August 21st: Last day in Guangzhou

This morning after breakfast, we met with our new translator (Yuan “Lisa” Xi) in the hotel lobby. She was overall very helpful this day, especially because she was not familiar with any of the terminology we have been using before this weekend! We called a taxi to the 1st Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, another tier 3 hospital specializing in pulmonary hypertension. This time, hailing a taxi was bit difficult because many people here speak Cantonese (another dialect of Chinese), whereas I speak Mandarin. Cantonese quite literally sounds like jibberish to me (and is probably similar to what other people hear when they hear me speak Mandarin).

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Final group picture at the hospital today!

At the front entrance, we were greeted by Dr. Su, a PhD student who is working with the clinical staff and just obtained his 5-year bachelor degree. We were given a tour around the bronchoscopy suites (they accessed the nasal cavity instead of the mouth, which was interesting to see). We then sat down with Dr. Li, one of the best pulmonologists in China. His reactions were similar to those of the physicians we met in Nanjing and Beijing. He was extremely intrigued by the idea and suggested that we also talk to Dr. Hong, an interventional cardiologist who also works with him in treating and diagnosing pulmonary hypertension. Similar to the hospital in Beijing, a multidisciplinary team exists, making the cross-cultural nature of this project less of an issue. During our meeting, there was a photographer who came in with a large camera taking pictures of us. He definitely made us feel super important!

Afterwards, another one of Dr. Su’s colleagues, Dr. Zhou, who was doing his residency (and choosing exactly which subset of pulmonology to specialize in), joined us while we waited for Dr. Hong to finish his procedures. We chatted for about an hour or so to gain insights from a more junior level doctor, and this helped in later conversations with Dr. Hong as well. We then all went to lunch to eat some local Guangzhou food. Dr. Hong was very welcoming and insisted that our plates were full, all of the time (sometimes even taking the liberty of placing food on our plates himself!). We then informally discussed his concerns with the procedure over lunch, and everyone was very involved in the conversation. He also expressed interest in continuing communication about the project, and that the 1st Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University should be one of the first hospitals to adopt this novel technology, after proving its safety and efficacy.

Wade, Eddie, and Andrew had earlier flights back to the U.S., so at that point it was just Shash and I. We then made our way back to our hotel for a nice nap. We are now relaxing at our hotel for one last night before flying out to Dali in Yunnan to take a slight detour and regain inner peace and understanding by visiting a temple and learning Kung Fu from monks (quite a change from the city life we’ve experienced the past couple of weeks!).

Overall, the group has been extremely grateful for this opportunity. While China was definitely a culture shock in many aspects, we gained valuable insights from this trip and hope to return in December with a working prototype and more specific patient target and value proposition for the physicians. We look forward to compiling all of the information we’ve learned, extracting unmet needs and major themes, keeping in touch with the physicians/industry officials we met in the past couple of weeks, and moving forward with the project throughout the semester.

We would like to acknowledge Dr. Jie Wang, the CEO of SyMap for organizing this entire trip, support from the CBID Admin back at Hopkins (Dr. Soumyadipta Acharya, Dr. Youseph Yazdi, and Aditya Polsani), our translators for this trip (Ning “Angela” Yan and Yuan “Lisa” Xi), and our mentors at Coridea (Howard Levin, Mark Gelfand, Adam Rosenwach, Zoar Engelman, and Anisha Bapna).

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August 19th – 20th: The Weekend!

This past weekend, I actually separated from the group to visit relatives in Northeast China (Jilin province) in smaller cities called Siping (with my mom’s side of the family) and Changchun (my dad’s side of the family). The trip was amazing. I got to see my mom, who had been touring around in China for the past month or so. She actually was in Zhoujiagou, Sichuan when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit about a week and a half ago. It was pretty scary knowing she was right at the epicenter of the quake, but, thankfully, neither her or any of her friends she was touring with were injured.

