What to watch for at TEDMED 2012

TEDMED 2012 speaker E.O. Wilson as interpreted by artist Hanoch Piven.

It’s almost here: More than 1,500 Delegates from hundreds of diverse medical and non-medical disciplines. Seventy-plus speakers and performers, brilliant innovators all.

TEDMED 2012 begins Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the Opera House stage at the Kennedy Center — and remotely for some 50,000 TEDMEDLive participants from medical schools, non-profits, government agencies and other organizations across the nation.  We’re anticipating three-and-a-half eye-opening, mind-blowing days.

Headline speakers include Otis Brawley/American Cancer Society; Larry Brilliant/Skoll Global Threats Fund; Dr. Lynda Chin/MD Anderson Cancer Center; Francis Collins/NIH; Katie Couric/Stand Up To Cancer & ABC News; Thomas Frieden/CDC; John Hoffman/HBO Documentary Films; Peggy Hamburg/FDA; Billie Jean King/Health and Social Justice Advocate; Gail McGovern/American Red Cross; Gabby Reece/Women’s Health Advocate; and renowned biologist E.O. Wilson.

The Great Challenges: In this inaugural year of the Great Challenges Program, the TEDMED 2012 Delegates and TEDMEDLive viewers will vote on the 20 most complex and pressing challenges facing health and medicine to achieve the multi-disciplinary understanding critical to tackling them. We’ll explore these throughout the following year via 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 throughout.

Other cool goings-on: Patient advocate and artist Regina Holliday will be painting and blogging on the scene, and visual learning experts Alphachimp Studio will graphically scribe the event (follow them at #TEDMEDScribe). TEDMED’s corporate partners will have interactive social spaces where Delegates can explore cutting-edge advances and issues. And the Innovations Bar will unveil new medtech like Cleveland HeartLab’s new “It” inflammation biomarker test.

Looking to attend TEDMED Live? Find a participating location here.

Calling one and all: Join us by following events online. We’ll be posting updates regularly on Twitter @TEDMED, #TEDMEDLive, #TEDMEDChallenges, on Facebook and here on our blog. We’ll also be posting links to coverage from leading blogs and sites throughout the following days.