After an invigorating three and a half days of TEDMED, we’re back. Intriguing talks. Brilliant People. Amazing conversations. And we can’t rave enough about it.
Here’s some great highlights.
Healthcare is a long and winding road. It takes years and billions of dollars to find that wonder drug. Yet, a large proportion of drugs still get abandoned during the clinical trial phase, when they fail to be sufficiently effective for their indication. These drugs are stored in big pharma’s freezers, and forgotten. But if all goes according to plan, finding the holy grail could be significantly sped up. Francis Collins the Director of the National Institutes of Health shared how big pharma, academics and the NIH were discussing repurposing and rescue efforts for old and new drugs. Instead of discarding drugs that don’t make it pass clinical trials, these drugs would be tested for other indications. That’s a great example of how collaboration is advancing healthcare, allowing us to grow each other’s ideas and progress at a pace we wouldn’t be able to do ourselves. We’re excited to see what’s to come.
“The Obesity Crisis is centered around our culture, its part of our everyday lives. But to win, we have to lose” - John Hoffman
Obesity is a huge problem today. Swelling portions, an increased intake of unhealthy, over-processed foods. It’s become part of our culture. John Hoffman, HBO’s Executive Director gave a sneak preview to their much anticipated documentary “Weight of the Nation”, exploring the crux of our obesity problem today. Watch out for its premiere on May 14th and 15th.
As we move into an era of the Quantified Self, sophisticated technology is allowing us to collect better data so we can know ourselves even better than before. Meet Biostamp. Goodbye painful needles and clunky sensing devices. Hello sleek sexy smart-sensing skin. mc10’s David Icke revealed how a thin, flexible seamless water-proof microelectronic device could record much better data in a way less invasive way. I hear they’ll be launching in the sports market first, and not healthcare per se. But still, it’s a glimpse of our future to come.
“Imagine owning and sharing our health data like how we share our lives on social networks.” - Dr Leslie Saxon.
The intersection between healthcare and technology was further explored when Dr Leslie Saxon shared her vision for how the Internet could change medicine.
And that’s what she’s working towards at the USC Center For Body Computing. Together with her colleagues, she’s analyzed data from devices in more than 200,000 patients. By inputting this data and sharing them with healthcare professionals in the network, people are living longer. Diagnosing acute cardiac ischemia in a Nigerian gentleman in Mumbai from her home in Los Angeles by reviewing a 30-second ECG collected on an iPhone. That’s right. Just another example of leveraging expertise across the world. They’re using every day mobile phones to increase the health information flow and to create “Big Data” life analytics. It’ll allow us to study life patterns, identify disease, solve endemic health problems and most importantly give us more control over our health. Check out their everyheartbeat.org project which aims to build a platform to bridge the digital divide and connect more than 5 billion mobile phones in the world to the health ecosystem.
At Massive Health, we’re all about the power of big data. Our recent infographic drew some interesting trends and observations from the 7.68 million ratings of half a million foods by Eatery users from over 50 countries over a span of 5 months. Real data, collected from the real lives of people. We know that data is frozen knowledge, and useless unless we do something about it. That’s why we’re ardent supporters of the Data Health Initiative. The Data Health Initiative, as Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer of the United States shared, takes vast reservoirs of data in health, liberating it to people in the technology industry.
“We need to harness the power of data technology innovation to increase the returns for the people”- Todd Park, CTO.
Here’s to the future of health and medicine.
Till next year!
P.S. More TEDMED Photos here