I got to my aunt, uncle, grandma, and cousins on both sides of the family, all of whom I have not seen in over four years. It was definitely an incredibly special occasion, even though it was for an extremely short period of time. I was basically force fed all of the amazing, local food that I’ve missed. It was also nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the larger cities we’ve been visiting.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group spent the weekend in Beijing. We said goodbye to Angela, our amazing translator that’s been with us for the last couple of weeks, and gave her some presents: a Hopkins mug, pen, and also a set of calligraphy brushes, as she is an avid writer. exploring Beijing’s Forbidden City and nightlife. The group also visited the Forbidden City and explored Beijing’s nightlife. Here are some excellent images from Eddie’s phone  (he’s become our resident photographer pretty much).

We all then reconvened and had a small reunion dance (or maybe that was just me) at the airport in Guangzhou, China which was our final destination. One of our taxis ended up taking a roundabout way, but we eventually reached the hotel, tired but ready for our last hospital visit.

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Wade, the sleeping beauty (who doesn’t know how to use a neck pillow)

 

August 16th – 18th: Beijing

On Wednesday morning, the team got up super bright and early to catch our train to Beijing out of Nanjing. That day was just a day for travel, and the team found it nice to be able to relax. We rode on the high speed train again, and this time it took us exactly 4 hours to reach Beijing South Station. Once we got there, the amount of people at the station was INSANE (no surprise there, are we noticing a theme?). We quite literally were in a large group stampeding our way through the station to get to the exit. We managed to get into taxis and go into our hotel, meeting Angela there. We then had a lunch/dinner at the hotel shortly after getting there and decided after that we should explore Wangfujing, one of the most famous shopping streets and attractions in Beijing. We took the metro, which was convenient and much shorter than a taxi ride would have been with the traffic, and walked around.

There was also a side street with snacks (i.e. the infamous scorpions on a stick that are still alive and moving), but this was super crowded as well. After getting past the initial crowd, there was a small street selling all sorts of trinkets.

Afterwards, I wanted to continue shopping on Wangfujing, while the guys wanted to go to Tiananmen Square. I chose not to go with them because I had been there several times prior while I was in China. I continued to shop/explore and eventually we met back at the hotel later that night to prepare for the hospital visit.

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The next morning, on Thursday, it was our first visit to the Beijing University 1st Hospital. We mainly visited their Respiratory ward and got to observe a few bronchoscopy procedures in the morning. We then sat down with Dr. Liao, one of the pulmonologists directly under Dr. Zhang, who was one of the head pulmonologists there, and specialized in pulmonary hypertension and COPD surveillance. She was a peppy young doctor and was very enthusiastic when speaking to us. We learned that she is on a multidisciplinary team that consists of herself, an EP named Dr. Ma, and a rheumatologist, all to diagnose and treat pulmonary hypertension patients. Her design feedback was impressive and she showed much interest in our project. We definitely felt very welcomed and were excited to return the day after to meet with more KOLs. Afterwards, we viewed more bronch procedures (even getting to see cryoablation/laser ablation for the first time) and then finished off the day at a dumpling house and exploring Beihai Gongyuan, a public park and former imperial garden (that Eddie really wanted to visit after doing a Yelp search). The place was extremely picturesque. We walked along the water, visited a couple temples on the side, and also a main tower that overlooked the entire park.

That night, we treated Angela to some Roast Peking Duck (a Beijing specialty). We waited over an hour for our table as we watched them roast the ducks in a wood fired oven. The dinner was unbelievably delicious. We definitely haven’t had any shortage of good food these past couple of weeks (other members of the group might beg to differ), but it’s safe to say we’ve all put on a few pounds because of it. It also doesn’t help that, in Chinese culture, eating is a form of respect and so you’re encouraged to eat, well…a ton.

