TEDMED Blog

TEDMED Stage Program by the Numbers

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As we count down the days until TEDMED, we present a numerical look at the speakers for TEDMED 2014.

Some fun facts:

This year, we’re particularly proud that 45 of our speakers – 51 percent – are women.  As we ramp up to an eventual global presence, we’ve invited speakers from 20 nations and five continents.

They also represent a wide variety of interdisciplinary brilliance:  22 MDs, 26 PhDs (10 overachieving MD/PhDs and one hyper-overachieving college dropout), lawyers, architects, economists, journalists, entrepreneurs, an extreme athlete, acrobaticalists, global musicians, comedians, actors, dancers, photographers, and a man who gets a lot of mileage out of his pink tutu.

TEDMED Speakers: Tackling the Taboo

We’re just a few weeks out from TEDMED 2014! Next up – we’re sharing details on “Don’t You Dare Talk About This,” which will be presented on Day 2 of our bi-coastal event. You can’t solve a problem if you refuse to talk about it; to accelerate progress, we need to discuss controversial issues that may make us uncomfortable.

Session 5:  Don’t You Dare Talk About This

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This line-up of inspired risk-takers may just change the way you think and talk about the world’s most taboo health and medicine topics.

Learn more about these and other TEDMED 2014 speakers by exploring our stage program, and apply to attend today. Stay up-to-date by following @TEDMED on Twitter.

Later this week, we’ll be outlining our next session, “Play Is Not a Waste of Time,” about the extraordinary ways play can enhance health and medicine.

TEDMED Live Streaming To Reach 100+ Global Locations

More than 100 organizations around the globe will host TEDMED Live Streaming, a simulcast of the entire TEDMED 2014 stage program, with an estimated total audience of more than 100 thousand viewers.

TEDMED seeks to host an inclusive global dialog among all cultures and walks of life to create a “big picture” for science, health and medicine. It’s the first step toward inspiring breakthrough thinking and insights for the health of our planet’s 7 billion people. To that end, TEDMED will broadcast its entire program from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Palace Theater in San Francisco, CA, both live during the event on September 10-12 and on-demand through September 16.  The live streaming is available at no cost to qualified academic institutions, teaching hospitals, government organizations and non-profits organizations.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 3.23.59 PMAffiliates to date include the World Health Organization, Research4Life, Clinton Foundation, Millennium Villages Project, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, American Public Health Association, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Society for Participatory Medicine, +SocialGood, the National Institutes of Health and BroadReach Healthcare, among many others.

Affiliates can use the live streaming in many ways to facilitate conversations and collaborations:  Via a group event in a conference room, during a large community gathering or on individual devices.

If your organization would like to access TEDMED Live Streaming, click here to find out more and apply.

TEDMED Speakers: Stealing Solutions to Medicine’s Toughest Problems

shutterstock_22354027In four short weeks TEDMED 2014 officially kicks off and we are excited to continue highlighting our sessions with you. Next up, we are pleased to present “Stealing Smart,” a session during which speakers will share inspiring stories and ideas about how we can adapt solutions from other industries, and from other fields both inside and outside of medicine, to solve the most intractable problems in health and medicine. This session is dedicated to the idea that sometimes we need to look outside the realm of health to solve the complex issues within.

There’s still time to join us at TEDMED in Washington, DC or San Francisco, CA to experience how these dynamic thought leaders are accelerating health and medicine by “stealing smart.”

Brian Primack, Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, will shed a provocative new light on the health impacts of existing and possible future relationships between certain popular media products and human behavior.

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at UCLA Medical School, will provide a surprising perspective on how human wellbeing, including mental health, can be improved with insights into animal health.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director of the Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy, will discuss an unusual yet imminently practical approach to conserving antibiotics.

Engineer and entrepreneur Drew Lakatos is the CEO of ActiveProtect, a wearable technology company focused on reducing injury with smart garments that monitor mobility, detect falls, and intervene prior to impact.

