TEDMED will offer live streaming of 2014 event; apply today to join global community in health and medicine

TEDMED Live Streaming brings the TEDMED experience to the world.

Through web stream, powerful messages from our stage program travel to the far reaches of the health and medical innovation eco system. Last year, there were 1,500 delegates at the conference, but more than 200,000 people watched worldwide via TEDMED Live.

A variety of groups influence healthcare. Students, patients, nurses, government officials, researchers, advocacy groups, and entrepreneurs are making big changes. TEDMED Live Streaming members receive access to the entire TEDMED stage program with an opportunity to share ideas and build new connections via a virtual discussion board. The simulcast program allows centers of healthcare innovation such as medical schools, research institutions, and teaching hospitals to pause and take a step back to look at the larger healthcare picture and hear novel perspectives that can inspire new approaches and a forward-thinking mindset.

TEDMED Live 2013 at the Medical University of Warsaw
TEDMED Live 2013 at the Medical University of Warsaw

In 2013, more than 2,700 organizations leveraged TEDMED Live Streaming in ways that best fit their goals. Some universities brought their community together in lecture halls, adding to the TEDMED program with local subject matter experts that speak directly to TEDMED’s curated topics. Others chose to stream the select talks that aligned best with group schedules, and more still convened to watch the entire conference live.

TEDMED Live Streaming hosts saw transformations taking place in their organizations. Participants made new connections, floated creative ideas and held thoughtful discussions. One participant commented that the experience was “Inspiring! Not just for the great content, but for the way we leveraged TEDMED to move our organization to collaborate and begin to think differently about the challenges we face.”

For our 2014 event, TEDMED will again offer the entire program, streaming in high-definition, live and on-demand to everyone with an interest in the future of humanity’s health. Thanks to our generous partners, we are able to offer it free to teaching hospitals, medical schools, government agencies and approved non-profits.

As TEDMED begins to add global host cities to its worldwide stage —TEDMED Live Streaming also plans to expand by streaming to 100+ countries.  By creating this vast health and medicine network, we can define problems more easily and expedite knowledge transfer. The world, from a healthcare perspective, is flattened. This is what TEDMED represents, and this is what TEDMED Live provides.

To take part in this vast network, individuals, groups and organizations need only to apply today. We will walk you through the simple and streamlined access, so that all you need to do is invite your community to experience TEDMED Live Streaming 2014, September 10-14, 2014, and be a part of a growing global community dedicated to sharing knowledge in health and medicine.

Introducing Catalyst: A blog series exploring innovation from The Hive and beyond

Following is the first of a new series highlighting notable innovations, imaginative solutions and groundbreaking ideas in health and medicine. 

We’re kicking off our Catalyst series, bringing you updates from The Hive at 2013, our debut gathering in Washington, D.C., which featured 50 starts-ups with game-changing, entrepreneurial thinking.

The Hive introduced the TEDMED community to companies like Brain Sentry, which Wall Street Journal named a “startup of the year.” The Bethesda-based company makes a helmet-mounted sensor indicating when a young athlete has received a head blow strong enough to demand medical attention. It launched its product in September to considerable attention, including the nod from WSJ; the sensor is already used by hundreds of teams nationwide.

HealthifyBlueprintA group of graduates and students from Johns Hopkins University started Healthify,  an electronic questionnaire that patients complete to help providers assess social risk factors that might impact their treatment. The tool connects patients with resources and automatically texts them to follow their progress.

“Working with patients, we discovered underlying issues like social and behavioral needs; housing problems; substances abuse; domestic abuse. But there’s one [social work] case manager for every 5,000 patients. There was no technology solution,” says Healthify CEO Manik Bhat. Bhat reports that the company recently finished the Blueprint Health accelerator program in New York and has deployed its platform with an initial set of four customers, including Montefiore Medical Center and insurer Universal American, and is raising a first round of financing.

Helping connect patients and providers over time was a theme in a number of innovations. Brad Hammonds, co-founder of SenseHealth, which helps providers monitor and support patients between appointments, reports the company has “had a really great run since TEDMED,” including a $100K grant through the New York City Economic Development Corp. to work with Montefiore Medical Center’s care management group. SenseHealth was selected to join the Startup Health Academy’s three-year accelerator program, and was one of five finalists in Merck’s “Re-imagining Solutions for Care Plan Adherence” challenge, winning a $20K prize.

