TEDMED 2020 Hive Innovator Happenings

There are plenty of ways to engage with our TEDMED 2020 class of Hive Innovators. Whether in a Hive Innovator Meetup, the Community Lunch, where we will have the opportunity to explore the Innovator’s “What If” questions, or through TEDMED Scout: Your AR Guide to Innovation. This year, the Hive Innovator experience is powered by our partner TBWA\WorldHealth.

Innovator Meetups

At TEDMED 2020, the Hive Innovators will participate in curated meetup discussions around a topic that aligns to their work. Innovator Meetups are open to everyone in the TEDMED Community onsite and are an exciting opportunity to learn more about the Hive Innovators and the work they do to shape a healthier humanity. This year’s Hive Innovator Meetup topics include: New Age Diagnostics, Personalizing Digital Health, New Models of Mental Health Care, Mapping Human Health, The Power of Medical Knowledge, and Health Techquity.

Community Lunch: Celebrating Innovation with the Hive Innovators and the TEDMED Community

Delegates are invited to join the Hive Innovators and the larger TEDMED Community members for a lunch inspired by innovation. Get to know the Hive Innovators by joining them for lunch at the tables marked with their “What If?” Questions.

TEDMED Scout: Your AR Guide to Innovation

Embracing this year’s theme, “Make Way for Wonder”, TEDMED joined forces with TBWA\WorldHealth to curate an experience that celebrates innovation and unlocks our sense of wonder. Throughout the event, Delegates can unlock an Augmented Reality experience, we are calling TEDMED Scout: Your AR Guide to Innovation, with their phones to get a closer look at the ideas each innovator represents. And, a virtual concierge will guide onsite networking connections between Innovators and our community like never before. After the event, the experience will live on digitally, giving anyone in the world access to the 2020 TEDMED Hive Innovators and the amazing ideas they are working to make a reality.

Register today to join us onsite in Boston and experience TEDMED 2020 in person!

Introducing The Hive 2020!

We are happy to announce the TEDMED 2020 Hive Program, which will feature inspiring entrepreneurs and their organizations.

As always, this year’s Hive class is made of Innovators representing early- to mid-stage organizations across 6 categories: 1) Life Sciences & Therapeutics 2) Med-Tech & Med-Device 3) Mobile & Digital Health 4) Health Systems, Care Delivery, and Reimbursement Models 5) Advancing Science 6) Public Health

New this year, the Innovators will be a part of an interactive onsite experience powered by TBWA\WorldHealth. Through this awe-inspiring experience that invokes wonder, Delegates have the opportunity to explore the power of asking “What if?” in fields from AI-driven mental health care, to novel drug discovery and development, to new models of human and animal genomics, and much more.

We hope you’ll join The Hive Innovators and the rest of our impressive Delegation in Boston, MA from March 2–4 for TEDMED 2020. If you have not signed up yet, register today.

This year’s Innovators were carefully selected from hundreds of organizations doing groundbreaking work in health and medicine. If you’d like to nominate an organization for next year’s Hive you can do so here.

Q&A with Margaret Laws & Astellas Oncology C³ Prize Winner Nanny Angel Network

TEDMED Delegate and President & CEO of Hopelab Margaret Laws lent her expertise as one of the official judges for the 2019 Astellas Oncology C³ Prize, which culminated in late October with a live pitch event awarding grants and resources to four inspiring winners. Just after C³ Prize winner Nanny Angel Network was awarded the Grand Prize, Margaret sat down with Leah Werry, a leading local champion for Nanny Angel Network, who pitched on behalf of the organization to discuss the winning idea. This interview was condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Margaret Laws: I’m here with Leah Werry of Nanny Angel Network, a Canadian not-for-profit organization. Nanny Angel Network is the winner of the Grand Prize at today’s Astellas Oncology C³ Prize live pitch competition. Leah, would you tell us a little bit about yourself and about Nanny Angel Network?

Leah Werry: I am a volunteer and the Kingston Champion for our first branch outside of Toronto. Nanny Angel Network provides free, specialized, in-home childcare for moms who’ve been diagnosed with cancer.

ML: What is the origin story of Nanny Angel Network?

