Humanity has proven its resilience time and time again, advancing towards an optimistic future while enduring periods of unease and uncertainty like what is felt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, Moore’s law has so far been correct in predicting the exponential rise in the capabilities of computers. While this has changed how we live our lives, even when compared to a few decades ago, much of the infrastructure of society is still rooted in physical copies. We must recognize the wake-up call this pandemic has created, as many fundamental systems—especially healthcare and education—buckled under the pressure when remote and online methods became the sole options.
These recent 20 months only accelerated the global demand to create solutions and fill in the gaps left behind by outdated technology. With this issue of IMMpress Magazine, we wanted to shed light on the many novel and existing areas undergoing significant upheavals to their existing technologies, raising the upper limits of what healthcare and medicine are capable of.
We begin this issue with an infographic showcasing key findings in both research and technology that have greatly improved breast cancer treatment throughout the years (p8). We also had the opportunity to interview a recent UofT alumnus, Dr. Simon Eng, who highlights the importance and future of immunology using computer driven data (p18). The following articles introduce just a glimpse into the history and innovations that have transformed healthcare, or are in the process of doing so. We begin by showcasing the potential of nanotechnology in medicine (p12), and how artificial intelligence is both a hot field in tech (p14), and also showing great promise for the future of personalized medicine (p20). New promising technologies are also making headway for surgical robotics (p24), virtual reality as a tool for learning (p25), as well as Elon Musk’s neurotechnology project, Neuralink, that reaches the boundaries of fiction (p26). Despite these advancements, there are still many global inequalities when it comes to healthcare access (p32). Lastly, we would like to warmly congratulate the IMM250 IMMpress Prize winner, Saif Rjaibi, who touched upon the disparities between the communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (p34).
We would like to sincerely thank all the members of our fantastic team that made this issue of IMMpress possible. Our talented writers, designers, and editors have put together a wonderful collection of thought-provoking work that we hope inspires our readers to think about how technology will change the future of medicine and healthcare.
We hope you have as much enjoyment reading this issue as we did creating it.