F Highlights from TedMed 2011 San Diego, CA 25 – 28 October 2011 @fordcastle fordcastle.com
Image credit: http://herot.typepad.com/cherot/2011/11/tedmed-2011.html 2Dean Kamen showed how a ‘predicate’ device to his robot arm (pending FDA approval) that was already legal and on themarket was… a chainsaw. Juan Enriquez told a brilliant story about a FDA official who caused havoc by driving at the55mph speed limit. He also pointed out that no FDA official would lose their job by NOT approving a drug. However, USCTO’s office did a great job of highlighting efforts to open up data (www.data.gov/health, bluebuttondata.org/)
3 Image: http://www.michaelgraves.com/design/project/stryker-medical.htmlCharles Pell designs next generation surgical instruments at Physcient. These are hand-held robotics that sense andrespond to the environment as well as the patient, one example being a device for open heart surgery that spreads ribs,rather than breaks them. Michael Graves redesigned hospital furniture. After being incarcerated in a hospital with badlythought out equipment, he designed his own line (see above).
4Mega shift from reactive point-specific health to proactive, holistic health. Need to move beyond thinking of diseases, tothinking about the whole body. And then, moving beyond the individual, to understanding the influence and interplay ofother factors such as environment, government policies, urban living etc. Paul Stamets thinks mushrooms can help boostthe human body’s immunity to cancer. Eric Schadt is using computer models to understand how biomedical networksoperate, with a view to seeing how changing a protein might affect the system as a whole. Image: GEN
5 Image: ScienceRollDavid Agus and GE’s Ger Brophy talked about reclassifying cancer – moving away from a geographic definition, to onethat has a unique molecular signature, and personal to you. Molecular diagnostics means drugs and treatments areemerging that are personalized to the patient. Yoav Medan is using MRI and focused ultrasound to deliver non-invasivesurgery; Quyen Nguyen is making tumors and nerves glow; Lee Stein developed a new imaging system in order to helphis son; Gabor Forgacs from Organovo can print vessels, and will soon be able to print organs.
6This event was less about life extension and more about life improvement. ‘Health span not life span’. Dan Buettnerprovided an update on a Blue Zones pilot in a city in MN that saw life expectancy increase by 3 years and health carecosts fall 49% (for city employees). From a scientific perspective, Calvin Harley and ElissaEpel created the frequentlyrepeated theme that: Stress shorter telomeres quicker death. [Cue ‘I can feel my telomeres shrinking’ by a number ofspeakers].
7 Image: KlickPharmaJoseph De Simone is being inspired by the size and shape of pathogens and cancer cells to create treatments. He’s usingroll-to-roll particle fabrication to deliver nanotechnology tools that can generate novel particles with unique size andshape to improve delivery of drugs and vaccines. His new company raised $60m in venture funding.
8 Image: TedMedQuyen Nguyen from UCSD has developed a technique to make nerve endings and tumor cells grow, making it mucheasier to perform surgery the affected parts. Up to 60% of men have complications after prostate cancer surgery due todamage to nerves. This technique allows surgeons to avoid healthy tissue and nerves.
9 Image: TedMedWeight Watchers’ David Kirchhoff talked about the ‘obsesogenic’ environment, and the lack of ‘ROI’ for young people toworry about obesity. The key is to generate patterns of behavior that become ingrained and unthinking. Cleveland Clinichas provided healthy incentives, access to education materials, healthy environment etc – none of this is rocket science,but it has helped them keep insurance premiums flat this year.
10 1 0 Images: Juan Enriquez: Juliana Rotich Yoav Medan: Medgadget Annesh Chopra: MinnPost Diana Nyad: CSMonitorAs usual, all speakers were excellent. Here are a few that were even more so, and should be first to watch on video. Juan Enriquez – regulators and pharma companies – who are the black hats? Yoav Medan – using MRI and focused ultrasound for non-invasive surgery Aneesh Chopra &FarzadMostashari – US government efforts to be transparent about the data Diana Nyad – long distance swims in her 60; a personal journey against the odds
11Organization was even slicker this year, e.g. audience feedback gadgets were great‘Grand Challenges’ – partnering with Robert Woods Johnson FoundationRamping up ambition levels: ‘taking on’ establishment. 1200 people (up from 600 in ‘10, 900 in ‘11)Moving to Washington, DC - next event already in April 2012. Ticket cost rising to $5kRELEVANCE TO ROCHE: Interest in getting more involved and ‘owning mindshare’ with this targeted group?