LW: Our founder, Audrey Guth, had a classic a-ha moment. She’s a mother of four and a cancer survivor. About 10 years ago, she was sitting in a waiting room for her own cancer treatment when she noticed a young mom struggling with a very fussy toddler, who was reaching up and grabbing her headscarf off her head. The mom was sitting there crying; she just couldn’t cope. Audrey started to wonder how this mom would be able to get to all of her treatments and get well for her child. That’s when Audrey realized she could do something about it, and Nanny Angel Network was born.

ML: Tell me a little bit about who the Nanny Angels are and their work with the families.

LW: Our Nanny Angels are volunteers with professional childcare experience, which gives moms peace of mind to know their kids are well cared for. These volunteers commit a minimum of six months, often a year or longer, to spend several hours a week with the family. We want to bring normalcy and consistency to these families’ lives, and so the same Nanny Angel supports a child or children throughout the mother’s cancer journey – from diagnosis through treatment and recovery, and if need be, through palliative and bereavement periods.

ML: Nanny Angel Network was the Grand Prize winner today, which means the organization took home a prize of $100,000. As you look ahead, what are some of the big milestones you anticipate, and how are you going to be taking this prize money and putting it to work?

LW: Winning means that we can accelerate our plans for the future. We’ve been developing our 10-year plan, and we’d like to open a new branch every year. We really want Nanny Angel Network to grow and help more families and more communities. Nanny Angel Network is very scalable, and we have to put building blocks in place to do that. That means investment in our backend support systems, our software programs, and building out our IT.

ML: I think the TEDMED community will have an incredible array of resources and people with ideas to help with that. It’s exciting to think about how you also might leverage the TEDMED community.

LW: Yes, it’s not just about the prize money, but about the support that we’ve been given. Winning the C³ Prize is such validation for what we’ve been doing, and it’s so motivating and inspiring. The help that the TEDMED folks have given us in this process; I just can’t believe what it’s bringing to the table for us in terms of resources.

C³ Prize Judges with the Prize Winner. From R to L: Mark Reisenauer, Senior Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, Astellas; Bill Rancic, Businessman and TV personality; Margaret Laws, TEDMED Delegate/Collaborator and President/CEO of HopeLab; Leah Werry, Nanny Angel Network; Kinston Ontario Hernâni Oliveira, The HOPE Project; 2017 C³ Prize Winner Abbie Celniker, Ph.D., Third Rock Ventures Partner

ML: For this year’s C³ Prize, there were more 240 applications from people in 15 countries, with great depth and diversity. I’m sure it was exciting for you to be competitive in such an incredible global pool.

LW: This has really opened our eyes to what’s happening in cancer care overall, to really see that people are so passionate about finding solutions to problems that are beyond the grasp of traditional medical or technological interventions. There are such opportunities for synergy here to change the cancer journey for people.

ML: As one of the judges today, it was an exciting development to see the number of people who are out there tackling really hard issues, including social support and mental and emotional well-being. We do a lot of that work at Hopelab, which I lead, and it’s validating to understand what big issues these are in the cancer journey.

LW: You’re echoing how I feel exactly. It’s been so inspirational for us to see that human connection has to be part of the approach to helping families get through their cancer journey, because when a mom is diagnosed, it is the family’s cancer journey. It was really exciting to see the ideas to help people get through that process that go beyond the traditional way we think about cancer.

ML: What’s next for Nanny Angel Network? It’s bound to be an exciting year ahead.

LW: Nanny Angel Network is very scalable. We have a plan in place up until 2030, and now with the funding and support of Astellas and TEDMED and the whole team, we can accelerate our plans, and we’ll be opening our next branches and building our capacity to help more families.

ML: Looking forward to TEDMED 2020. Thanks a lot for talking with me today, and really excited to see you as this year’s Grand Prize winner. We’ll be looking to see what’s happened between now and March. To learn more about Nanny Angel Network and the other inspiring innovators who were selected for the 2019 Astellas Oncology C³ Prize, visit the C³ Prize website or follow #C3Prize on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

This TEDMED Partner Blog Post comes to you from TEDMED 2020 Partner, Astellas. TEDMED is excited to partner with Astellas Oncology on its C³ (Changing Cancer Care) Prize, a challenge that funds the best ideas beyond medicine to improve cancer care for patients, caregivers and their loved ones. The 2019 C³ Prize winners will join us at TEDMED 2020 as TEDMED Scholars, on March 2-4, 2020, in Boston.

