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TEDTalks Health

TEDTalks Health

From way-new medical breakthroughs to smart daily health habits, doctors and researchers share their discoveries about medicine and well-being onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

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What if our health care system kept us healthy? | Rebecca Onie

Rebecca Onie asks audacious questions: What if waiting rooms were a place to improve daily health care? What if doctors could prescribe food, housing and heat in the winter? At TEDMED she describes Health Leads, an organization that does just that -- and does it by building a volunteer base as elite and dedicated as a college sports team.
2012-06-12
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Are we over-medicalized? | Ivan Oransky

Reuters health editor Ivan Oransky warns that we're suffering from an epidemic of preposterous preconditions -- pre-diabetes, pre-cancer, and many more. In this engaging talk from TEDMED he shows how health care can find a solution... by taking an important lesson from baseball.
2012-06-19
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A tale of mental illness -- from the inside | Elyn Saks

"Is it okay if I totally trash your office?" It's a question Elyn Saks once asked her doctor, and it wasn't a joke. A legal scholar, in 2007 Saks came forward with her own story of schizophrenia, controlled by drugs and therapy but ever-present. In this powerful talk, she asks us to see people with mental illness clearly, honestly and compassionately.
2012-06-29
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How I'm preparing to get Alzheimer's | Alanna Shaikh

When faced with a parent suffering from Alzheimer's, most of us respond with denial ("It won't happen to me") or extreme efforts at prevention. But global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh sees it differently. She's taking three concrete steps to prepare for the moment -- should it arrive -- when she herself gets Alzheimer's disease.
2012-07-03
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The game that can give you 10 extra years of life | Jane McGonigal

When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience -- and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.
2012-07-09
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A test for Parkinson's with a phone call | Max Little

Parkinson's disease affects 6.3 million people worldwide, causing weakness and tremors, but there's no objective way to detect it early on. Yet. Applied mathematician and TED Fellow Max Little is testing a simple, cheap tool that in trials is able to detect Parkinson's with 99 percent accuracy -- in a 30-second phone call.
2012-08-07
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How to step up in the face of disaster | Morgan O'Neill

When a freak tornado hit their hometown, sisters Caitria and Morgan O'Neill -- just 20 and 24 at the time -- realized they had to jump in and help. What they learned is: After a natural disaster, there's only a tiny window before the world turns its sympathy (and its donations) elsewhere -- so it's important to be prepared for every aspect of recovery. Watch this talk to learn how to step up in a timely fashion for your own community.
2012-08-14
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Mental health for all by involving all | Vikram Patel

Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach -- training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.
2012-09-11
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A story about knots and surgeons | Ed Gavagan

One day, Ed Gavagan was sitting on the subway, watching two young med students practicing their knots. And a powerful memory washed over him -- of one shocking moment that changed his life forever. An unforgettable story of crime, skill and gratitude.
2012-09-21
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What's so funny about mental illness? | Ruby Wax

Diseases of the body garner sympathy, says comedian Ruby Wax -- except those of the brain. Why is that? With dazzling energy and humor, Wax, diagnosed a decade ago with clinical depression, urges us to put an end to the stigma of mental illness.
2012-10-10
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Want to be happier? Stay in the moment | Matt Killingsworth

When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be.
2012-11-05
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Pool medical patents, save lives | Ellen 't Hoen

Patenting a new drug helps finance its immense cost to develop -- but that same patent can put advanced treatments out of reach for sick people in developing nations, at deadly cost. Ellen 't Hoen talks about an elegant, working solution to the problem: the Medicines Patent Pool.
2012-12-10
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Could the sun be good for your heart? | Richard Weller

Our bodies get Vitamin D from the sun, but as dermatologist Richard Weller suggests, sunlight may confer another surprising benefit too. New research by his team shows that nitric oxide, a chemical transmitter stored in huge reserves in the skin, can be released by UV light, to great benefit for blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. What does it mean? Well, it might begin to explain why Scots get sick more than Australians ...
2013-01-17
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The secret to desire in a long-term relationship | Esther Perel

