Leading Experts Reimagine Public Health Technology at Summit


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"We really have to re-invent public health," Alessandro Vespignani, director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University, tells the Boston Globe.

"This requires an all-hands-on-deck approach."

That's why the university last week hosted a summit on "Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Innovation in Public Health Technology."

Speakers at the event included Susan Blumenthal, former assistant surgeon general and White House health adviser, as well as Renee Wegrzyn, director of the newly established US Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.

Vespignani says public health has been "one of humanity's crowning achievements" over the past century, but it's "at a transformational moment, that tipping point between peril and progress in public health."

To that end, he says, we need a "new breed of practitioners" to tackle issues including mental health, obesity, and food insecurity.

Blumenthal, for her part, says we're at a "transformational moment, that tipping point between peril and progress in public health," and it's time to "expand the disconnect between public health engineering, computer sciences, robotics, analytics, and physics to address problems including disease prevention, mental health, obesity, and food insecurity."

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