How can patients stay on top of managing their own care once they leave a hospital or rehab, when they’re not in peak health? Boston-based Wellframe developed a mobile app for people with chronic disease that delivers daily to-do lists. The app also enables HIPAA compliant two-way communication among patients and care managers. The company was recently named a semi-finalist in the Merck / Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge.

AdhereTech's smart pill bottle.
AdhereTech’s smart pill bottle.

AdhereTech‘s smart pill bottles help monitor medication adherence. “We’re building a cell phone into the bottle,” Josh Stein, CEO of AdhereTech, explained to FastCompany. The pill bottle incorporates wireless technology, sensors that measure weight and humidity, and a long-life battery. It snagged the Healthcare Innovation World Cup in May. Stein tells TEDMED, “Our Walter Reed pilot started a few weeks ago, and our Cornell pilot is scheduled to start in January. Patients love the bottles, and preliminary data is extremely promising. We are one of 15 companies from around the world that have been invited to join the GE & StartUp Health program.”

Hive companies were eager to answer clinician needs, too. Visual DX is an app and online platform developed by two dermatologists, Art Papier and Noah Craft, comprising some 100,000 peer-reviewed medical images. Based on the information entered, VisualDx delivers a list of potential diagnoses, a series of photographs against which to match the patient’s symptoms, and recommended treatments. Papier says only recently has clinician technology usage ramped up enough to allow a product like VisualDx to take off. More than half of the medical schools in the country teach with VisualDX now, and some 1,500 hospitals and large clinics use it.

Wello invented a water wheel that helps citizens in developing nations carry more potable water, farther. The project is now operating in four states in India, scaling production to meet demand and expanding to Kenya in January, 2014, says Cynthia Koenig, Founder and CEO. Wello was also awarded a Grand Challenges Canada “Stars in Global Health” grant.

The Wello WaterWheel
The Wello WaterWheel

The program seeks breakthrough and affordable innovations that could transform the way disease is treated in the developing world.

A number of Hive companies made appearances at the recent mHealth conference in Washington, D.C. Humetrix gave a demonstration of its ICEBlueButton mobile app that provides medical records  an automated data feed from online Blue Button health records  in an emergency.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 3.57.01 PMOnline publisher WebMD purchased Avado, a patient relationship management portal,  for a reported $20-30M. “Dave Chase, Avado’s co-founder and CEO, has been one of the most vocal proponents of a business case for patient engagement…getting serious about between-visit care will be pivotal in bending the cost curve by managing the health care needs of an aging, and increasingly chronically ill population,” writes Chilmark Research.

QMedic‘s wearable medical alert service launched in beta in Massachusetts in October, 2013. That same month, it won the Future of Medicine Award from the Cleveland Clinic. Featuring a panic button and 24/7 emergency call center service, the wearable device passively detects abnormal events in the home and sends real-time text alerts to caregivers. This year, the company closed two contracts with the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute totaling $2.4M, and launched a three-year clinical partnership with Northwestern University Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to build passive early detection and intervention tools for cancer patients in functional decline.

Jen McLean, head of business development for Ovuline, writes that the company has launched a pregnancy tracker, Ovia Pregnancy, that helps pregnant women track their health, providing alerts if users report symptoms that may indicate a problem. “Our app is the next step in our mission to create a health data platform that helps people track and understand their entire health and medical history,” she says.

And that’s just the first group we’re profiling; stay tuned for our next blog feature on what the Hive 50 are up to now. And what will we see at the TEDMED Hive in 2014? If you would like to apply or nominate a start-up to the next class of go-getters, click here.  The deadline for applications is January 22, 2014.  Good luck!

Join a Great Challenges Online Discussion: Where Health Begins


How much of a role do social determinants — genetics, life circumstances,environmental conditions, and behavior — play in overall health?

