 20,000 attendees to AACC

Aug. 1, 2014

Nearly 20,000 medical professionals and healthcare leaders gathered for AACC’s 65th Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Chicago from July 27-31. The meeting featured breakthroughs in diagnostic research and technology that will advance medicine and get patients the treatment they need. By mid-week more than 19,500 attendees had registered, with more than 10,000 of these attendees coming for the scientific sessions.

Highlights of the conference program included five plenary talks on subjects ranging from digital health to an early blood test for Alzheimer’s. Eric Topol, MD, winner of AACC’s  2014 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, gave the opening keynote on how mobile health technology is empowering patients with their own health data—collected by smartphones and other mobile health apps—and allowing them to take a more active role in making their own healthcare decisions.

Monday’s plenary speaker Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, co-author ofBig Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, offered real-world examples illustrating the predictive power of big data and how it is improving patient care by enabling researchers to analyze thousands of medical data points at once. Tuesday’s plenary, with Mayo Clinic researcher Piero Rinaldo, MD, PhD, built on this concept by exploring how big data can help to avoid false positives in newborn screening. On Wednesday, Jeffrey Friedman, MD, PhD—who discovered the hormone leptin—presented his research on the role leptin plays in obesity and why it is important to approach obesity as a medical issue. In Thursday’s closing keynote, Amrita Cheema, PhD, one of the co-developers of an early blood test for Alzheimer’s disease, expanded upon her groundbreaking research and the key role it could play in developing treatments to halt or slow Alzheimer’s.

Additionally, abstracts presented at the meeting spotlighted timely discoveries in laboratory medicine, including research on a portable blood test that can detect low levels of Ebola in 10 minutes. The test uses the same technology found in home pregnancy tests, which enables it to be performed in the resource-limited settings most prone to Ebola outbreaks.

The 2014 AACC Clinical Lab Expo, with more than 650 exhibitors, featured breakthrough innovations in clinical testing, including numerous examples of lab-on-a-chip technology, the first human papillomavirus DNA test approved by the Food and Drug Administration for primary cervical cancer screening, and the newest tests in reproductive health, infectious diseases, drug testing, and much more.

“The research and technology presented at this year’s AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo illustrates the integral role laboratory medicine plays in advancing patient care and will make a significant impact on medicine worldwide,” says AACC CEO Janet Kreizman. Read more about the AACC.

Read more