Video: Elizabeth Marincola wants to set science knowledge free

A free flow of information goes to the heart of science, PLOS CEO Elizabeth Marincola says, but we’ve commoditized data instead. Can web-based, open-access publishing advance knowledge — and turn a profit? Watch>>

 

Elizabeth Marincola at TEDMED 2013

Why are so-called disabilities essential to human diversity?

Many affected by illness and disability find profound meaning, inspiration and identity in their differences, says “Far From the Tree” author Andrew Solomon, who holds that it is diversity that truly unites us all. Watch him at TEDMED 2013.

Andrew Solomon at TEDMED 2013

TEDMED 2013 in Doodles and Song

How much information can you pack into one entertaining doodle?

More than you can imagine. Check out how Discovery Doodles captured each TEDMED 2013 talk in enlightening and entertaining drawings. Which is your favorite?

Our recommendation? Listen to this wondrous song by Kishi Bashi, singer-songwriter and composer who performed at TEDMED 2013, while you browse the Doodles:

Browse the Doodles below:

TEDMED 2013 Session Recap Doodles

TEDMED 2013 Day 3: From Scuba Diving Wheelchair to Death Over Dinner

By Medgadget Editors

Day three of TEDMED 2013 kicked off with “Session X,” which was a special session focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship, and consisted of a spirited panel discussion of two hot topics. During the first half of the session, Marleece Barber, Jennifer Kurkoski, Rick Valencia, Geeta Nayyar and Jeff DeGraff participated in a discussion titled “Every Company is a Healthcare Company: Innovating From the Outside In,” which offered insights into integrating good healthcare practices at a basic level.

Photo: Jarod Harris/TEDMED

From Barber’s observation, “If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we put rocket scientists’ butts on bicycles?” to Kurkoski’s thoughts on creating work environments that help employees make good choices, there was consensus that meaningful changes can be made without burdensome mandates on employees. As an example, Kurkoski pointed to Google’s efforts of making it easy to subconsciously choose fruit as a snack over candy at the company’s cafeterias. The second half of the session had Grant Verstandig, Giovanni Colella, Nina Nashif, Michael Weintraub and Juan Enriquez tackling the topic of “Shifting the Curve from Start to Scale to Exit: Lessons from the Trajectory of Innovation,” which offered observations of investors and experienced entrepreneurs on starting and maintaining companies from innovation to maturity.

The next session, “Going Farther while Staying Closer,” opened with an innovative musical program by the Washington Conservatory. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco discussed her vision of patient centered healthcare. Roni Zeiger former Chief Health Strategist for Google and now CEO of Smart Patients, talked of creating systems that allow patients to collaborate in a more equal footing with physicians and the health care system. Ramesh Raskar of the MIT Media Lab demonstrated two of his projects that use capabilities of smartphones to measure vision and prescribe corrective lenses, as well as demonstrating fundoscopic examinations using a brand new approach (look more on that from Medgadget in the coming days). Christopher J.L. Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, shared his work collecting and providing data analysis tools for evaluating the global burden of disease. Larry Brilliant rounded off the session with a presentation on dealing with pandemics and the possibility of eliminating them altogether.

Photo: Jarod Harris/TEDMED

The third session, “Thinking Outside the (Check) Box,” included Sue Austin showing off her work as an artist performing underwater in her scuba wheelchair. She claimed to be, though she’s paralyzed in the legs, the most mobile person at TEDMED. Considering what she does underwater, that claim is not as outlandish as one might suspect. Jessica Richman presented uBiome, the world’s largest successful citizen science project and her vision that citizen science can be performed at the Nobel Prize level. As she stated, “We can put those anecdotes together in a structured way and create data, and that’s science!”

Elazer Edelman discussed the perils of the explosion of knowledge and how this can actually limit the integration of disparate fields of work together. Following him, Ryan Panchadsaram shared his ideas for the uses of data visualization in public policy. Salvatore Iaconesi followed by describing how his community, both in person and online, helped him deal with his brain cancer diagnosis and say “Hey Cancer! You’re not all there is to me!” Finally, Andrew Solomon offered his ideas on the merging of illness, identity, and relationships, and his view that relationships of all types help us deal with illness. Take away: “I don’t subscribe to a subtractive model of love. I subscribe to an additive model of love.”

The final session of the day, an amazing and challenging session, “Welcoming Death Into Life,” dealt with end of life issues. From Charity Tillemann-Dick’s experience with pulmonary hypertension and lung transplants, including sharing her beautiful soprano voice coming from her third set of lungs, to John Kheir describing how the death of a child spurred him to create medical innovation, this session invited us to think about mortality with curiosity and even a bit of humorAmanda Bennett discussed how the medical system does a poor job helping patients avoid denial and the reality of death, and Kelli Swazey described how the practices of other cultures can help us find new ways of dealing with death. The centerpiece of the session was Michael Hebb’s “Death over Dinner” and how he thought of and created a new ritual that allows family and friends to discuss death in a new, innovative and non-threatening way.