After dinner, we all headed back to prepare for our final day at the Beijing hospital. The group of KOLs was nice enough to provide lunch for us as we discussed our new procedure. We also shared a presentation about the CBID methodology as well. The KOL group consisted of Dr. Liao (the pulmonologist from yesterday), Dr. Hao (rheumatologist on the pulmonary hypertension team), Dr. Ma (EP), Dr. Yao (an attending), and Dr. Qiu (chief resident). The entire group was very receptive and open to our ideas and provided very useful information in terms of design needs. After the interview, the rest of the group got a tour of the hospital while I left to the train station. I had planned to visit family for a couple days that weekend in Siping and Changchun, two cities in the very northwest of China. I have relatives there that I have not seen in 4+ years and felt that it was a necessity to go see them. The group is meeting Sunday night (August 20th) in Guangzhou for our final hospital visit.

August 14th – 15th: Nanjing

On Monday, we visited Jiangsu Provincial People’s Hospital in Nanjing. We first received a tour of their Clinical Trials Center and their suites for EP/PCI procedures. The hospital actually just constructed a new building (with more advanced equipment), so they are still in the process of moving everything over. However, in the original rooms, we met with Dr. Yang, a young and enthusiastic electrophysiologist who showed us around and talked about the arrhythmia population in China.

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We then met with Dr. Yao, a pulmonologist, in the Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Department Ward in the hospital. We interviewed him about the patient population he sees and about current treatments for pulmonary hypertension, as well as what he thought about the cross-cultural nature of our project. Afterwards, we sat down with Dr. Yang again for a more extensive conversation. He was super eager and helpful, encouraging innovation and collaboration. Afterwards, we got to speak to his boss, Dr. Chen, about the subject who was equally exuberant. We definitely received some great insights from him and left the hospital for the day feeling encouraged and refreshed with a better sense of our target patient population.

At night, we explored the Qinhuai District and got some yummy food. It was food court style, where you prepaid a card and then got whatever you wanted from the various counters. There were TONS of people though, to no surprise.

The next day, we visited Micro-Tech, a medical device company and OEM in Nanjing that is pretty well-known and used all across China known for their forceps and hemoclips.. We received a company overview and tour of their original building, as well as gave a presentation sharing the CBID methodology and the purpose of our trip. Then, we all went to lunch with several other industry officials. The food was…not what the rest of the group was expecting, but they each managed to eat as much as they could.

 

Afterwards, we got a tour of their brand new manufacturing facility about 30 minutes away. They actually just opened those doors about a week ago, so we were the first official visitors to tour the new facility! Overall, the facilities were very impressive even though they were still in the midst of transferring everything over.

For the evening, Angela, Eddie, Wade and I visited the beautiful Jiming Temple and Xuanwu Lake. Nanjing was just simply gorgeous.

August 12th – 13th, 2017: Weekend in Suzhou

The group finally got to sleep in on Saturday morning! We’ve also been absolutely spoiled with food here (at least with the breakfast buffets at the hotel). My dad’s friend had planned to take us to the famous historical gardens of Suzhou, but it had been raining all morning (and was forecasted for the entire day), so only Eddie and I ended up braving the rain to go. We first visited the Humble Administrator’s Garden, and the rain actually stopped a half hour after we got there. This garden is the largest and probably the most famous one in all of Suzhou. It was the residence of a Tang dynasty scholar and then became the garden of Dahong’s Temple in the Ming Dynasty. It was filled with intricate stone paths, pagodas representing all four seasons, and water lilies. The place was magnificent. My dad’s friend’s little sister actually worked at this garden as a tour guide and she was kind enough to lead us around the place.

Afterwards, we visited a small museum with old Suzhou artifacts and then went to another smaller garden, the Lion Grove Garden. The garden’s characteristic rock formations resemble lions and is where the name is derived from.

IMG_9330.JPGAfterwards, we explored yet another famous shopping street (although smaller than Pingjiang Lu), Shan Tang Street. This street also lined a canal and was filled with shops with various trinkets.

