Can Regional TEDMED Communities Cultivate and Implement Healthcare Innovation?

April 15, 2012
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Given the intense scrutiny of recent advancements in health service delivery, it was refreshing to see that TEDMED 2012 drew a compelling crowd to the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC.  TEDMED, a community of people who are passionate about imagining the future of health and medicine, engages around 3 core beliefs:

Connect
They believe that connecting people from widely different disciplines leads to surprising insights and important alliances.

Given the intense scrutiny of recent advancements in health service delivery, it was refreshing to see that TEDMED 2012 drew a compelling crowd to the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC.  TEDMED, a community of people who are passionate about imagining the future of health and medicine, engages around 3 core beliefs:

Connect
They believe that connecting people from widely different disciplines leads to surprising insights and important alliances.

Understand
They believe that multi-disciplinary connections offer new and more powerful ways to understand today’s complex health issues, incorporating society and behavior as much as science and technology.

Inspire
They believe that multi-disciplinary understanding provides valuable inspiration to their members, the nation and the world.


One way in which TEDMED hopes to stimulate connection, understanding and inspiration is through the Great Challenges Program.  Through this initiative, they hope to explore cutting-edge ideas and unusual perspectives in order to gain a broader, richer understanding of these issues.

During the TEDMED gathering in Washington, advocates are assigned to individual challenges and circulate amongst the TEDMED 2012 delegates, discussing the nature of the issue and ‘lobbying’ for votes.  Once votes had been tallied for both on and off-site delegates, the top 20 challenges were announced:

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Inventing Wellness Programs Causes of Sleep Deprivation
The Caregiver Crisis Impact of Poverty on Health
The Role of the Patient Faster Adoption of Best Practices
The Obesity Crisis Impact of Stress
Achieving Medical Innovation Future of Presonalized Medicine
Managing Chronic Diseases Promoting Active Lifestyles
Medical Communication Preparing for Dementia
Reducing Childhood Obesity Addressing Healthcare Costs
Making Prevention Popular Whole-Patient Care
End-of-life Care Eliminating Medical Errors

 

New to me, the Great Challenges program fosters year-long dialogue and invites everyone to take part. Not only will TEDMED presenters be interviewed for a series of TV program style segments called “Perspectives”, a series of 40 webinars – 2 per Challenge – will also be made available for public consumption.  While these efforts are to be lauded, I am wondering why stop there?

After reading Ari Wallach’s Career Solution: Become A Real-Life Problem Solver, I was struck by his comment, “there is a false premise that innovation is about ideas. (But) ideas are actually relatively simple to come up with. True innovation is about culture and execution.”  Building on this premise, would it be EXTRAordinary to think that regional TEDMED communities could go about the task of cultivating, sharing and implementing healthcare innovation?