This post originally appeared on Medgadget.com.

TEDMED Partners Draw on Innovative Technologies and Innate Knowledge to Move Fields Forward

The Hive at TEDMED 2013 is designed to be a petri dish for innovation, both the kind that flows from new technologies — a Hubble telescope to examine your eyes, anyone? — and that which emerges from insight and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

“There’s nothing more complex than the brain,” said Husseini Manji, M.D., Global Head of Neuroscience for Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which created a Hive space dedicated to exploring diseases of the brain. Manji shared some of the challenges of treating brain diseases. Alzheimers, for example, is 100 percent incurable and 100 percent fatal. With a rapidly aging population, “this will be catastrophic, unless we can learn how to slow or prevent its progression,” Manji says. On the other end of the age spectrum, Manji calls mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and severe depression “a chronic disease of the young,” because they usually emerge in a person’s early 20′s and stay with them their entire life.

Part of the goal of the space is to raise awareness that mental illnesses are a result of neurochemistry. “Asking someone with severe depression to be more positive and exercise and just feel better is like asking someone with diabetes to make their pancreas work better,” Manji said.

Photo: Jerod Harris/TEDMED

The space showcases a 3D brain model that demonstrates brain activity in the form of electric signals in different parts of the brain, as affected by Alzheimer’s, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and chronic pain. Glove simulators, special glasses and a headset that makes it hard to hear help give participants a window into a patient’s experience of dementia.

J&J’s space also features early research on treating age-related macular degeneration, a disease that is currently incurable. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 50 and older in the developed world. New retinal imaging techniques draw on technology used in the Hubble Telescope, and could allow physicians to view the eye in such minute detail that they can see individual cells in the back of the eye. That technology, coupled with new non-invasive delivery techniques to deposit stem cells where they can replace previously damaged cells, have been tested on about 30 patients so far, and some 30 and 40 percent of these patients exhibited significant vision improvements that lasted for more than a year, in an early clinical trial.

Not that we can let our guards down. Chrispin Kambili, Global Medical Affairs Leader for Infectious Diseases at Janssen (a subsidiary of J&J), shared the history of tuberculosis (TB), which was nearly eradicated in the U.S. by the 1960′s. In the next decade, the United States was so optimistic about the decline in rates that it was decided to stop funding TB control programs. But then TB came back in a big way in the 1980s. “The AIDs epidemic, migration patterns, antibiotic resistance and the dismantling of the public health infrastructure” meant the country (and New York City in particular) was unable to deal with resurgence, which peaked in 1992, Kambili says. Since then, the rates in the United States have been reduced back down to levels where citizens will likely never know someone affected by TB again.

But the same cannot be said of developing countries. “Every 20 seconds someone dies of TB, though it’s a very treatable and in fact preventable disease,” said Kambili. “But what’s lacking is access to care, which has been difficult to implement on a global scale.” Another challenge is multi-drug resistance, which happens over time when patients aren’t treated in sufficient doses and bacteria evolves to resist common treatments. It’s a challenge, though, to get patients to get sufficient doses when they have to take medication for 18-24 months, and side effects include nausea, vomiting and even deafness. Janssen has developed a new drug, bedaquiline or SirturoTM, that studies show killed bacteria more quickly than a control group taking the standard regimen. FDA gave it accelerated approval in December.

Photo: Jerod Harris/TEDMED

Booz Allen Hamilton’s space leverages potential of a different kind — innate knowledge, insight and experience. That’s the motivation behind “design thinking,” an art and a process that attempts to gain deep insights into a person or a group’s unmet needs through an ethnographic approach to discovery. True design thinking involves having a user population keep journals, allowing researchers to observe and analyze everyday tasks and more. TEDMED Delegates will have the chance to be a part of a small-scale version of this process, as the “design thinkers” on site probe visitors with the question: “What does health mean to you?”

The key principals in the design thinking effort include: “Be empathetic. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” said Joe Garcia; and “Reframe the problem from a different lens,” said Patricia Kwong, both of Booz Allen. Kwong offers the example of the problem of MRI machines that were terrifying to pediatric patients. To help develop a solution, physicians put on a pair of knee pads, crouched down to kid-height, and looked at the machine from a child’s point of view. Only then did they come up with the idea to transform the hulk of the MRI machine into a significantly more inviting pirate ship.

