A List of TED Talks and Digital Health Videos

10 Amazing TED Talks That Will Help You Understand the Coming Digital Health Tsunami

Ideas are the currency of the 21st century, while the digital health landscape has become a gigantic marketplace. And if ideas are today’s currency, digital health videos are the gold standard for presenting the ABCs to a broader public. The non-profit TED is a platform dedicated to spreading ideas and is best known for its short, thought-provoking presentations. TED Talks have been spreading valuable insights from various fields of professional and private life, and the rapid evolution of digital health in recent years has not gone underneath the radar either.

Digital Health is a new discipline that has seen a stellar rise only throughout the past couple of years, and maybe that is why much of the audience are not very familiar with its basic concepts. Although people nowadays are beginning to be more open towards concepts such as health apps, virtual doctor consultations, or wearable devices there is still much work necessary to help the majority of the population accept them as their next generation health care.

Over the course of the past years, some great TED talks have surfaced at TED.com conferences, TEDMED, or the independent TEDx’s all over the world, making up a brilliant collection of digital health videos.

A Top 10 List of Digital Health Videos Featuring TED Talks

Here are ten of the most amazing TED Talks on digital health:

  1. Medicine’s future? There’s an app for that – Daniel Kraft

In this TED Talk, Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient’s bedside. As we think about technology trends and how they impact health and medicine, according to Kraft, we’re entering an era of miniaturization, decentralization and personalization.

  1. Let’s pool our medical data – John Wilbanks

When you are getting medical treatment, or taking part in medical testing, privacy is important; strict laws limit what researchers can see and know about you. However, what if your medical data could be used — anonymously — by anyone seeking to test a hypothesis? In this thought provoking digital health video, John Wilbanks wonders if the desire to protect our privacy is slowing research, and if opening up medical data could lead to a wave of health care innovation. Being able to pool medical data into one large database to improve human health would provide positive ramifications for the fight against many a disease.

  1. What healthcare will look like in 2020 – Stephen Klasko

 “You should be able to put ‘stomach ache’ into your iPhone and immediately get a Jefferson physician.”

How will healthcare change in the future? Dr. Stephen Klasko shares his insights on healthcare reform in this informative talk cleverly staged in the year 2020. As the President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and its affiliated Hospital, Dr. Klasko faces enormous challenges in regards to change – both in health care and in the business of running a major college and hospital. His work focuses on merging the two, finding ways to expand medicine into the community in innovative ways.

  1. Print your own medicine – Lee Cronin

Chemist Lee Cronin is working on a 3D printer that, instead of objects, is able to print molecules. An exciting potential long-term application: printing your own medicine using chemical inks. Check out other digital health videos to grasp the potential of this new trailblazing technology on Youtube.

  1. Will healthcare embrace digital or will we die waiting? – Karalee Close

Using a mobile app to check glucose levels, sending selfies to receive diagnoses, and receiving text reminders to take pills. Is this what the future of healthcare will look like? Karalee Close believes it should, considering that medical mistakes are the fourth leading cause of death in the US. She argues that a closer marriage of technology, big data, and healthcare can improve today’s system – especially when it comes to mitigating human error.

  1. The wireless future of medicine – Eric Topol 

In this TED presentation, Eric Topol says we’ll soon use our smartphones to monitor our vital signs and chronic conditions. “You check your email while you’re sitting here. In the future you’re going to be checking your vital signs, all your vital signs: your heart rhythm, your blood pressure, your oxygen, your temperature, etc.” At TEDMED, he highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine’s future — all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds.

  1. Could tissue engineering mean personalized medicine – Nina Tandon

Each of our bodies is utterly unique, which is a lovely thought until it comes to treating an illness — when every physique reacts differently, often unpredictably, to standard treatment procedures. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon talks about a possible solution: Using pluripotent stem cells to make personalized models of organs on which to test new drugs and treatments, and storing them on computer chips. Call it extremely personalized medicine.

  1. A prosthetic arm that “feels” – Todd Kuiken

What we will hear about in this TED Talk is Bionics, which is the popular term for the science of replacing parts of a living organism with a mechatronic device, or a robot. Physiatrist and engineer Todd Kuiken is building a prosthetic arm that connects with the human nervous system — improving motion, control and even feeling. Onstage, patient Amanda Kitts helps demonstrate this next-gen robotic arm.

  1. Visualizing the medical data explosion Anders Ynnerman

Medical scans can produce thousands of images for a single patient in seconds, but how do doctors know what they can use for their treatment? Scientific visualization expert Anders Ynnerman shows us sophisticated new tools — like virtual autopsies — for analysing our data, and hints at the sci-fi-sounding medical technologies coming up next. This talk contains some graphic medical imagery.

  1. Surgery’s past, present and robotic future – Catherine Mohr

Surgeon and inventor Catherine Mohr tours the history of surgery (and its pre-painkiller, pre-antiseptic past), then demos some of the newest tools for surgery through tiny incisions, performed using nimble robot hands. Among all the digital health videos presented here, this might be the most fascinating — but not for the squeamish.

Conclusion

TED, which started as a group of people getting together once a year, now is seeing about a million people daily watching TEDTalks online. With such a wide number of followers, it has become one of the best ways to spread information and help professionals think outside the box. A highly insightful and entertaining way to learn about the developments in digital health!

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Alise Adovica

Alise is a 5th year medicine student from Riga, Latvia.

In her free time, she loves to experience the magic of music by singing in one of Latvia's best choirs - Balsis. Sometimes, she finds it necessary to stock up energy spending time in nature - at sea, in the meadow, or in the woods.