After walking around, we went to a restaurant to have some more traditional Suzhou food, which tends to utilize sweet sauces. We even tried a dish with ricefield eel! Dinner was overall delicious. We then returned to the hotel to meet up with the others for a fun night of exploring Li Gong Di, a narrow stretch of land surrounded by Jinji Lake for food and drinks.

The next day, we all slept in again, packed, and went to the high speed train station to go to Nanjing. The train station was PACKED per usual. This time, we made sure to get there extra early because we still had to pick up our physical tickets.

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The entire trip to Nanjing took about an hour and a half (super convenient). Nanjing is northwest of Suzhou and is the capital of the Jiangsu Province. A city of 8.2 million people, it’s the *smallest* city that we’ve visited so far, with a population just shy of that of New York City (8.5 million people). We plan on spending two full days here, one visiting the Jiangsu Province Hospital and the other visiting Micr-Tech, a local medical device company in Nanjing.

August 10th – 11th, 2017: Suzhou Industrial Park

On Thursday morning, the group packed up and left for the train station to Suzhou. Because our taxis took ~20 minutes to come, we were running pretty short on time (especially since we still had to wait in line to get our physical tickets). Thankfully, Angela worked her magic and talked to one of the managers at our boarding gate, who agreed to let us through without the physical ticket (and only our online confirmation number and passports). The train station was PACKED. If China has a lot of one thing, it’s PEOPLE. Everywhere we go, especially in Shanghai (population over 24 million), you see swarms and swarms. The train station was no exception.

 

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After navigating through, the high speed train itself was excellent. This rail system covers 29/33 of the provinces in China and is over 22,000 km (14,000 mi) in length. The train itself hits speeds of over 210 mph and is ultra convenient. Taking the train from Shanghai to Suzhou took less than a half hour.

After checking into our hotel in the Suzhou Industrial Park area, a relatively new administrative area that houses a large amount of innovative companies, we headed immediately to Suzhou bioBAY for an afternoon tour of their facilities as well as discussions about the regulatory pathway for medical devices in China. Suzhou bioBAY is a government based incubator that houses 460 companies (and counting) and provides them with government funding, business registration, suitable facilities (for R&D, manufacturing, etc.), and connections to the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). They consider themselves a bridge between the companies (everything from biotech to med device to pharma) and government on Chinese regulations, since many companies either have origins outside of China or are run by people who have had work experience outside of China. Companies can apply to be a part of bioBAY, and the application process can take as little as 4 months. The companies can then focus solely on the technical side of developing their product, and bioBAY pretty much aids them in business development. We got a tour of their exhibition hall (which was ridiculously impressive) and then discussed med device regulations in China.

After the meeting, Shash, Eddie, and I went to a historical district and street called Pingjiang Lu, historic walking street lined with canals, for dinner and a bit of shopping. The two other old men rested at the hotel.

On Friday, we got to tour a couple companies located in bioBAY, including InnoMed, a medical device company specializing in peripheral coronary stents, and bio-TOP, a life sciences partner. After the tours, we had a quick lunch and then met with Dr. Jie Wang, the head of SyMap Medical, who sponsored this whole trip, to learn more regulatory pathway and insights. Their two main products are a thermoplasty device to treat severe asthma and also another renal mapping/denervation device. It’s interesting that the class of medical device can change which level of the FDA you have to go through (city, provincial, or national). In addition, China has something called TYTE testing, which is a collection of facility regulations that can be one of the major milestones during development. For example, each company is required to have their own microbiology lab (instead of sending to a third party like is common in the U.S.) and their own machines to produce sterile water used in manufacturing. We also discussed some questions we had about the direction of our global project. Dr. Wang then treated us to some local Suzhou food (where the guys learned more about Chinese culture).

