TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Michael J. Barber, VP, GE Healthymagination

Well, TED community, now that our conversation has come to a close, I’d like to thank you all for sharing your thought-provoking questions and insightful ideas on patient behavior. I also want to thank Dr. Nancy Snyderman for participating and for bringing her valuable medical perspective to our discussion.

Over the course of the conversation, some key takeaways for me included:

+ It takes time to drive real change in community healthcare systems but it is worth the effort to increase access, decrease costs and improve the quality of healthcare.

+ Being smart and honest with our healthcare providers goes a long way no matter which country we live in.

+ We can save 100,000 lives a year by preventing hospital errors.

+ Learning about health early in life and developing good habits can have a big impact on our healthcare system in the future.

+ As patients become better armed with information through technology, we will see the patient/doctor relationship evolve into something more meaningful and efficient.

+ If good health is a priority in the workspace, these habits will translate into the home.

This has been a great first experience with TED Conversations for me and I hope to meet you all in the digital healthcare space again soon.

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    Jul 22 2011: I think a lot of why people do not always get proper medical advice and treatment is because of the lack of knowledge for the common every day person. Only doctors and other specialist really understand the risks and causes of most serious diseases and whatnot, so getting screened for things like TB do not make it very high on an individual's "To-Do" list that day. Most people tend to take the "it won't happen to me" philosophy and use it to make up excuses to not get proper medical care. Many cases of serious disease and disorders do not get publicized very often expect for special cases, so it is only these special cases that make a scene to the rest of society and individuals subconsciously compare themselves with these people and realize they are very different people, meaning there is no connection between themselves and that disease/disorder. This is the wrong logic to use but it is used nonetheless. If people become more informed on probabilities of obtaining certain diseases and illnesses then I think it would draw more attention to screenings and precautionary measures.

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