From September 10-13, 2014, Klaster LifeScience Kraków hosted a simulcast with TEDMED Live and became a part of global conversation. The four-day event, entitled “TEDMED 2014 – Unlocking Imagination” drew together many of the key themes in health and medicine. This year, over 80 inspiring speakers and innovative start-ups from around the world gathered in two host cities – Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA. TEDMED has launched a program to inspire the next generation of physicians and medical researchers and to open new possibilities for the future of medicine.
Day one featured presentations from Session 1 “Turn it upside down”. All the speakers focused on questioning common beliefs and introduced fresh insights about health. We could listen to brilliant lecture about placebo held by Ted Kaptchuk, challenge typical notions of what causes pandemics together with Sonia Shah as well as relax to the unique blend of eastern and western sounds by Farah Siraj.
The second day (Session 2 “ We just don’t know”) opened with a discussion with Amy McGuire, a genomic bioethicist on genetic tests and was followed by a highly instructive panel among our guests. We considered how the knowledge of inherited mutations may reverse our life philosophy. Later that evening in the Session 3 entitled “Flat out Amazing”, we were pleased to watch a showcase of a bio-health startup concerning high-tech diagnostics by Elizabeth Holmes which also led to an eye-opening debate on the topic.
On the third day Session 4 (“Stealing Smart”) and 5 (“Don’t You Dare Talk About This”) were diverse in format and included presentations by health professionals such as Ramanan Laxminarayan who gave an illuminating speech on the drug resistance developed by bacteria or Nora Volkow – Explorer of the Human Brain who revealed the changes in neural system in addicted individuals. Sigrid Fry-Revere, an organ donation ethicist gave us a provocative look at the illegal organ trading around the world and system of selling/donation that has solved the kidney supply problem in Iran. Another speaker – Carl Hart presented data concerning behavioral and neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs in humans, what subsequently elicited an enthusiastic discussion.
The last day comprised a compilation of the most interesting speeches of sessions 6, 7, 8 and 9. Session 6 “Play Is Not a Waste of Time” was opened by Cole Galloway who indicated the role of self-motivated mobility in shaping who we are in early life. In Session 7 “Human nature Inside and Out” Jeffrey Karp provided an inspiring lecture on advanced biomaterials and devices for therapeutics. John Cryan – one of the speakers in Session 8 “Weird and Wonderful” focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut and microbiome. Session 9 “I Was Just Thinking Too Small” included a presentation of Daniel Kohane, who is a leading drug delivery and biomaterials researcher.
The result of TEDMED is an enlightening experience that challenged us to discard some closely held assumptions, recharge our brains as well as decide who we are as human beings and rethink of impact of our environment on our health.