While these factors aren’t part of disease outcome data, healthcare providers and organizations have realized they may be, in fact, the ultimate contributors to health status. The World Health Organization has made attention to social determinants part of the fundamentals of its work and a priority area in its general program from 2014-2019.  And according to the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC), medical care alone accounts for less than 25% of a population’s health status, with the balance being determinants like environment or behavior.

The great healthcare population, however, may still be grappling with how to view and measure social determinants of health. To that end, the AAHC has put together an online toolkit, partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) (which also funds TEDMED’s Great Challenges Program), to help organizations address the social determinants of health. Created with contributions from the AAHC, RWJF, the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it includes best practices and case studies from academic health centers across the U.S., and a self-assessment questionnaire.

“There’s a growing understanding in the clinical community of the importance of the social determinants of health,” says Mindy McGrath, Director of Government Relations at the AAHC.

One reason may be implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), she says. While the ACA is focused on insurance coverage, “There are many pilot programs, demonstration projects and side goals of the legislation that look at how to organize and pay for care in ways that are more focused on health outcomes. The next step will be:  How do we reform our delivery systems to be more geared toward keeping people healthy?”

Toward that end, a number of organizations report using theToolkit to good effect, including Health Leads, which helps connect patients to basic resources. (Read more about healthcare’s growing awareness of social determinants from Rebecca Onie, Health Lead’s Co-Founder and CEO.)

McGrath will join TEDMED in an online discussion, “Where Health Begins,” this Thursday at 2 pm ET to discuss social determinants, the AAHC’s efforts, and related Great Challenges such as the role of poverty in health. Our moderator is Amy Lynn Smith, a healthcare communications writer and strategist.

Join us for the discussion and post questions on Twitter #GreatChallenges; we’ll answer as many as possible on air and Twitter.

Follow AAHC on Twitter @aahcdc; follow Amy on Twitter @alswrite.

Zubin Damania moves forward with innovative Las Vegas clinic

Zubin Damania, a doctor who brought the TEDMED 2013 audience to its feet at the Kennedy Center in April with his vow to radically improve health care delivery, has taken new steps towards doing so.

Damania is Director of Healthcare Development for Downtown Project Las Vegas, an urban revitalization movement led by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, and is founding a primary care clinic with the goal of emphasizing preventive care and providing more — and more attentive — patient interaction, access and care management than traditional fee-for-service systems.

The clinic will run on a membership model whereby patients will pay a monthly fee, which Damania says will be less than $100, for unlimited primary care that includes all preventive care and non-emergency sick visits, as well as e-mail and video chats with doctors, nurses, health coaches and social workers. A yoga studio, demonstration gym and teaching kitchen on the flagship site will offer free classes. Staff will also coordinate care with specialists, should the need arise, hopefully helping patients navigate the system and reducing unnecessary treatment.

“The episode nature of care currently in primary care does a disservice to patients. You’re seeing patients for 10 minutes and then the rest of their life continues. If we can…weave ourselves into the fabrics of patient’s lives a little bit better, we think that we can accomplish wellness,” Damania said in an interview with Nevada Public Radio.

The Downtown clinic has also recently brought in Iora Health of Cambridge, MA to be its health care provider. The seven-year-old company has developed a number of innovative care models, including insurance geared towards freelancers and a clinic that serves hotel and restaurant workers with severe or chronic illnesses.

The Las Vegas clinic is slated to open by early 2014.

Watch Damania’s TEDMED talk: “Are zombie doctors taking over America?”

The many upsides of dialing down

shutterstock_131339729The folks at TEDMED are on vacation.  The whole crew. The offices are closed, and the staff is engaging in two weeks of employer-sponsored, compulsory, mind-freeing, feet-upping, email avoiding, old-fashioned rest.

There are many good reasons for a break. Thinking each and every day about innovation, creativity, and the promise and challenges of health, medicine and science can get pretty intense. Not to mention working regularly with some of the most brilliant minds on the planet – TEDMED’s speakers.

More good reasons:  Taking time off may be good for your health; one study suggested it reduced the risk of coronary heart diseaseThat goes for women as well as men, by the way.  A vacation may help you sleep better, at least in the short term. Giving employees downtown can boost productivity and creativity.  As Charles Duhigg explained in his book, The Power of Habit, breaking away from routine is an ideal time to break away from an unfavorable habit, or form a new one.

