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 Table of Contents  
EDITORIAL
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Digital medicine: An exciting field of medical sciences


Institute of Digital Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China

Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2015

Correspondence Address:
Shaoxiang Zhang
Institute of Digital Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2226-8561.166364

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How to cite this article:
Zhang S. Digital medicine: An exciting field of medical sciences. Digit Med 2015;1:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Zhang S. Digital medicine: An exciting field of medical sciences. Digit Med [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Jan 18];1:1-2. Available from: http://www.digitmedicine.com/text.asp?2015/1/1/1/166364

Welcome to this, the first issue of the Digital Medicine (DM), a quarterly periodical for a very exciting new field–digital medicine. Among other international medical journals, the DM is unique in focusing on digital medicine, for the first time, as an independent interdiscipline. The aim of the DM is to create both a vehicle of original information and an international journal enabling researchers and practitioners to communicate with each other. The journal will be of interest to medical scientists, computer scientists, biomedical engineers and informatics scientists, and any other potential readers, keeping them aware of current progress in the field of digital medicine.

Medicine has reached a new phase in its development: Techniques in informatics have been combined with those in life sciences, which creates many new hot areas of research. The digital era is coming with many fundamental changes in the way of diagnosing and treating diseases. To support modern medicine in a digital era, a new discipline has arisen: digital medicine. As a new interdiscipline, it results from a combination of modern medicine with digital technology and involves medicine, computer science, mathematics, informatics, electronics and mechanical engineering. The goal of digital medicine is to improve diagnosis and treatment by using digital technology. As digital techniques have been extensively applied in medicine with dramatic effects, digital medicine is gradually becoming a trend of modern medicine. The rapid development of digital medicine brings medical staff new challenges and requires them to learn more to remain competent. Doctors and nurses, who were once familiar with medical theories and experienced in clinical practice, will be at a loss under digital circumstances unless they keep learning and stay current with new theories and methods in digital medicine.

The practice in digital medicine dates back to 1989, a year seeing the initiation of US Visible Human Project (VHP), which aims at obtaining three-dimensional human body images for medical use by milling specimens layer by layer and subsequently reconstructing the Visible Human body by processing the two-dimensional photos of each layer on computer. Since 1994, they have successfully created two Visible Humans. Furthermore, China started Chinese VHP in the year of 1999 and has obtained eight Visible Human data sets so far. Besides, the Visible Korean Human was created in the year of 2001. The world-leading scientists in Visible Human research signed a collaboration agreement in 2003 and began to jointly promote the application-oriented Visible Human research. As the starting point of digital medicine, VHP was further integrated with Human Genome Project and Human Brain Project by the Federation of American Scientists to form a grand Digital Human Project. Ever since his birth, the Digital Human has stridden into digital medicine tirelessly and already greeted the dawn of digital medicine. However, world-wide development of digital medicine is just occurring, not in full swing yet. Many countries, such as the US, UK, Japan and Germany, took the lead in developing advanced imaging and surgical navigation equipment for hospital use and simulation-based clinical skill training systems. As for clinical applications of theories, methods and techniques in digital medicine, a typical example is the successful separation of the conjoined twins sharing one brain at New York University in the year of 2004.

To promote sustainable progress of this promising and flourishing field, a dedicated forum is in need for world-wide researchers and practitioners. The digital medicine will provide that forum by publishing quality research papers and reviews and other article types as well in all aspects of digital medicine. Topics covered by the journal will encompass the basic and clinical research on digital medicine, development of digital medical equipments, digital hospital construction, construction of regional digital medical network, and remote diagnosis and treatment. Interdisciplinary efforts among scientists in medicine and informatics, computer science and other disciplines, with minimal institutional or disciplinary barriers between them, will be greatly recommended and encouraged.

The Editorial Board members have a wide range of interests and a balanced composition between basic and applied research members. It is a great honor for us to take up the challenge of editing this interdisciplinary journal. To prepare this first issue, we worked as a group and developed an interesting and powerful selection of reviews and original articles. It is our intent in future issues to continue to provide cutting-edge reviews and innovative and creative research papers in digital medicine that mark the field's distinctive interdisciplinary nature and ability to generate new concepts and tools to ease human suffering caused by diseases.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to all those individuals who have played an important role in making this journal possible. We offer special thanks to the Production Editors for their diligence and hard work. We now look to you, every researcher and practitioner in digital medicine, to provide the material necessary to ensure the success of the DM.

 
  Authors Top


Shaoxiang Zhang, Ph.D., M.D., designed and founded the journal of Digital Medicine as editor-in-chief. At Digital Medicine, Dr. Zhang's responsibilities include oversight of all editorial content and policies. His editorial background includes service as an editor-in-chief or associate editor or editorial board member for 15 academic journals including Clinical Anatomy, PLoS ONE, Chinese Journal of Regional Anatomy, Chinese Journal of Anatomy and Clinical Anatomy. A famous specialist in digital medicine and human anatomy, Dr. Zhang maintains an active research program. He is the principal investigator of the Chinese Visible Human Project, and more than 20 scientific projects else supported by National Science Foundation of China, including several key grant projects. He is a recipient of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars of China, and the "National Excellent Talent". Dr. Zhang has published more than 390 articles (61 are published in worldwide reputed SCI journals) and 21 books on topics such as human anatomy and digital medicine. His publications have received more than 2800 citations. In 2005, he was invited to deliver the keynote speech on the Chinese Visible Human Project at the 4th Joint Meeting of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists and the British Association of Clinical Anatomists. He won the second prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award twice (in 2001 and 2007) for his contributions to the study of hand surgery and to the study of digital human dataset and its application, respectively. Dr. Zhang is the Distinguished Professor of digital medicine at the Institute of Digital Medicine and professor of human anatomy at the College of Basic Medicine of the Third Military Medical University. He took the lead to establish a digital-human-based anatomy teaching system and promote Digital Medicine to emerge as a new interdiscipline in China. Dr. Zhang has served as a leading scientist in numerous academic societies and committees, including the Chinese Society for Anatomical Sciences, Chinese Society of Digital Medicine, Discipline Appraisal Group of the Academic Degree Committee of the State Council, Expert Committee of Human Anatomy and Digital Anatomy in China, Chongqing Association of Digital Medicine and Chongqing Institute of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Zhang received his medical degree from the Third Medical Military University. He had been the former Vice President of the Third Military Medical University (2006-2013). He has been the chairman of the Chinese Society for Anatomical Sciences since 2014 and the chairman of the Chinese Society of Digital Medicine since its foundation in 2011.




 

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