Here at Klick Pharma, we tend to view TEDMED like a vacation for our healthcare-obsessed brains. We spend so much time down in the digital marketing trenches, focused on defining successful strategies and crafting implementations that we rarely get a chance to step back and gaze into the crystal ball. TEDMED is exactly that opportunity: a rare break from application in the form of a solid four day brain food buffet.
TEDMED2011 Session Notes
If you’d like to jump right into the content without reading our overview, here are some notes on our stand-out sessions:
- Dean Kamen: What’s on the Horizon for Medical Robotics?
- Michael Graves: How could we design tomorrow’s hospitals?
- Tim O’Reilly: What can the healthcare industry learn from tech titans?
- Nate Bell: Got a good beat?
More sessions to come, so stay tuned!
This year’s extravaganza took place at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado, a 123-year old seaside resort on beautiful Coronado Island in San Diego. I had the honor and privilege to attend this year’s event, accompanied by our CEO, Leerom Segal, and our SVP Interactive, Brian O’Donnell. TEDMED is decamping from their historic home for next year’s event, making the 2200 mile trek east to the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC (more on that later).
The original TED’s mandate is to provide a view into the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Generally speaking, TEDMED aims to do the same but through a healthcare lens, seeking out the most interesting people and content and presenting them to an intimate gathering of about 600 people. Although somewhat less start studded than in years past, this year still managed to draw an incredible roster of participants from the research, policy, manufacturer, and vendor sides of the healthcare decahedron (more on that later too). So much gets packed into the three days – from speakers to parties to the innovation expo – that a comprehensive field trip report is nigh impossible without rambling on for pages. So we’ve decided to report back on our highlights of TEDMED2011 and let our full gallery of photos speak to everything else.
The title from this post – #OccupyHealthcare – comes from Sekou Andrews and Steve Connell’s rousing final session in which they called on all of us to become healthcare activists. Their call to arms was well heard by our fellow attendees, many of whom are already engaged in changing the system. The video isn’t up yet but here’s their powerful message from TEDMED2010:
The 46 speakers and five entertainers covered a wide variety of topics, from cutting edge research to deeply personal stories to reports from the policy front lines. There were a few prevalent themes:
- The FDA is not keeping up with the pace of research. Almost every presenter called on the FDA to overhaul the approval process, with many presentations focusing on how the science and research is shifting to non-US locations because of the complications and expense in getting approved on US soil. This is approaching crisis levels, as highlighted most significantly by Dean Kamen, with a very real long term risk to the US’ ability to remain a global power in scientific research and development.
- A very poignant demand for collaboration. Many of the speakers spoke to a future in which individual researchers locked in their corporate or ivory towers become a thing of the past. There was much talk of opening data, sharing funding, and working across silos in order to overcome some of the very significant health challenges facing humans in the next few decades. This was especially true of the block of Chief Medical Officers, including Freda Lewis-Hall (Pfizer), Michael Rosenblatt (Merck), and Cheryl Pegus (Walgreens).
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s an old saying but it’s a very true one. Many of the speakers focused on the need to tackle the obesity epidemic head-on, giving much ammunition to the argument that weight loss prevents a very wide range of conditions and can have a tremendous cost saving impact on the healthcare system.