August 9th, 2017: Last Day in Shanghai (Part 1)

We have a lot to catch up on from the rest of the week, so I’ll just split these next few blog posts into a few parts. On Wednesday, the group visited Medtronic China Ventures and their R&D campus in Shanghai. Medtronic has over 50 R&D centers 18 countries, but the one we visited was the largest regional R&D Center of the multinational company outside of the United States. We met with several industry officials including Dr. Hu Ye (an investment manager for the China Venture Fund), Steve Lu (Associate Director of Visualization and Healthcare Informatics Platform), Dazhi Wang (lab manager of the R&D facility), and Nishant Mehta (Global Senior Product Marketing Manager for China). The visit was organized by Dr. Lifei Cheng (VP of Strategy, Business Development and Ventures at Medtronic). We were also able to meet Victor Yu, a CBID alum, who is now interning at that facility. His global trip was also to China, and his team partnered with Medtronic to increase access to pacemakers. Angela Yan, our amazing manager/translator, also accompanied us.

First, we were given presentations about Medtronic China Ventures (including current market trends), mLAB (which finances and accelerates projects by incubating technology and catering it to the Chinese market), as well as Medtronic China R&D’s philosophy, mission, and focus. We also gave a presentation about the CBID methodology and our global project because they wanted to learn more about our design process. Then, we were given a tour of the GIANT R&D lab and office spaces.  My favorite room was probably the mock surgical suite and also a balcony that overlooked a beautifully designed garden (since the facility was located in a large technology plaza). After the tour, we had lunch with the industry officials and asked questions regarding the regulatory pathway for Chinese medical devices as well as dove deeper into the market landscape. For future trends, they are looking to accelerate physician innovation (and increase collaboration between physicians and engineers, as healthcare currently is very KOL driven especially in higher tier hospitals) and want tiered services/the private sector to account for a more important part of the healthcare system (as opposed to public hospitals currently). For Medtronic R&D’s mission, they want to address unmet needs of emerging markets, utilizing rapid development of innovative and trusted technology, with local talent. An interesting tidbit was that local innovation is crucial and there’s a shift in focus towards more local players, since many times citizens will trust and buy local products more than imported ones. There is also a government mandate that states at least 30% of products used in tier 3 hospitals must be local. In terms of reimbursement, citizens have a national ID residence card, and if they go to a local hospital (i.e. Zhongshan Hospital and are from Shanghai), then they can received up to 90% coverage. For non-residents, you would maybe get at most 60% (decreases the higher tier hospital you go to). Since many non-residents may travel to a higher tier hospital to receive treatment (i.e. about half the patients in Zhongshan aren’t from Shanghai), they can afford self-pay.

After the Medtronic visit in the afternoon and some relaxing at our hotel, we went to the Bund area (this time in Pudong, on the other side of the river across from Nanjing Lu, the street we went to the other day). My dad’s friend in Shanghai took the group out for authentic Shanghai cuisine with an amazing view of the river. After dinner, we explored the area, acting like stereotypical tourists, and even went to the top of the Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building IN THE WORLD, at 2073 ft.

We even got a super cheesy (totally not photoshopped) souvenir photo of all of us at the top of the Shanghai Tower.

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After a lot of walking around, the old men decided to turn in early for the night at our hotel to prepare for our train ride in the morning to Suzhou.

August 8th, 2017: Day 2 – Getting Settled In

Today was the second day visiting Zhong Shan Hospital in the Xuhui district of Shanghai. After our (my) breakfast of strictly pastries at the hotel, we embarked on our 12 minute walk to the Hospital to meet with a CT surgeon.  Although only a short distance, walking in >100 degree weather with the humidity of a Sauna makes you really appreciate the forward thinking of Willis Carrier in 1902 (inventor of air conditioning). For those of you not used to my random facts, welcome. Once we got to the hospital, we met up with our translator/guide Angela, the manager of a Suzhou startup, EOLO medical.  Of course positioning ourselves in the best place possible, under an AC vent.

The CT surgeon came to meet us on the 6th floor of the hospital, and brought us to a conference room on the 8th floor behind a Trekkie electric sliding door.  During our discussion with the doctor, we quickly realized that he was a CT surgeon and not a thoracic surgeon as we requested from Dr. Shen (lost in translation?); however, needless to say, the conversation was fruitful and we gained some valuable input.

