Recognizing the TEDMED 2016 Research Scholars

Image courtesy of ShutterstockEach year, TEDMED relies on a carefully selected group of passionate, objective experts spanning the biomedical spectrum from across the globe, including faculty, post docs, graduate students, medical students, public health professionals, entrepreneurs, innovators and science journalists. These experts help assess the credibility of the science upon which TEDMED’s editorial priorities are based.

We deeply appreciate the time and energy our 2016 Research Scholars devote to enriching the quality of our curation process. We asked them to share more about their attraction to the program and their experience so far — here is what a few of them had to say:

“I’ve loved seeing the diversity of nominations, and the challenge of whittling down the array of fascinating people to those who will make a great TEDMED program,” says Layla McCay. “Having had the experience of being in the TEDMED audience myself, I know I want to encounter ideas I can trust, be thrilled by game changers, find synergies across disciplines, and start thinking differently about how things are done – and could be done. I’ve found the experience of reviewing nominations to be rather like a being a judge at The Moth storytelling show: how engaging are the nominees’ stories? Inspiring? True? How compellingly can nominees present their ideas to a discerning TEDMED audience? But it’s made even more interesting because I also have to ask: what’s the evidence behind nominees’ ideas, why are they the right people to speak on the topic, and how might these ideas have an genuine, meaningful impact on people’s health?”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.“TEDMED makes a communication impact without oversimplifying research in science and health. This is my goal too. I wanted to learn with those who reach and inspire people across cultures from all walks of life,” observes Amy Price. “Reviewing nominations has opened my eyes to the value and power of hard work clothed in elegant simplicity.”

Maya Das wanted to be a Research Scholar in order to “contribute to a forum that brings together people who are seeking innovative solutions to tackle the complexities of health and medicine.” Her experience reviewing nominations has allowed her “to devote time to exploring current issues in health and medicine, to consider broader public policy questions related to clinical research, and to systematically examine what makes someone a credible and engaging ‘expert.’”

With great pride, we recognize the dedication of the 2016 class of TEDMED Research Scholars:

Ron Alfa, MA – Neuroscience, Medicine

Bhagwan Aggarwal, PhD, MBA – Healthcare Industry

Aimee Arnoldussen, PhD – Neuroscience, Medical Devices

Benjamin Bearnot, MD – Medicine

Christos Bergeles, PhD – Medical Imaging & Robotics

Alexander Blum, MS – Telecommunications, International Development

Edward Cliff, BMedSci (Hons) – Medicine

Maya Das, MD, JD – Clinical Research, Health Informatics

Lisa Fitzpatrick, MD, MPH – Medicine, Public Health

Jonathan Fritz, JD, MS – Healthcare IT

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, DNP, MA, RN – Nursing, Healthcare IT

Holly Goodwin, MBA – Applied Physiology & Bioinformatics

Emilie Grasset, PhD – Immunology

Amy Ho, MD – Medicine

Andrew M. Ibrahim MD, MSc – Medicine, Health Policy, Design

Sherese Johnson, MPH, PMP – Public Health

Neeti Kanodra, MBBS – Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

Syed Khalid, BS – Medicine, Medical Devices, Neuroscience

Tamar Lasky, PhD – Epidemiology

Layla McCay, MBChB, MS – Health Policy, Psychiatry

Vanessa Mason, MPH – Digital Health

Maria Noviani, MD – Medicine, Cellular Therapy, Immunology

Madhukar Patel, MD, MBA, ScM – Surgery, Bioengineering

Bryon Petersen, PhD – Stem Cell Biology, Bioengineering

Miguel Pineda, MD – Medicine (Urology)

Amy Price, PhD – Neuroscience

Priya Raja, BA – Medicine, Public Policy

Sudah Yehuda Kovesh Shaheb, MD – Endocrinology, Medical Anthropology

Arpi Siyahian, PhD – Biotechnology

Jing Wang, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN – Nursing

Sebastian Wernicke, PhD – Bioinformatics

Teresa Wilson, MA – Healthcare IT

Flaura Winston, MD, PhD – Pediatrics, Behavioral Science, Injury Prevention

Wendy Youngblood, MA – Education, Humanities

Marta Gaia Zanchi, PhD – Digital Health, Biodesign Innovation

It’s smart to design simple: Q&A with Josh Stein

On the TEDMED stage, serial entrepreneur and CEO & Co-founder of AdhereTech Josh Stein shared what he’s learned about designing ‘smart’ devices and the internet of things as they relate to positively influencing patient behavior. We caught up with Josh to learn more.

The Internet of Medical Things
Connected Medical Devices Will Revolutionize Healthcare… If Patients Actually Use Them. Josh Stein at TEDMED2014. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker for TEDMED)

Why does the talk matter now? What impact do you hope the talk will have?

The Internet of Medical Things is going through a period of incredible growth, which is absolutely fantastic for patients! However, there’s an enormous design hurdle in regard to user adoption, and this hurdle is largely ignored. In short, there is too great a focus on what these devices can do, and not enough focus on how these devices will actually do it.

The Internet of Things, (IoT), or ‘smart’ devices, can be separated into two distinct categories: devices that users purchase and devices they don’t purchase.

Most IoT devices fall into the former category. Users will pay a lot of their own money for a gorgeous new smart phone, TV, or fitness tracker because these gadgets provide an immediate benefit to the user (they are awesome and fun to use). In these instances, consumers are willing to go through a reasonable set up and learning process for these devices.

In contrast, a large percentage of smart IoT medical devices actually fall into the latter category: users don’t buy these devices, and they are provided to users by a third party. This occurs because: 1) other parties subsidize these tools in order to improve patient outcomes and thereby decreasing overall costs or increasing revenue, 2) consumers typically don’t like to pay for medical devices, and 3) consumers typically don’t see a tangible immediate benefit from these devices.

The reason why this distinction is so important is that most smart medical devices are designed as if they fall into the former category, at least from a user-experience perspective, when they actually fall into the latter category. Thus, these smart med devices are designed as if patients will go through a long and complicated set up process to use said devices, when in reality the patient will not perform such tasks. Patients are simply expected to do way too much in order to use most smart med devices.

I shared this thought at TEDMED 2014 with the hope that this notion will resonate with other smart medical device creators. This could potentially lead to improved devices and better patient health.

What kind of meaningful or surprising connections did you make at TEDMED?

I met Jim Madara, the CEO of AMA; he and his team spoke about the innovative ways in which they are revolutionizing how medicine is taught. I met Marc Koska; his syringe is one of the most ingenious medical devices that I have ever seen. It solves a huge problem through simplicity and understanding its user. I built a relationship with an individual who is innovating clinical trials at one of the most innovative companies in healthcare. I don’t want to mention this person’s name because, though this introduction, my company is now planning an engagement with his incredible organization. Stay tuned for updates on this collaboration – we’ll keep TEDMED in the loop!

I also met one of my favorite stand-up comedians, Tig Notaro. Her TEDMED talk was awe-inspiring, and it was amazing to see a whole other side to her. I can’t say enough great things about her and her work!

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jay Walker. His wisdom and advice has directly impacted product and vision of my company. I genuinely attribute a great deal of our success to the conversations I’ve had with him.

What is the legacy you want to leave?

I want to be known as someone who has a net positive benefit on the world. Professionally, I believe I’m on the right track with the innovative work that my team and I are doing –  our product has been improving the adherence and outcomes of patients since 2013. We work long hours, but seeing improved patient health and traction continues to motivate us.