In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence.
2013-02-14
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A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA | Ron Finley

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA -- in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."
2013-03-06
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We need better drugs -- now | Francis Collins

Today we know the molecular cause of 4,000 diseases, but treatments are available for only 250 of them. So what's taking so long? Geneticist and physician Francis Collins explains why systematic drug discovery is imperative, even for rare and complex diseases, and offers a few solutions -- like teaching old drugs new tricks.
2013-03-21
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We're covered in germs. Let's design for that. | Jessica Green

Our bodies and homes are covered in microbes -- some good for us, some bad for us. As we learn more about the germs and microbes who share our living spaces, TED Fellow Jessica Green asks: Can we design buildings that encourage happy, healthy microbial environments?
2013-03-25
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Health care should be a team sport | Eric Dishman

When Eric Dishman was in college, doctors told him he had 2 to 3 years to live. That was a long time ago. Now, Dishman puts his experience and his expertise as a medical tech specialist together to suggest a bold idea for reinventing health care -- by putting the patient at the center of a treatment team.
2013-04-11
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Let's talk crap. Seriously. | Rose George

It's 2013, yet 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to a basic sanitary toilet. And when there's no loo, where do you poo? In the street, probably near your water and food sources -- causing untold death and disease from contamination. Get ready for a blunt, funny, powerful talk from journalist Rose George about a once-unmentionable problem.
2013-04-15
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Toward a new understanding of mental illness | Thomas Insel

Today, thanks to better early detection, there are 63% fewer deaths from heart disease than there were just a few decades ago. Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, wonders: Could we do the same for depression and schizophrenia? The first step in this new avenue of research, he says, is a crucial reframing: for us to stop thinking about "mental disorders" and start understanding them as "brain disorders."
2013-04-16
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Got a meeting? Take a walk | Nilofer Merchant

Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a "walking meeting" -- and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.
2013-04-29
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Prepare for a good end of life | Judy MacDonald Johnston

Thinking about death is frightening, but planning ahead is practical and leaves more room for peace of mind in our final days. In a solemn, thoughtful talk, Judy MacDonald Johnston shares 5 practices for planning for a good end of life.
2013-05-22
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The big-data revolution in health care | Joel Selanikio

Collecting global health data is an imperfect science: Workers tramp through villages to knock on doors and ask questions, write the answers on paper forms, then input the data -- and from this messy, gappy information, countries and NGOs need to make huge decisions. Data geek Joel Selanikio talks through the sea change in collecting health data in the past decade -- starting with the PalmPilot and Hotmail, and now moving into the cloud.
2013-07-02
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In our baby's illness, a life lesson | Roberto D'Angelo + Francesca Fedeli

Roberto D'Angelo and Francesca Fedeli thought their baby boy Mario was healthy -- until at 10 days old, they discovered he'd had a perinatal stroke. With Mario unable to control the left side of his body, they grappled with tough questions: Would he be "normal?? Could he live a full life? The poignant story of parents facing their fears -- and how they turned them around.
2013-07-24
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The fastest ambulance? A motorcycle | Eli Beer

As a young EMT on a Jerusalem ambulance, Eli Beer realized that, stuck in brutal urban traffic, they often arrived too late to help. So he organized a group of volunteer EMTs -- many on foot -- ready to drop everything and dash to save lives in their neighborhood. Today, United Hatzlah uses a smartphone app and a fleet of "ambucycles" to help nearby patients until an ambulance arrives. With an average response time of 3 minutes, last year, they treated 207,000 people in Israel. And the idea is going global.
2013-07-30
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The voices in my head | Eleanor Longden

To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her head started talking. Initially innocuous, these internal narrators became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, turning her life into a living nightmare. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, drugged, Longden was discarded by a system that didn't know how to help her. Longden tells the moving tale of her years-long journey back to mental health, and makes the case that it was through learning to listen to her voices that she was able to survive.
2013-08-08
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Better baby care -- thanks to Formula 1 | Peter van Manen

