TEDMED’s Great Challenges


This past spring, the health care community came together for a one-of-a-kind event. At TEDMED, a health and medicine focused offshoot of the popular TED conference, people helped to organize the broad and deep-rooted list of problems faced by the health care system into a shortlist of “Great Challenges.”

The Great Challenges of Health and Medicine are those deeply rooted problems that have many interconnected causes. Establishing an effective response to these challenges will require a much broader and more thoughtful understanding than we have today. The goal of the program is not to “solve” the problems, but rather to assemble thoughtful, unbiased perspectives on the issues. The first step in this process is to gather a diverse group of experts with experience in the field to answer key questions related to each particular challenge. I was asked to serve as expert in the area of Managing Chronic Disease based on my work for the Foundation, which centers on establishing better methods to meet the day-to-day needs of post-treatment cancer survivors.

The questions posed to me ranged from focusing on specific treatment issues, such as behavior change, obstacles to care coordination, to broad mindset topics, such as how we might better deal with the global rise in the chronic disease burden.
The outcome is a web-based document, like a wiki, that is designed for use by everybody, and which focuses on a full list of and interrelationships between all causes involved in the challenge area. These sites are built to encourage interactivity between thought leaders, patients, industry officials, government leaders, and everyone else. I would encourage you to check it out and share the links with your colleagues, family members, friends, and others who have an opinion to voice, or a question to ask.er deal with the global rise in the chronic disease burden.

Finally, on Thursday November 15th, there is an opportunity to interact with some of the panel directly via a Google Hangout. If you’re free at 2pm EST, just sign in with your Google account and get involved!

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