Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

10 TEDMED 2011 Takeaways from Luminary Labs


Published on

About Luminary Labs

Luminary Labs is a strategy and innovation consultancy working with organizations in transition to become more resilient in the face of change.

We have have deep roots in business planning, technology, innovation, and design, and we partner with our clients to help them use these tools, mindsets, and methodologies to their best advantage.


TEDMED brings together in one place thoughtful individuals and institutions from all sectors of society — not just medical experts — to discuss and debate the future of heath and medicine in an interdisciplinary way.

Image sources:

National Geographic, Sheila Nirenberg and Chethan Pandarinath, both of Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, Ekso bionics,,,,, Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune Cartoonist,,,

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business

10 TEDMED 2011 Takeaways from Luminary Labs

  1. 1. TEDMED 2011:TEN TAKEAWAYSNovember 1, 2011Luminary
  2. 2. Health is a system.To solve for health, we must address food, cities, government, work, life, medicine, devices, pathogens,etc. Systems thinking is a shift for many scientists and doctors trained to operate by process ofelimination, honing in on a single thing.
  3. 3. Modern medicine is an exercise in reverse-engineering the body.Many of the innovations presented at TEDMED suggest that the body is the ultimate computer; we justneed to understand the circuits. Sheila Nirenberg’s work recognizes that a prosthetic eye must replicatethe pulses the natural eye sends to the brain.
  4. 4. Applause for inventions that help people function.The exoskeleton, cochlear implants, and a prosthetic eye received greater applause than medicinalinventions.
  5. 5. Health needs design. Now.Charles Pell noted that many surgical tools have not evolved since ancient Egyptian times, prompting himto develop hand-held smart robotic tools that sense and respond to the patient’s body. Followingextended hopital stays, Michael Graves was inspired to develop more intuitive, usable hospital furnishingsnow distributed by Stryker.
  6. 6. Diagnostics, patient certainty & personalizedmedicine.“Personalized medicine creates new value propositions in medicine,” said GE’s Ger Brophy. His firm isimproving cancer diagnostics to understand the disease at the molecular level so that drug treatmentsand surgical procedures are tailored to the patient. Likewise, surgeon Quyen Nguyen has developed ameans of making tumors and nerves glow, resulting in more precise cuts and reducing the number ofadditional surgeries required.
  7. 7. Biomimicry works (it’s about shape and size)Nanotechnology is taking cues from the natural world. Joseph DeSimone posited that the design of ourenemy (pathogens, pollens, cancer cells) is our best drug design teacher. New inhalants are now modeledafter pollens. Metastatic cancer cells are softer than others, which allows them to squeeze into new areas.The treatment design and delivery should take advantage of this attribute.
  8. 8. Singularity is the next polarizing debate.“I was no longer afraid to die. I was afraid not to die.” said Joan Didion in a recent New YorkMagazine article. While not a focus of the conference, a subsurface tug between living a healthy lifeand living a long life was felt. Expect this topic to become the most polarizing social and political issue.Policy will follow.
  9. 9. Legacy government inhibits innovation.Multiple speakers noted that their clinical trials are running in Europe. Their devices are sold in Europe.Their teams are based abroad. Why? The process is too complex and costly in the USA. Today it costswell over a $1 billion to bring a drug to market. Juan Enriquez raised the stakes by suggesting that theopportunity cost of not bringing innovation to market should be quantified as well.
  10. 10. The medical establishment must welcome youth.This is the case made by many, including Peter Diamandis. More NIH grants go to people over 70 than topeople under 30. And yet over half of the world’s population is under 30. Youth is notoriously fearless;Einstein published his most influential work in his 20s. It is time to pass the baton to the young innovators.
  11. 11. It is time to act. (We’re going to D.C.)TEDMED will move to D.C. in April, and will function as a “congress.” There will be 1200 “delegates”- 4 delegates max per discipline, 300 disciplines represented. The event will include workshops andinteraction with the government to effect change. Pre-election timing may be a critical move.