During a Formula 1 race, a car sends hundreds of millions of data points to its garage for real-time analysis and feedback. So why not use this detailed and rigorous data system elsewhere, like at children's hospitals? Peter van Manen tells us more.
2013-08-01
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Why do we sleep? | Russell Foster

Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives. In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages -- and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.
2013-08-14
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How to make stress your friend | Kelly McGonigal

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
2013-09-04
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A new way to grow bone | Molly Stevens

What does it take to regrow bone in mass quantities? Typical bone regeneration -- wherein bone is taken from a patient?s hip and grafted onto damaged bone elsewhere in the body -- is limited and can cause great pain just a few years after operation. In an informative talk, Molly Stevens introduces a new stem cell application that harnesses bone?s innate ability to regenerate and produces vast quantities of bone tissue painlessly.
2014-02-18
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How an obese town lost a million pounds | Mick Cornett

Oklahoma City is a midsized town that had a big problem: It was among the most obese towns in America. Mayor Mick Cornett realized that, to make his city a great place to work and live, it had to become healthier too. In this charming talk, he walks us through the interlocking changes that helped OKC drop a collective million pounds (450,000 kilos).
2014-01-02
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How societies can grow old better | Jared Diamond

There's an irony behind the latest efforts to extend human life: It's no picnic to be an old person in a youth-oriented society. Older people can become isolated, lacking meaningful work and low on funds. In this intriguing talk, Jared Diamond looks at how many different societies treat their elders -- some better, some worse -- and suggests we all take advantage of experience.
2013-11-25
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Depression, the secret we share | Andrew Solomon

"The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment." In a talk equal parts eloquent and devastating, writer Andrew Solomon takes you to the darkest corners of his mind during the years he battled depression. That led him to an eye-opening journey across the world to interview others with depression -- only to discover that, to his surprise, the more he talked, the more people wanted to tell their own stories.
2013-12-18
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Why dieting doesn't usually work | Sandra Aamodt

In the US, 80% of girls have been on a diet by the time they're 10 years old. In this honest, raw talk, neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt uses her personal story to frame an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies, as she explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn't work, but is likely to do more harm than good. She suggests ideas for how to live a less diet-obsessed life, intuitively.
2014-01-08
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Demo: A needle-free vaccine patch that's safer and way cheaper | Mark Kendall

One hundred sixty years after the invention of the needle and syringe, we're still using them to deliver vaccines; it's time to evolve. Biomedical engineer Mark Kendall demos the Nanopatch, a one-centimeter-by-one-centimeter square vaccine that can be applied painlessly to the skin. He shows how this tiny piece of silicon can overcome four major shortcomings of the modern needle and syringe, at a fraction of the cost.
2014-01-14
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His and hers ... health care | Paula Johnson

Every cell in the human body has a sex, which means that men and women are different right down to the cellular level. Yet too often, research and medicine ignore this insight -- and the often startlingly different ways in which the two sexes respond to disease or treatment. As pioneering doctor Paula Johnson describes in this thought-provoking talk, lumping everyone in together means we essentially leave women's health to chance. It's time to rethink.
2014-01-22
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Can the damaged brain repair itself? | Siddharthan Chandran

After a traumatic brain injury, it sometimes happens that the brain can repair itself, building new brain cells to replace damaged ones. But the repair doesn't happen quickly enough to allow recovery from degenerative conditions like motor neuron disease (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS). Siddharthan Chandran walks through some new techniques using special stem cells that could allow the damaged brain to rebuild faster.
2014-02-24
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How I help transgender teens become who they want to be | Norman Spack

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need.
2014-04-16
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The hunt for "unexpected genetic heroes" | Stephen Friend

What can we learn from people with the genetics to get sick ? who don't? With most inherited diseases, only some family members will develop the disease, while others who carry the same genetic risks dodge it. Stephen Friend suggests we start studying those family members who stay healthy. Hear about the Resilience Project, a massive effort to collect genetic materials that may help decode inherited disorders.
2014-05-29
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A glimpse of life on the road | Kitra Cahana

