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Keeping Brains Fed: On Making Healthcare Affordable

December 17, 2012

Finals are over, and I am relaxing back at home in New England, watching the snow fall as I sip green tea and peruse the things I have missed while I was studying for the past month or so. One of those is this TED playlist. For those not familiar with TED, it began in 1984 as a conference for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It has since expanded its scope to spread big ideas from many different realms, including many captivating health-related lectures. But I warn you, with a visit to their website you may find yourself swimming in new ideas.

Allow me to describe each video, in a short, even Tweetable form. Then, head over to the link to check out the videos. If you read this blog, pick at least one to watch; I promise it will grab your interest. Need help deciding? Bradner, Li, and Onie are probably my favorites, or Andraka for a shorter choice.

The videos all come from’s playlist “9 Talks on Making Healthcare Affordable.”

Daniel Kraft: Medicine’s Future? There’s an App for That.
An overwhelming amount of innovations here look very promising. But will they be affordable? Practical? More successful than human hands? We shall see. (18 min)

Jamie Heywood: The Big Idea My Brother Inspired
Not the most engaging lecture, but he outlines a system that I am passionate about: tracking and predicting health through solid, personal statistics. (16 min)

Jack Andraka: Detecting Pancreatic Cancer… at 15
A 15-year-old skipping his biology homework to design a cancer detection system with 100% selectivity and specificity through a test costing pennies. A commentary on health or education? (6 min)

Rebecca Onie: What If Our Healthcare System Kept Us  Healthy?
The aspects of wellness care that our current providers, insurers, etc overlook as a rule. This one is for all my doctor friends. (16 min)

Lucien Engelen: Crowdsource Your Health
Engaging the public to document health resources so we can watch out for each other, and save lives. (6 min)

Max Little: A Test for Parkinson’s with a Phone Call
Using a little math and a little creativity to redesign an expensive neurology test to be simpler and more accessible, effectively diagnosing and quantifying Parkinson’s. To my classmates: a lesion to what part of the brain causes this? (6 min)

William Li: Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?
A fascinating take on cancer, vascularity, and changing blood supply- and preventing cancer- through nutrition. Turns out that weight control is directly connected to blood vessels, too.
(20 min)

Alexander Grey: My Muscle-Measuring Machine
I want one of these devices- for work, play and… music. (6 min)

Jay Bradner: Open-source Cancer Research
Cancer drugs researched with transparency and collaboration: the anti-pharmaceutical company. (12 min)

See the full list and descriptions on here. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these talks! Which was your favorite? What was your reaction? Post below or tweet to me, @mccannmedia!

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