We then met up with Dr. Wu who brought us to the fluoro suites for PCI day.  On tuesday’s they only do PCI’s, 114 of them, with a 5 minute turnaround, in 5 rooms, from 8 am to 10 pm. Simply Nuts. The patient volume is so high in China, that most procedures are done as outpatient; all of the patients get painkillers, with local anesthesia instead. This provides a clear theme; if you are to introduce a med device in china, make sure the procedure can be done outpatient with no anesthesia. Also, important to note, on Wednesday’s they don’t wear pink, they do ablations.

After seeing a few procedures we headed back to the hotel to change, and pick up our passports to set out on the great quest of our time. Get cash and get sim cards(It has been surprisingly hard to find an atm to pull cash from, only tried >10 atms before giving up yesterday). We were able to get the  lowdown from an insider, find a China Bank or a foreign bank. We walked for about 30 mins through the free outdoor sauna and finally reached China bank where we were able to pull cash.  We then set off in search of sim cards. The first place we stopped only had 2G data, this isn’t 2005 and we ain’t about that life so we moved on to a China Unicom.

After some waiting, and then some more waiting, we got sim cards for ~$35 that are unlimited calling and 4G data.  The US has gotta step its game up on that front.  Content with our victory, sans Wade because his phone wasn’t unlocked, we headed off to the best Hot Pot place in town, Haidilao.

We had to wait 30 mins for a table, but Haidilao knows what to do. They have little tables with palm juice, massage chairs, and a manicurist on site just for the waiting area. They also provide little pieces of paper for folding, but Shash had something else in mind…

Andrew tried ordering beers, but it was unsuccessful with the language barrier.  We finally got seated and they provided us with the usual glass of water, and then the unusual bag for cellphone, screen wipe, hairties, aprons, and an ipad for ordering.  The right side of the table got the spicy broth, and the wrong side of the table got chicken broth. We ordered quite the spread; pork, lamb, beef, lotus root, spinach, tofu, cabbage, shrimp balls. As for the drinks, iced tea from a famous restaurateur of hotpot places for Angela, Shash, and I, a Japanese beer for Andrew, a fancy Stella for Wade, and a risky tap water for Sabrina. There is a running bet on who gets the expected maladie that we brought Azithromycin for…  After gorging for an hour or so, we headed to Nanjing pedestrian road, a famous shopping district that dates back to the good ol’ days of 1845 (sans Andrew, team down one).  We started using the Chinese version of Uber, Didi, however the efficacy has been questionable.

Once we got to the shopping district, we headed in the direction of the Bund. We stopped at quite a few interesting stores, and took refuge in the larger, air conditioned stores.  As we walked on, I noticed a few people with drinks that had a colorful blue liquid smoking at the bottom of their cup. I remarked to Angela, ” I don’t know what that is, but I need it.” We proceeded to find the source and upon inspection it was a double jacket cup with the external jacket holding blue water with pelletized dry ice, and the internal one holding your drink. Simply one of the best marketing schemes I have seen in a while.  After a little bit more walking, Angela headed back to her home. Not ten feet further, Wade and Shashwat ducked out to go backed to the hotel. Sabrina and I walked on further through some more stores trying to figure out the weirdest possible gifts for our CBID compatriots around the world.  We didn’t end up on settling anything because we are very early into our travel.

We continued on to the Bund and walked for about half a mile down the water to find the best spot to take photos of the pearl tower and the skyline.

Since it was around 5:30, we decided to find a bar for a drink. We ended up going to the GLAM bar, a chic artsy bar, as they describe it, right by the waterfront. The house wine was questionable but the view was great.

Moving on, we started walking the sidestreets to find cool things hidden away from the main drag.  I ended up getting a peach tea from HeeTee and a matcha ice cream thing from a dream desserts.  After walking a mile or so more, we ended up at the Park Hotel. A famous hotel built in 1931, that has housed many foreign diplomats and my personal favorite, a celebratory dinner for the Flying Tigers. The group of American pilots that came over to fight and fly for China during WWII, before the Americans had officially declared war on Japan.