Neuroscientist Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the NIH and a world leader in the neurobiology of diseases of reward and self-control, will apply a lens of addiction to the obesity epidemic.

Dominick Farinacci, trumpeter and protégé of Wynton Marsalis, will perform. He leads the Lincoln Center expansion in Doha and has played music in the lobby of the Cleveland Clinic.

Leslie Morgan Steiner, journalist and author, will bring the audience along on her journey to learn the truth about a successful medical surrogacy industry on the far side of the world – and how it could provide a model to help solve problems in the U.S.

Abraham Verghese, Provostial Professor and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, will share compelling insights into the impact of language on health.

Zachary Copfer, former microbiologist and now an MFA in photography from the University of Cincinnati, will share awe-inspiring images in which the world of medicine is the medium as well as the message.

With the goal of creating “spare parts” for human implantation and disease models, Nina Tandon founded Epibone, the world’s first company to grow living human bones for skeletal reconstruction.

Both a forensic toxicologist and an attorney, Stephen Goldner is the Chairman and CEO of CureLauncher, a free, consumer-friendly resource that connects patients to clinical trials based on their unique goals and conditions.

TEDMED 2014 Session Three: Achieving the Seemingly Impossible

Find a way.” – Diana Nyad

What lies on the other side of self-imposed limitations? Lab tests at your neighborhood pharmacy that use a single drop of blood. A breathtakingly simple way to stop HIV/AIDS in its tracks. A completely counter-intuitive way to address doctor shortages in developing countries. An endurance feat so extreme that it redefines the phrase “will to succeed.”

Speakers for Session Three of TEDMED 2014 will make you rethink the limits of what is possible.

Flat Out Amazing

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, will share the amazing medical insights and technology that have put her on the cutting edge of high-tech diagnostics.

Gail Reed, founder of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba and editor of MEDICC Review, is a former journalist who will spotlight a completely counterintuitive program to relieve the global shortage of physicians in poor countries.

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Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad will share lessons of her world record-setting solo 110-mile swim from Cuba to Miami at age 64.

Marc Koska, inventor of a life-saving syringe, will share the struggles, setbacks, breakthroughs and ultimate triumphs of this technology’s 30-year odyssey from “great idea” to “globally adopted reality.”

Foteini Agrafioti, a biometric and personal security engineer, will share how your EKG and emissions from your ear may be an alternate kind of fingerprint for you.

Kitra Cahana, one of National Geographic’s youngest photographers, will tell a moving and inspiring story of a medical catastrophe that turned into an unexpected journey into realms of spirituality and imagination.

Click here to register for the event in Washington, DC or in San Francisco, CA.

TEDMED Themes: Nine Parts of Imagination

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 9.38.20 PMAs TEDMED convenes its first ever dual-location event September 10-12, speakers will lead Delegates in exploring nine overarching themes with the ultimate goal of unlocking imagination, both individually and collectively, to address the toughest conundrums and most exciting innovations happening today.

Session One: Turn It Upside Down

What lies beneath the obvious? What could we be doing better, if only we looked more closely or from a completely different angle? Speakers will address insights that flip beliefs and question standard operating procedures in health and medicine.

Speaking and performing for this session will be:

Erica Frank, Professor and Canada Research Chair in the School of Population and Public Health, and the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia

Farah Siraj, Jordanian singer and songwriter

Elliot Swart, co-founder and CTO of 3Derm Systems

Jared Heyman, founder of CrowdMed

Sonia Shah, investigative science journalist and historian

NANDA, acrobaticalists

Ted Kaptchuk, Director of Harvard Medical School’s Program in Placebo Studies and Therapeutic Encounter

E. Bimla Schwarz, women’s health expert and scholar of evidence-based data

Danielle Ofri, attending physician at Bellevue Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine

Thomas Goetz, health journalist, science writer, and entrepreneur

Heather Raffo, actress, playwright, and librettist

Session Two: We Just Don’t Know

This session celebrates science’s eternal quest to understand as much as we can about the workings of the universe, while realizing that the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know. The speakers in this session illuminate the thrill of even incremental discoveries and the wonder of exploring new terrain.  They are:

Daniel Webster, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research

Rosie King, Emmy Award-winning spokesperson and educator

Elizabeth Nabel, President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Ben Folds, leader of the rock band Ben Folds Five

Gary Conkright, CEO of PhysIQ

Amy McGuire, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine

Tig Notaro, stand-up comic

Jeffrey Iliff, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University

Applications are open to join TEDMED 2014 in San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC. To apply, click here.

New Metrics for Measuring Health Are Coming

ThomasGoetzA noted authority in the design and communication of healthcare data and information, Thomas Goetz is cofounder of Iodine, a health technology company with a mission to turn medical research data into clear and actionable tools for ordinary people to make better decisions about their health. Goetz, who holds a master’s degree in public health from University of California, Berkeley, is also the former executive editor of WIRED and author of two books: 2010’s The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine, and 2014’s acclaimed The Remedy, recently chosen as a Best Book of the Month by iTunes and Amazon. His 2010 TED talk on visualizing medical data has been viewed more than 400,000 times.

TEDMED: What’s the most remarkable innovation you are seeing in health tech or medicine, and what is driving it?

Goetz: It’s the growing awareness that healthcare and medicine are consumer services, not just industries. We’re becoming aware that there is a consumer, often called the patient, who should be served. The tools of healthcare technology should be designed and optimized for that consumer experience, rather than for the goals of an insurer or provider or hospital. The shift that is happening is a step beyond patient-oriented; it’s consumer-oriented healthcare.

For instance, in every process or service that exists in healthcare we’re starting to ask, “Is that service actually incorporating the feedback of the consumer? Is it serving the consumer well? Is it designed to be the most smooth and least disrupting experience possible for individuals?” These questions have not traditionally been taken into account in healthcare. That’s a promising development, and one we’re trying to drive at Iodine.

What’s driving this innovation is a couple of things. One is that, through the Affordable Care Act and other changes in insurance, the consumer is now exposed to more of the cost of their healthcare. They’re asking, “What am I getting for my money?” Some organizations see that as an opportunity. The patient hasn’t been putting money into the system and now they are in ever greater amounts. That’s kind of the stick.

The other influence is more of the carrot: People are realizing that using the tools of good design and good customer service is a good business strategy in healthcare. There has always been a mantra that healthcare is different, medicine is different. But that’s not true. Healthcare has largely been a negative experience for people. People want to have a positive experience. They want satisfying and rewarding experiences in healthcare, instead of fear, uncertainty, and death.

TEDMED: What’s the most important factor for entrepreneurial success in health tech—and is that different from your own key to success?

Goetz: Traditionally, entrepreneurs have succeeded in healthcare by finding a niche or a need and creating incremental improvements. That’s changing. There is growing awareness that healthcare technology is potentially as vulnerable to the same kind of seismic shifts and exponential growth that has occurred in other industries. Now that wave is coming to healthcare.

That’s very aligned with my own interests and background, which has been charting the impact of technologies in industry. And that is what I’m trying to do now: leverage the exponential forces of data and analytics to turn those into something that benefits healthcare as it has in so many other industries.

TEDMED: For entrepreneurs with needle-moving ideas in global health, what are the keys to finding collaborators and supporters across specialties, industries, and geographies?  

Goetz: A strategy I’d recommend is to attempt to see what has worked in other areas or to find analogies that lay out a platform for success so that you don’t have to make up everything all at once. Adapt and implement a platform that has worked rather than build a whole new process in addition to creating a new market.

That said, it’s also true that a lot of these global health opportunities leverage different technologies, such as leapfrog technologies like the mobile infrastructure. Those can be significant advantages to a global health strategy.