Interestingly, the themes emerging from the design thinking discussions at TEDMED so far echo several of the 20 Great Challenges of health and medicine, including the role of the patient and managing chronic disease.

Progress achieved in the Great Challenges since last year’s conference catalyzed conversation in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) space. After eight months of Google Hangouts, a robust online discussion, and carefully curated Storify collations, the entire TEDMED community has the opportunity to weigh in on where we go from here to conquer the 20 Great Challenges.

At the Whole Patient Care station, Challenge team member Blaire Sadler, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, spoke with visitors about how the sub-specialization of medicine has led to each physician treating only an illness or body part, which results in a lack of care coordination and alienated patients. Sadler and his collaborators also wondered about the ideal environment in which a person can heal: “Why does a patient room have to be scary, austere and hospital-like? Why can’t it be home-like, peaceful and include art and music for positive distractions?”

Maybe one of the most interesting things about the RWJF space was the cross-sector dialogue it facilitated. For example, Suzanne Mintz, President/Co-founder at National Family Caregivers Association, stopped by the Causes of Sleep Deprivation station to share her take on why sleep is such a challenge for those who “can’t shut their heads off… when people are on high alert, it’s hard to come down,” noting that caregivers often are high on stress in addition to having additional responsibilities at night to care for a sick loved one.

TEDMED 2013 Day 1 – The Paradox of Design in Medicine and Inspiration from Seventy-Two Thousand Nadis

By Mike Moore, Medgadget

We’re here at TEDMED 2013, excited to be part of a unique group of people passionate about the future of medicine and curious to walk the path that will take us there. We’ll be reporting through the rest of the week on the talks, demos, and people that make TEDMED the world’s premier medical conference.

The first session of TEDMED 2013 opened with performing artist Kishi Bashi setting the stage with music. That led the audience to, in the words of TEDMED curator Jay Walker, “being present” in the moment and ready to engage for the next few days with the presenters, delegates, and the ideas that permeate the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. this week.

John Maeda

As the first presenter of the session, designer John Maeda began with a discussion of the intersection of leadership and design by stating that “leadership isn’t about going up the mountain, it’s about jumping off the mountain.” He continued with his observations about the ubiquitous need for design, and then focused on the ways that having an eye for design can help us understand effective systems and structures; in other words, his “5 Things About Design.” He then discussed how good design can help the healthcare industry. For Maeda, answer is art, which he admitted, based on his recent experience with surgery, is a bit paradoxical.

As he stated, when you are a surgeon doing a procedure, “I don’t want you to be creative,” but instead to do the procedure in a standardized way. However, looking at the challenges that health care providers face today in terms of their barriers to successful practice, the primary questions we face are not just can we survive, but can we thrive? In Maeda’s words: “Art and design can help us thrive.”

After John Maeda’s talk, Jay Walker acknowledged the Boston Marathon bombings, stating that citizens were a critical part of the response. For example, runners donated blood right after finishing the marathon, running an extra mile to the donation location to do their share. TEDMEDLive was recognized, and Jay went on to describe his vision of TEDMED as a community. He also introduced the TEDMED editorial team and remarked on its diversity, and reiterated the value of a diverse community, including those from healthcare, education, business and other areas.

The next presenter, Danny Hillis, professor of research medicine at USC Keck School of Medicine and co-founder of Applied Minds, stated “I dreamed of becoming a physician,” and recounted vivid memories of the streets of Calcutta, and his memories of people dealing with chronic disease without healthcare. In this struggle, the hospital was not the main event.

Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of India, was the primary way that the ordinary person dealt with that struggle. As he examined this traditional model of medicine with its focus on balance of humors, especially in contrast with Western medicine that focuses on a being in a state of either sickness or health. Though the Western medicine model of vaccination, sanitation, and antibiotics that served us so well in dealing with infectious disease was certainly effective, Hillis noted an aesthetic preference for the complex balanced view of seventy-two thousand nadis in intricate diagrams.

As he started his studies in modern neuroscience, he realized that the state of knowledge about the brain and nervous system was not really much better than seventy-two thousand nadis.

In his search for ways of understanding neuroscience, he was pulled into the artificial intelligence community where one could design intelligence and learn from it that way. There Hillis discovered not just the technology, but the data and models that he could use to study neural systems, and then finally the technology started to catch up to be able to look at the body. And as we look at the body, what we see is that the body is in a constant struggle against disease. He noted that when you can see what is going on with the patients, you can be preemptive, and that you can see the struggle before the body loses the battle, changing the way we look at the traditional “sickness and health.”

TEDMED’s Clinical Editor, Pritpal S. Tamber followed up Hillis’ talk with the observation that “good ideas not getting traction happens all too often in healthcare,” and refocused the audience on that mission.

