TEDMED Partner Spaces: Stats of the Union, brainstorming in the Cloud

Exploring the TEDMED partner spaces in the ” Social Hub” tent uncovered some more fascinating experiences, including a way to check the nation’s vital signs and an opportunity to brainstorm in the cloud.

Which state has the most major depression? The highest unemployment rate? Delegates could find out with the interactive Stats of the Union application from GE. They’ve created a mash-up of data from the Census, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor and other sources, in a free app that presents the results in a visual infographic. Kathleen Voboril, Digital Marketing Manager for GE Capital, walked us through some data visualizations, where we saw striking differences in major depression across the country (low in the Northwest region; very high in Tennessee).

Mary Gillum demonstrates GE’s daily health session tool used with employees

GE is also piloting a new, free diabetes management program for their employees in Cincinnati, where the company builds jet engines. The program provides employees with an FDA-cleared medical device that looks a whole lot like an iPad, and facilitates a “daily health session” — checking in on vital signs, filling out a survey of symptoms, and getting a dose of good old health education. It also pushes out reminders, and sends feedback to a clinician who can follow up on dangerous symptoms. Six months in, GE is finding that participating employees engage more fully and feel more accountable for the management of their condition, said Mary Gillum, a clinical applications specialist with Care Innovations, an Intel-GE company.

Part of the reasoning behind GE’s efforts is to “make healthy communities a competitive advantage like good schools,” said Voboril. The hope is for the whole community to get involved. “If we take personal responsibility and collective responsibility at the same time, can we effect change?”

Booz-Allen Hamilton is working on another critical question, and the hope is that you will respond. “As an industry, what should we be doing right now to improve healthcare that will have the greatest impact on patients?” The company is calling on TEDMED Delegates, TEDMEDLive viewers and fans everywhere to join in the conversation through a global BrainStorm that will take place — get ready — on the Cloud. They’re hoping to foster diverse ideas, a perfect goal for the TEDMED crowd, and will ask users to vote on the best ideas to help unearth trends, said Carrie Bittman, Senior Consultant for Booz-Allen. The top ideas will be presented in a paper to TEDMED. Ideas so far range from the health impact of meditation to tools that support the transfer of knowledge between physicians during shift changes at hospitals. In the meantime, artists are capturing the ideas as they come in with posters at the Booz-Allen space.