Proponents of stepping back from the daily grind are legion. The proverb “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” dates back to 1659, according to Wikipedia. Stephen Covey’s seventh habit of highly efficient people was “sharpen the saw,” meaning to take time off, go away, change your pace and your mental activity. And M. Scott Peck, MD, said in his book The Road Less Traveled that an essential part of maturity is balance, which he defined as knowing “how to discipline discipline.”

Part of breaking away ideally includes unplugging, although according to a recent Harris poll, 54% of respondents said their boss expected them to stay connected while away, though many of us probably find being wired also gives us peace of mind.  Yet our love affair with interactive technology is more like a bad romance; it can actually change our brains, making it hard to listen to and relate to real people, a key element in our mental health.  As psychologist and director of Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, Sherry Turkle, said at TED in 2012, “We expect more from technology and less from each other.” We can reconnect and repair the brain, at least; miffed family members might take longer to come around.

(I know what you’re thinking here – who posted this?  Well, the elves who handle the always-on worlds of blogging and social media are taking turns resting this summer.)

Not everyone even gets the benefit of time off.  And American workers generally have less than other industrialized nations; in fact, we are the only developed economy that does not federally mandate time off.  Compare that to Denmark, whose workers get a mandated five-weeks leave.  (No wonder the U.N. lists them as the world’s happiest nation.) But even if they do have the opportunity to take the standard two weeks, many Americans simply don’t take the time off, fearing they’ll fall behind or be replaced.

Perhaps it’s all in the attitude we bring to rest — and work — which many wise minds suggest should be more in the form of play. The philosopher Eric Hoffer said, ““When the Greeks said, ‘Whom the gods love die young’ they probably meant, as Lord Sankey suggested, that those favored by the gods stay young till the day they die; young and playful.” Plato seemingly agreed:  “God alone is worthy of supreme seriousness, but man is made God’s plaything, and that is the best part of him. Therefore every man and woman should live accordingly and play the noblest games … Life must be lived as play.”

One can also easily take the advice of comedian Milton Burle:  “Laughter is like an instant vacation.”

Marcus Webb contributed to this post.

TEDMED 2013 speaker Eli Beer receives peace prize in Jerusalem

By Marcus Webb

TEDMED 2013 speaker Eli Beer, founder and president of Israel’s volunteer rescue service United Hatzalah, received the Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East on June 24 at The American Center, a U.S. Embassy complex in Jerusalem.

Eli was honored along with his partner, Murad Alyan, who launched the Muslim unit of United Hatzalah in East Jerusalem.  Thanks to the organization’s focus on saving lives regardless of nationality, religion or ethnicity, United Hatzalah is bringing together Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, on a daily basis in teamwork that promotes harmony and understanding between peoples.

Seen here from left are Eli Beer, Murad Alayan with Victor Goldberg and Daniel Obst, both with the Institute of International Education. Vic, a former IBM executive, is the IIE board member who launched the prize.  Daniel is IIE’s deputy vice president for international partnerships.
Seen here from left are Eli Beer, Murad Alayan with Victor Goldberg and Daniel Obst, both with the Institute of International Education. Vic, a former IBM executive, is the IIE board member who launched the prize. Daniel is IIE’s deputy vice president for international partnerships.

The Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East is awarded jointly each year to one Israeli and one Arab who work together in a cause that brings people together and breaks down barriers between peoples of the region.

Upon receiving the prize, Eli commented: “Saving lives is our goal. We have no other agenda. Today we are just beginning. We want to get to 3,000 volunteers and a 90-second response time.”

Eli and partner Murad said they would donate the $10,000 cash award that accompanies the prize to United Hatzalah to help fund the purchase of more “ambu-cycles” and medical equipment.

Video: Rafael Yuste climbs the Everest of science

A complete map of our brain activity is the “Everest of science,” says Rafael Yuste, who helped conceive of Obama’s Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative as a first attempt at scaling it. (Click here for details of President Obama’s announcement.)

At TEDMED 2013, Yuste discussed why the initiative is critical to advancing neural knowledge.