America Bracho

America Bracho then gave a stirring presentation on access to health care by underserved populations based on her work with Latino populations in her native Venezuela. She also discussed these ideas with Harvey Fineberg of the Institute of Medicine.

Rafael Yuste, originator of the Brain Activity Map (BAM) project, then gave an inspiring talk about the challenges and rewards of science. He compared his two passions: science and mountaineering. They are similar in that you need big goals, a passionate and committed team, and you must analyze the problem and plan a route, break your plan into small steps, and perhaps most importantly, always keep your eye on the ultimate goal.

Rafael Yuste

As he looked at scientific mountains to climb, mapping the brain seemed like the “Everest” standing before science. He noted that we still know very little about how the brain works, we treat brain symptoms only because we do not understand the causes of problems in the brain. This gave him the idea of the Brain Activity Map (BAM) project as the grand challenge of science of 21st century.

In his view, these grand challenges show the role of science in our society, the role of moving knowledge forward, improving science as a business, building creativity. In Yuste’s view “Science has so many problems to solve, we can’t afford to dream small dreams.”

The remainder of the session was devoted to a short inspirational talk by the Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, and a vocal performance by acapella group Afro Blue.

This has been reprinted with permission from Medgadget.com, where Mike Moore is a guest blogger.

TEDMED Activities Highlight Prevention and Personal Health

Acting on a major theme in healthcare, TEDMED and its corporate partners are hosting activities to promote education about latest innovations wellness and prevention — including opportunities to practice healthy behaviors.

The Hive experience from TEDMED partner Kaiser Permanente features advanced technology programming from Kaiser’s Center for Total Health and The Garfield Innovation Center, including:

Dr. Hero, a virtual reality training tool for OB-GYNs.

The Augmented Reality Exam Room Accessed through an iPad application users point the device at an item found in the room to see an avatar and a video explanation behind why it exists and what it contributes to the doctor-patient relationship. Everything does have a purpose, from that extra chair in the exam room for family members and caregivers to an environmentally correct wastebasket.

Dr. Hero In this timed clinical game invented by Sonia Soo Hoo, MD, OB-GYNs must diagnose and treat an avatar suffering obstetrical hemorrhaging.

The RP Vita Robot

RP-Vita Robot An ICU telepresence robot pilot developed by InTouch Health and iRobot. In use at the Kaiser Permante facility in Freemont, California, the robot monitors patients and can bring in a doctor remotely to “see” and talk with patients and staff.

Farmer’s Market – Bringing health back to earth, Kaiser is showcasing fresh fruit and veggies highlighting the importance of healthy eating, sustainability, and community.

Delegates will have plenty of opportunity to put other preventive measures like physical fitness goals to the test. Each morning at TEDMED, ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes is leading participants on an hour-long run through the capital city.

“We invited Dean Karnazes to be the face of TEDMEDHealth in 2013 because his legendary ultrarunning accomplishments coupled with his advocacy for healthy lifestyles provide inspiration to athletes around the world. Dean’s energy and focus have pushed people off the couch and out the door to take up running and racing to extents they never thought possible,” says Eric Vaughan, Director of TEDMEDHealth.

Registrants were also invited to practice with teacher Bhavani Maki in the mornings. Dedicated to exploring yoga in its complete expression, Maki teaches Patanjali’s classical Eight-Limbed Yoga, with an emphasis on integrity of alignment and using yoga as therapy.

“The physical part of yoga is just the context for discovering the content within,” Maki says.

Also each morning, Delegates can meditate with instructor and WellZone founder Rana Chudnofsky, who is introducing various techniques including body relaxation, visualization and mantra. She who will also hold an afternoon biofeedback session Thursday to show Delegates how meditation affects heart rate and body temperature.

“It helps people to understand what is happening in their body when they’re stressed, and how meditation helps.  I can see people go into a relaxed state in as little as 60 seconds,” she says.

TEDMED’s Hive Gathers 50 Top New Innovators

New to this year’s TEDMED conference is The Hive, a gathering of some of today’s best and brightest new entrepreneurs and innovators in health and medicine presented in association with the Start Up Health Network.

To select the innovators, TEDMED assembled a curation team of proven industry leaders, who chose 50 innovators from some 250 applications. Winners include startups, government agencies, and nonprofits. They are presenting their work in a 30,000 square foot superstructure on the grounds of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Several are launching their companies at TEDMED.

The idea behind The Hive was to create a space to foster multi-discplinary collaboration at all levels, where innovators and entrepreneurs can connect with each other and TEDMED delegates, who are leaders and experts in a vast array of fields.

Below are a few of The Hive participants that represent the broad range of innovation presented.  Continue reading