Up to the Challenge?

Almost 600: Number of health goals set out by Healthy People 2020, a national health improvement agenda from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 900: Number of diseases and conditions listed in the National Library of Medicine’s MedLinePlus database.

More than 12,000: Number of disease categories distinguished by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.

So… where do we start? It’s up to you.

At TEDMED 2012, we officially launch the Great Challenges Program, an effort to gather multi-disciplinary perspectives and ideas from health innovation leaders on 50 of the most persistent and complex issues facing health and medicine today.

Over the course of the conference, together we’ll narrow those 50 greatest challenges to 20 that are most critical to tackle in the coming year. All of the 1,200 TEDMED Delegates onsite at the Kennedy Center, along with as many as 50,000 offsite viewers participating via a remote simulcast called TEDMEDLive, will have the opportunity to cast their votes. We’ll announce the top 20 on Thursday evening from the Opera House stage.

Take the chance now to start reviewing the Great Challenges and make sure your voice is heard during the voting process next week.

Once we have our 20 great challenges, it’s time to give them a closer look. Throughout the year following TEDMED 2012, the Great Challenges Program will generate a lively national dialog on the 20 Challenges chosen by the TEDMED community. The program will include TV-style interviews with leaders from across fields, a series of webinars on each of the 20 Great Challenges, and the opportunity for TEDMED community members to add their voice.

Stay tuned for more here and at #TEDMEDChallenges on Twitter, as we highlight Great Challenges throughout the week.