TED Conversations

Christina Nesheva

GlaxoSmithKline plc


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What is the future of healthcare? How can it become health care vs sickness treatment? What role do technology and innovation play?

Healthcare costs are rising, the population is aging and medical needs are greater than ever. How can patients receive better quality care at an affordable price? How can we leverage technology to provide better and more affordable healthcare around the world?


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  • Oct 19 2011: Heath Care, lets look at the bigger picture.
    Just over 200 years ago, our population on earth was about 1.5 billion people.
    Then the Industrial Revolution began, and with it technology that gave doctors the tools to cure all kinds of diseases.
    Our population this year is to surpass 7 billion, talk about "Health Care and Sickness Treatment."
    Not in the history of man kind has there been such an increase in such a short time.
    Right now we are on the "Threshold" of our Natural Resources consumption at the current population rate.
    If we found a cure for cancer and AIDS today, tomorrow we would have to have a new energy source.
    We have to reach a balance between the two.
    • Oct 19 2011: The bigger picture is pretty ugly.

      With that many people, human has become a pest of this planet. We dig things up from deep down, pollute the air, pollute the water, change the earth surface, destroy forests and eco-system. Soon, nature will get rid of us (or we get rid of ourselves), yet lives on Earth will go on and our marks on this planet will be wiped clean.

      If human wants to prevent that happening too soon, we need to restore the balance with nature, clean up the environment, reduce the damage to the eco-system, gradually reduce our population and let our own system (human body as an ecosystem) works with the larger eco-system.

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        Oct 19 2011: We need more knowledge, that's all.
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          Oct 19 2011: Gerald, what if we stop neglecting the knowledge that we already have?
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        Oct 19 2011: True, Juan, but still; we don't have enough knowledge. We need fusion, for instance. We need to be making anything out of hydrogen, and why not food. So many things ahead of us. Killing people is a poor solution to overgrowth, and it's short term, anyway. We need more knowledge. And we'll do just fine.

        For one thing, 7 billion humans is way too much as it is. Only knowledge allows for this to happen.
        More people, more knowledge needed, that's all.
      • Oct 20 2011: innovation is a desperate way to try to fix what we did wrong in the past to Mother Nature!
        • Oct 20 2011: Innovation alone is not enough. I have seen "dark hands" from special interests tapping on the shoulders of law makers and cracking up their propaganda machinery to misinform the general public both here in Australia and elsewhere in the world.
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      Oct 19 2011: Dan,
      It wasn't exactly the way you tell it.
      There was one big factor that did increase the population enormously.
      It wasn't the doctors but it was hygiene.

      As I found out when searching for my ancestry the situation at the start of the nineteenth century was that most children died. Mothers got on average 10 to 20 children and 3 to 5 children became parents themselves. Halfway that century hygiene was introduced on all levels and suddenly most children stayed alive. This caused much poverty because society couldn’t cope with that much people. Those who could emigrated abroad, most to the US.

      Later, on a smaller scale, the same happened with the introduction of penicillin and vaccination programs.

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