TEDMED: In 2020, you’re asked to give a TEDMED talk about the biggest transformation you helped bring about in your field. What is it?

Goetz: I hope that in 2020 I’ve been part of a driving shift to where people’s real life experiences are captured and considered as valuable as the traditional bodies of evidence and research. I hope that we can define a new way of creating science and a new way of helping people make better decisions based on not just the sterile environment of laboratories, but on what works for real people in the real world.

It is part of what Iodine is working on. We have always thought of the physician, rather than the patient, as the authority who can measure experience. We’re going to start acknowledging that patient-reported data is potentially more accurate and has its own inherent value. The EHR’s reign as a primary document of patient experience will end. It’s going to be recognized as a great representation of the provider experience, but not the definitive document of patient experience.

What’s great about traditional metrics and what is being measured by the EHR is that there is a list of things we measure such as blood pressure and all sorts of levels in the blood. We need to collectively determine what are the new metrics that can be captured and that are valid when coming directly from the patient. Some of those will be the same metrics and some will be brand new metrics.

There could be much better and more pervasive measurements that take into account real people’s real world experiences. That shift is already starting, and in six years my predictive powers say that could be much more widespread. I hope to be a part of it.

Meet the Final 11 Hive Startups

Last but not least, today we unveil the final 11 startups that we will welcome into The Hive at TEDMED this September 10-12 in Washington, DC, and San Francisco, CA. The companies we introduce are improving healthcare outcomes and the patient experience by making information available and accessible, regardless of geography or technology.

We’re very excited about this year’s Hive members – get familiar with these and all the startups joining us on TEDMED.com.


AdverseEvents aims to increase patient safety and reduce healthcare costs by providing easy access to comprehensive drug side-effect data.


CareSync‘s combination of applications and services lets patients share their healthcare information and collaborate with families, care teams, and providers in managing their health.


i-Human Patients‘ cloud-based e-learning solutions are like flight simulators that help healthcare professionals and students develop critical, cognitive competencies to make appropriate interventions and treatment plans.


MediSafe‘s data-driven Medication Management Platform is designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce expenses throughout the medication distribution chain by creating better patient engagement and medication adherence


NextGxDx is expediting genetic testing for patients with an online marketplace and HIPAA-compliant platform that allows healthcare providers to search, compare, order tests and receive results electronically.


PillPack delivers personalized rolls of pre-sorted medications to make it easy for people to take the right medication at the right time.


Pristine‘s flagship product, EyeSight, is pioneering the delivery of telehealth via Google Glass to break down physical and geographic barriers to accessing medical expertise.


SafeUseNow has developed an analytical software to model patient, prescriber, and pharmacy behavior in order to manage risk, fight fraud, combat waste, and decrease the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs.


Smile Train leverages technology to provide training and funding to empower local doctors in more than 85 developing countries to provide free cleft lip and palate repair surgery for children in their own communities.


Tiatros uses social media technologies to put patients at the center of their own Personal Health Networks, surrounded by care providers, family members, and other stakeholders to make healthcare better, safer, less costly, and more easily accessible.


VoiceItt‘s personalized speech recognition technology enables people who suffer from motor, speech, and language disorders to freely express themselves and be understood in any setting, using mobile and wearable devices.

Also, meet Zen Chu in our latest interview with the thought leaders who curated this year’s Hive. Chu is Healthcare Entrepreneur-In-Residence at MIT, co-director of the MIT/HST Healthcare Ventures graduate course, and overseer of MIT’s Hacking Medicine initiatives. He also runs Accelerated Medical Ventures, where he serves as co-founder and first investor for several medical and software companies.

- The TEDMED Team

Facing the Facts of Childhood Obesity

On Tuesday, as part of the Great Challenges program, we convened some of the nation’s top leaders in health and research around the topic of reducing childhood obesity. The conversation touched on the need for a multifaceted approach that includes action from communities, policy makers, schools, families, and individuals. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, our partner on the Great Challenges program, posted the following recap, which provides context and explores the discussion:

A 2012 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Trust for America’s Health concluded that if the adult and childhood obesity rates in 2011 continued to increase at their steady paces, then by 2030 nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults would be obese and every single state would have obesity rates above 44 percent.

