TED Conversations

e-Patient Dave deBronkart

Change Advocate for Participatory Medicine / Let Patients Help, Society for Participatory Medicine


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"WHY is the patient the most under-used resource in healthcare?? How did that happen?" (Follow-up to LIVE TED Conversation July 27)

"e-Patient Dave" deBronkart is an advocate for patients being "E": empowered, engaged in their care, equipped, enabled, educated, etc. As described in his talk from TEDx Maastricht, he beat a near-fatal cancer, supplementing his great medical care by using the internet in every way possible.

Today, as blog manager and volunteer co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine, he has studied the social, technical and sometimes political factors that make healthcare ignore the potential of patients contributing to their care.

In his TEDTalk, he quotes senior physicians who have said for decades that patients are the most under-utilized resource in healthcare.

Why is that? How did it get to be that way? Is change valid? Why now, and not 20 years ago? And what can we do about it?

Watch the talk, and come back to discuss. *Your family* will be affected someday.

ADMIN EDIT: e-Patient Dave has requested that we keep this conversation open for 1 week. After 2pm ET July 27, he will periodically check in to answer questions and respond to comments.

Topics: Healthcare

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    Aug 9 2011: Hi Dave, what do you think about starting some kind of E-patient thing on TED.com?
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      Aug 10 2011: Hi Jimmy - what do you mean by "some kind of e-patient thing"? There are almost 300 comments here already - isn't that a "thing"? :-)
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        Aug 10 2011: Well, yes.. It's a thing... what I meant was MORE of a thing, like a devoted TED project to it... Education and health are among the biggest topics on TED and we already have (well, it's kind of new yet) TED-ED http://education.ted.com/ ... shouldn't we also have TED-MED? A place where we could make a true "E-patient revolution" by guiding the almost 1 million TEDsters to better health...

        What I'm purposing is something like many of the website links that have been shared on this conversation... but in a TED format.
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          Aug 10 2011: I didn't realize "TED projects" exist, nor education.ted.com. How marvelous! Yes, I'd LOVE to start a few fires in this area. The field needs a SLEW of new thinkers.

          "TEDMED" is a separate event licensed by TED - can't use that name. But the point is health, not medicine - the healthier people are, the less medical care we need! So maybe TED Health?
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        Aug 10 2011: I get your point about Medicine vs Health and I think TED Health would be a great name for such a project!
        There is so much that people (myself included) don't know about TED, but I am one who's trying to bind as much as possible of it together... So I scout and scout and read and and watch and press as many buttons as I can manage to keep track off.
        I also try do provide valuable information to the people that I think will use it in the best way, that includes guiding people on TED without them asking... And perhaps sharing some of my favorite medical/health TED Talks here will inspire you (and others to new ideas).
        So here are two Talks that I really think you should watch:

        Anders Ynnerman: Visualizing the medical data explosion http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/anders_ynnerman_visualizing_the_medical_data_explosion.html

        Daniel Kraft: Medicine's future? There's an app for that http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/daniel_kraft_medicine_s_future.html

        Also, here is a link to the Theme "Medicine without borders" It at the moment has 78 Talks (where your Talk is included) that should all be worth watching... http://www.ted.com/themes/medicine_without_borders.html

        Hope I didn't drown you in information here...

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