October 27th, 2011
Posted by Caroline Popper, M.D., M.P.H.
TEDMED, that health-focused meeting of the minds, is underway in San Diego, and I wanted to share some impressions of the ideas proposed at the conference. This week, there are a lot of very interesting exhibits, thoughtful presentations, and a bright, energetic audience here. And if there was a central theme to this year’s TEDMED, I’d say it was “redefinition;” rephrasing our questions to reflect what we’ve learned about how the natural, social, and physical worlds actually work. I’d like you to chime in; share your thoughts with me on these ideas, or any others!
Here are some of my initial takeaways:
- Dr. David Agus of USC observed that the power of sophisticated diagnostics is needed to produce truly targeted personalized medicine, but wonders if we need to not only redefine diseases such as cancer, but also to find different, more useful definitions of health. In other words, should we focus on defining health, or instead focus on what is meant by disease?
- Ger Brophy of General Electric Healthcare focused on the theme of cancer on a personal basis, rather than on the geography of where the cancer is. As we’ve discussed via this blog, cancer’s traditional definitions based on anatomical location are not keeping up with what we know about the disease – and its many forms – today. Read the rest of this entry »