Data now show that childhood obesity rates have stabilized. In fact, for the first time in a decade the obesity rates among young children from low-income families in many states is trending down.

Helping lead the way in this important public health issue has been the city of Philadelphia, Penn., which has worked to improve access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

“We were very fortunate in Philadelphia to have colleagues…who have developed a better understanding of childhood obesity,” said Don Schwarz, former Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity, City of Philadelphia, and will also soon take on the role of director for RWJF’s Demand Team. “What that has meant is that Philadelphia was able to take a body of knowledge and bring it to scale. The partnership in Philadelphia that has allowed that to happen goes across government and between government and the private sector and community organizations—just everyday Philadelphians. So that kind of partnership, that wonderful knowledge base, has I believed turned the corner on childhood obesity, particularly for children who are of disadvantaged communities.”

Schwarz’s comments came during the Tuesday, July 22 Google Hangout TEDMED Great Challenges: A Candid Conversation About Childhood Obesity. The panel was moderated by Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News.

Every member of the panel echoed the importance of partnerships, and Besser succinctly explained their critical role in not just obesity prevention but all public health efforts.

“The more creatively you can think and the wider variety of partners you can pull in, the more likely you are to be successful,” he said.

At the heart of Philadelphia’s success has been the important role that schools play in that community partnership. According to Schwarz, for the past decade the city’s schools have worked to reshape how they approach children’s health and wellbeing, including comprehensive nutrition policies, a new food environment that emphasizes healthy choices and more opportunities for kids to be physically active. One can’t be successful without the other.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF’s president and CEO, also touched on this pairing, noting how the progress that’s been made (“It’s fragile in many ways, but it’s progress nonetheless”) is rooted in an overall change in the attitude and values over how to approach the issue of childhood obesity as a nation. Where before it was viewed as an issue of personal responsibility, more and more people are realizing that parents, schools, public organizations and private organizations must all come together to investigate, implement and expand healthy policies and practices for all kids. What’s more, people are also expecting and demanding these resources from their communities.

“We have the real beginning of a change in values that will, I think, accelerate the move to a healthy weight for all children,” she said.

Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, discussed the importance of coupling effective medical treatment with surrounding a child with a culture of health, saying in particular that a culture that rewards individual successes is one that will see the greatest success overall.

“We need to stress whether for kids or for adults the importance of incremental change,” she said. “If we’re able to create an environment where…losing even 5, 7, 10 pounds, beginning to walk, starting to eat healthier—if we can have an environment where those things are rewarded, we will see continued, longer-term progress for that child and for their family.”

Businesses can also play a role in reinforcing this culture of health, according to Brown, especially has the health and wellbeing of employees and their families has slowly transitioned from an HR-only subject to more prominence. Wellness programs improve personal health while reinvigorating the surrounding community, which in turn helps ensure a stronger return on investment.

But just as Lavizzo-Mourey noted the fragility of the progress so far, Elissa Epel, an Associate Professor at the UCSF School of Medicine, spoke about the continued stigmatization of obesity, which can impede efforts to reduce rates, both because overweight and obese children can feel needlessly and wrongfully shamed and because other facets of the community don’t fully understand the difficulties that many people can face when it comes to getting and staying healthy.

With research and data producing more evidence every day underlining how stress, genetic predispositions and other factors can limit control under certain conditions, when it comes to childhood obesity—and to obesity in general—we need to keep shifting from the entrenched model of personal blame to one of understanding the power of the food environment. This is especially important because stigma leads to stress leads to poor eating leads to more stigma…a cycle that a quick glance at the numbers shows far too many people suffer in.

“Stigma is toxic,” she said. “Stigma is a source of chronic stress.”