Which health innovation are you most thankful for?


We asked the TEDMED staff: Which health innovation are you most thankful for?

Though they ponder the future of health and medicine every day, here’s what mattered most to them.

“I am thankful for ultrasounds – so that I could see my daughters before they were born and I could see that they were healthy.” Nicole Bumpus Finn, Event Manager

“I’m thankful for the pacemaker that is currently extending the life of many of my family members including both of my grandmothers, my father, my aunt, and at one time, my grandfather. If genetics are any indication, I’ll inevitably have one inside me.” Zac Smith, Manager of Website and Marketing Programs

“As a cancer survivor, I’m thankful for medical imaging, which has helped me from having unnecessary surgeries to investigate a suspected problem. I’m also grateful that the technology allowed me to see my child who I never thought I could have.” Grace McElroy, Director of Partnership Development

“I think it is the revolution in the attitude of all stakeholders that a paternalistic top-down medical care, education and research paradigm is being replaced by a decentralized, evidence-based, patient-focused, innovation-driven future.” Jay Walker, Curator and Chairman

“I am thankful for the way technology has brought the global medical world together to share ideas, discoveries and remedies to the great medical challenges.” – Eric Vaughan, Director of TEDMEDHealth

“Nipple sparing mastectomy, which allows keeping most of the breast’s exterior and therefore maintain a fairly normal appearance. My mom developed breast cancer over 15 years ago so this hits close to home. I think it is an amazing option for women who are faced with terrible decisions just to stay healthy.” – Courtney Olean Paige, Director of Marketing Operations

“Running water and public sewers make for better health, better aroma, safer streets, and cleaner friends.” Jose Suarez, Chief Executive Officer

“I am thankful for the major advances in the treatment and detection of breast cancer. My sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer 10 years ago and continues to be cancer-free. Thankful is an understatement.” – Melanie Howley, Manager of Delegate Relations

“Anti-smoking laws and campaigns. Some of the biggest advancements in our health today, those innovations that have been proven to save lives, aren’t technology based—they are public service campaigns and laws that reinforce the need for the public to be intimately involved in their heath care.” Shirley Bergin, Chief Operating Officer

“Having recently had a baby, I am most thankful for pumps that administer intravenous or epidural pain medication.”  Lindsay Potter, Speaker Relations

“I’m especially thankful for the artificial joints that help friends and family members remain ambulatory.” Marcus Webb, Chief Storytelling Officer

“Vaccines delivered via a nasal spray/oral liquids/a pill. With my unimaginable fear of needles, this is definitely one of the innovations that I’m personally most thankful for!” – Nicole Batiste, Director of Community Development

“It’s a tie: The anti-rejection meds that keep my dad’s new liver working perfectly, and the hospice programs that gave my mom skilled, compassionate and well-organized care during her last few months.” – Stacy Lu, Senior Writer

“I am thankful for all the innovators out there who are determined to create a better future in health and medicine.” Jonathan Ellenthal, President

Which health innovation are you most thankful for?  Share your thoughts below.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Jay Walker on Fox Business: U.S. needs to accept risk in health innovation

What does health innovation have to do with the threat of an impending “fiscal cliff?”

TEDMED’s curator Jay Walker sat down with Neil Cavuto of Fox Business News to discuss last Friday. Walker says innovation in health and medicine is nothing less than an economic foundation for the U.S.:  “The future of health and medicine is really a future of innovation, job-creation and what makes America great, which is real progress in unexpected directions….There are more people working on the future of health and medicine than ever before.”

He added: “We’ve all got to deal with our health. Whether we deal with it in the doctor’s office or we deal with it in our home, we’ve got to deal with it.”

Still, Walker said, “There are a lot of reasons to be concerned, especially if you’re in the innovation space… America has not come to grips with the risk issue in health.  It’s going to take risk.  And right now we live in a risk-adverse environment.”

Watch the four-minute interview here.