As a young girl, photojournalist and TED Fellow Kitra Cahana dreamed about running away from home to live freely on the road. Now as an adult and self-proclaimed vagabond, she follows modern nomads into their homes -- boxcars, bus stops, parking lots, rest stop bathrooms -- giving a glimpse into a culture on the margins.
2014-05-28
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Own your body's data | Talithia Williams

The new breed of high-tech self-monitors (measuring heartrate, sleep, steps per day) might seem targeted at competitive athletes. But Talithia Williams, a statistician, makes a compelling case that all of us should be measuring and recording simple data about our bodies every day ? because our own data can reveal much more than even our doctors may know.
2014-08-11
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How to live passionately?no matter your age | Isabel Allende

Author Isabel Allende is 71. Yes, she has a few wrinkles?but she has incredible perspective too. In this candid talk, meant for viewers of all ages, she talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately.
2014-09-03
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What makes us get sick? Look upstream | Rishi Manchanda

Rishi Manchanda has worked as a doctor in South Central Los Angeles for a decade, where he?s come to realize: His job isn?t just about treating a patient?s symptoms, but about getting to the root cause of what is making them ill?the ?upstream" factors like a poor diet, a stressful job, a lack of fresh air. It?s a powerful call for doctors to pay attention to a patient's life outside the exam room.
2014-09-15
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A neural portrait of the human mind | Nancy Kanwisher

Brain imaging pioneer Nancy Kanwisher, who uses fMRI scans to see activity in brain regions (often her own), shares what she and her colleagues have learned: The brain is made up of both highly specialized components and general-purpose "machinery." Another surprise: There's so much left to learn.
2014-10-02
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?Am I dying?? The honest answer. | Matthew O'Reilly

Matthew O?Reilly is a veteran emergency medical technician on Long Island, New York. In this talk, O?Reilly describes what happens next when a gravely hurt patient asks him: ?Am I going to die??
2014-09-25
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Why thinking you're ugly is bad for you | Meaghan Ramsey

About 10,000 people a month Google the phrase, ?Am I ugly?? Meaghan Ramsey of the Dove Self-Esteem Project has a feeling that many of them are young girls. In a deeply unsettling talk, she walks us through the surprising impacts of low body and image confidence?from lower grade point averages to greater risk-taking with drugs and alcohol. And then shares the key things all of us can do to disrupt this reality.
2014-10-07
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One more reason to get a good night's sleep | Jeff Iliff

The brain uses a quarter of the body's entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body's mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.
2014-10-13
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The simple power of hand-washing | Myriam Sidibe

Myriam Sidibe is a warrior in the fight against childhood disease. Her weapon of choice? A bar of soap. For cost-effective prevention against sickness, it?s hard to beat soapy hand-washing, which cuts down risk of pneumonia, diarrhea, cholera and worse. Sidibe, a public-health expert, makes a smart case for public-private partnerships to promote clean hands ? and local, sustainable entrepreneurship.
2014-10-14
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Yes, I survived cancer. But that doesn't define me | Debra Jarvis

Debra Jarvis had worked as a hospital chaplain for nearly 30 years when she was diagnosed with cancer. And she learned quite a bit as a patient. In a witty, daring talk, she explains how the identity of ?cancer survivor? can feel static. She asks us all to claim our hardest experiences, while giving ourselves room to grow and evolve.
2014-10-30
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The coming crisis in antibiotics | Ramanan Laxminarayan

Antibiotic drugs save lives. But we simply use them too much ? and often for non-lifesaving purposes, like treating the flu and even raising cheaper chickens. The result, says researcher Ramanan Laxminarayan, is that the drugs will stop working for everyone, as the bacteria they target grow more and more resistant. He calls on all of us (patients and doctors alike) to think of antibiotics -- and their ongoing effectiveness -- as a finite resource, and to think twice before we tap into it. It's a sobering look at how global medical trends can strike home.
2014-11-10
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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