Hearkening back to the particular progress Philadelphia has made in reducing childhood obesity rates in disadvantaged communities, Epel also spoke about how low socioeconomic status also brings with it the unfortunate pairing of more toxic stress and more opportunities to turn to junk food as a coping mechanism—or at least far less access to healthy alternatives than you might see in other communities.

Epel also spoke to the core concept of public health—not being content with treating the disease, but treating the sources of the disease before symptoms such as obesity can manifest and cause harm. In that way, communities need to look at childhood obesity as a trans-generational problem that begins incorporating community players, ensuring food security and implementing other practices to improve the health of future mothers and their future children.

Still, despite all the successes across the country that were discussed, much more is needed, with an eye toward prevention as “the name of the game,” according to Lisa Simpson, President and CEO of Academy Health. That begins with a focus on a research community that continues to dig down into the risk factors and that is supported by the entire community.

“We need to continue to have these kinds of discoveries that help us understand obesity…and very importantly how to intervene to prevent it, and if the child does become overweight or obese how to treat it,” said Simpson. “At the same time, the research community—and here also the policy and practice communities—need to come together to then, once we do know what works, partner and work on the dissemination and implementation of good evidence.”

Reprinted with permission from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Public Health blog.

The Last Speakers Announced for the TEDMED 2014 Stage Program

We are proud to announce the remaining speakers who will share ideas and insight as a part of a phenomenal stage program designed to unlock your imagination. From an end-of-life bioethicist to an expert in toxic stress and inventor of a safer syringe, these global leaders in health and medicine are paving the way to a healthier future. This exceptional collection of thought leaders and innovators in San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC from September 10-12.

Without further ado, here are 14 more speakers who will grace the TEDMED 2014 stage:

Battin

End-of-life ethicist and writer Peggy Battin will talk about re-examining beliefs around an individual’s right to autonomy.

Frank
Virtual medical school pioneer Erica Frank will challenge assumptions about medical education with a revolutionary solution to the global doctor shortage.

Fry-Revere

Sigrid Fry-Revere, an organ donation ethicist and Aristotle enthusiast, will be sharing a surprisingly effective but often overlooked solution to the problem of organ shortage.

HolmesGame changer Elizabeth Holmes, who heads up lab diagnostic company Theranos, will share insights and technology that have put her at the cutting edge of high-test medical diagnostics.

Hart

Carl Hart, drug data dealer, professor, neuroscientist, and author, will describe a provocative, evidence-based approach to the crisis of drug abuse.

Horoho

Lieutenant General Patricia Horoho, the first nurse and first woman Army Surgeon General, will be discussing ways in which health care can actually cause harm.

KoskaPersistent inventor and global life-saver Marc Koska will talk about inventing the game changing Auto Disable syringe, which cannot be reused and halts the spread of blood borne illnesses.

MorganSteinerLeslie Morgan Steiner, a motherhood investigator and author of bestselling memoir Crazy Love, will share what she learned investigating a successful medical surrogacy industry across the globe – and how it might help the US.

NabelFormer head of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, founder of the Red Dress Heart Truth Campaign, cardiologist, and current president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Elizabeth “Betsy” Nabel will show the audience how accepting what you do not know can be a strength.

Ofri

Author and reflective physician Danielle Ofri will make a powerful case that one of the things medical professionals are most resistant to could lead to dramatic improvements in care.

Reed

Gail Reed, an expert in the Cuban health system, will spotlight a completely counterintuitive program to relieve the global shortage of physicians in poor countries.

VolkowNeuroscientist Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will apply a lens of addiction to the obesity epidemic.

WebsterJohns Hopkins professor and gun violence researcher Daniel Webster will examine hopeful possibilities to solve the gun control puzzle.

WenTransparent physician Leana Wen will discuss a controversial approach to medical transparency and full disclosure that could put the patient in the front seat.

With only seven weeks to go until we kickoff TEDMED 2014, space is filling up fast - be sure to apply today!