After three hours of walking around, and seeing the nighttime beauty of the Bund and the Shopping district we headed back via Didi to the hotel across town. Pro-tip, if you are in China, Starbucks is amazing here. They have better drinks and better pastries.

Overall, it was a very insightful day, and the whole team learned alot about the Chinese culture and medical environment at a Tier 3 Hospital.

*pictures will be added later when internet is sufficient

 

 

 

August 7th, 2017: First 24 hours in China…

After our 13-hour flight, we had to deplane from the side because of an electricity issue and take a shuttle to the main airport customs area. Suddenly, we all felt the immense heat and humidity of the city. It definitely had that characteristic China “scent” too, a smell familiar to me from visiting several times prior.

We then ventured to our hotel, the Lee Gardens Hotel in Xuhui Qu, and then almost immediately left to go to hotel Dr. Jie Wang (boss of SyMap) was staying at, to have a meeting with him and our translator/manager Angela Yan (who works for Eolo Medical). After an introductory meeting to go over our schedule, Dr. Wang treated us to an amazing late-night dinner at his hotel.

This morning, we all got breakfast at the hotel: a delicious assortment of pork buns, congee, fruit, eggs, and other foods. We then met Angela at Zhongshan Hospital, a tier 3 hospital, at the Cardiovascular Disease and Liver Cancer outpatient center.

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Front gates of the Zhongshan Hospital Cardiovascular Building

From there, Dr. Wu (who is under Dr. Shen, who is under Dr. Ge) greeted us and took us up to inpatient rounds on the second floor. We then shadowed Dr. Zhou (who is under Dr. Wu) along with his team, and mainly saw patients eligible for ICD or an angioplasty/stent placement. Then, one of the fellows on Dr. Zhou’s team gave us a tour of their emergency department, patient waiting areas, and CT/MRI suites. The main thing we noticed was the sheer amount of patients…people were everywhere! That also means that patients need to schedule an appointment with a specialist far in advance (with about half of the patients coming from out of Shanghai) and that there is a large volume of procedures performed each day (compared to the U.S.). We also got to interview a junior level fellow about the patient care pathway and different arrhythmia patients. After munching on some Shanghai fast food for lunch, we then got to view some EP ablation procedures and had a meeting with several key KOLs, including Dr. Shen (head of the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation at the hospital). Although the language barriers were a challenge for all of us, the tours/meetings today were overall very insightful and gave us a sense of the Chinese medical system.

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After leaving the hospital, some members of the group needed to get SIM cards/Chinese cash in RMB but we got neither successfully. However, we did end up near a nice Marriott and got dinner there.

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We’re all pretty tired tonight and still jet lagged, but hopefully our body clocks will adjust soon. Tomorrow is another day at Zhongshan hospital!

Sabrina

 

August 5th, 2017: And we’re off!

After spending the last month doing background research, meeting with Coridea/Dr. Tandri, putting together interview guides, and planning logistics, this trip is finally happening! We first took a 6 AM flight this morning from Baltimore and some of us barely made it. After Shash called an uber to pick us up, I realized my suitcase wouldn’t roll, it just rocked, so I had to transfer everything last minute! We then literally ran to the gate after getting to BWI. Andrew, on the other hand, apparently took an uber through the set of the wire. However, we made it and are now waiting to get on our 13-hour direct flight to Shanghai from San Francisco!

Waiting at the San Francisco airport! And Andrew being a *diva*
Some pre-flight stretching with Wade

After landing, we plan on going to our hotel to check in and get situated. Then, we have a meeting with Ning (Angela) Yan, manager of Eolo Medical and translator for the first two weeks of our trip, and Dr. Jie Wang, an executive at SyMap.

We’re definitely feeling ~fly~ today. Next stop…Shanghai!

Sabrina