Join Pioneer at TED 2010 - Health's Future, Powered by You and Your Data

Feb 9, 2010, 11:12 AM, Posted by Susan Promislo

TED2010 – the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference – kicks off today and runs through the 13th in Long Beach, CA, with the Pioneer Portfolio resuming its role as an event sponsor.  There’s an amazing lineup of speakers, and we’re especially excited that two Pioneer grantees will take the main stage.  Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School will be speaking on Thursday about the power of our social networks to influence the spread of health and social phenomena, including obesity, happiness and smoking cessation.  And Phil Howard, chair of Common Good and leading spokesperson for the work we have supported to test administrative health courts to overhaul our broken system of medical justice, will address the TED audience on Saturday.  

They’ll be among impressive company, joining speakers and performers including HIV vaccine researcher Seth Berkley, molecular technologist George Church, Bill Gates, musicians David Byrne and Sheryl Crow, behavioral economics founder Daniel Kahneman, game designer and Pioneer friend Jane McGonigal, chef Jamie Oliver and former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, among many others. 

We’ll be leading two activities at TED – a luncheon on Thursday that will highlight the future of data-driven, patient-centered care.  We’re teeing up the following questions – in a world with abundant, accessible, actionable health data, how will our level of engagement in our health and health care change?  What expectations of doctors, nurses and other providers will we have, and what expectations will they have of us?  If we have and use our data – both those logged in our electronic medical records and those generated in the course of our everyday lives – how might our decisions change?  Behaviors?  Demands? 

It’s a fascinating conversation, and one that will feature Pioneer team director Paul Tarini as moderator WIRED executive editor Thomas Goetz and Beth Israel Deaconess primary care visionary and Open Notes grantee Tom Delbanco.  Thomas is releasing a book called The Decision Tree later this month that explores this new approach to health in which patients harness their data and use decision trees – essentially health-oriented flow charts – to engage more meaningfully in health decisions and manage their care more intentionally, leading ideally to better outcomes.  Tom will spotlight the role for providers to innovate in this space.  He’s leading the way in making health data for the patient – not just about the patient – by placing the information doctors enter in our medical records and clinical encounter notes,directly in our hands and revolutionizing our role in our health care.  We'll record the event and post it as a Podcast later in the week.   We’ll also be running an exhibit space all week, the centerpiece of which is a video drawn from interviews with a range of Pioneer staff, grantees and other experts on the leading edge of this data-driven, patient-centered vision.  A big shout out to our partners at DDB Issues and Advocacy, who turned hours of telephone interview transcripts in to a beautiful, dynamic and thought-provoking brief video that makes text – and these ideas – jump off the screen and challenge you.  I love this video and urge you to check it out and add your ideas and reactions on our YouTube page.

Pioneer will be live-tweeting from TED and we invite you to join us in the conversation on Twitter, where you can provide your answer to this: In a world rich with actionable health data, how will our relationship with doctors change?  Use the #pioneerdata hashtag and spread the conversation online.

Finally, we’ll be blogging the sights, sounds and stories of TED this week, so check back frequently.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.