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TEDMED 2014 Will Be "Unlocking Imagination in Service of Health and Medicine"

For the first time, TEDMED will take place simultaneously on two iconic stages in Washington, DC and San Francisco with international distribution to more than 100 countries

STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of the famous TED movement, today released its agenda, speaker roster and innovator line-up for its annual conference, which will take place for the first time on two stages September 10-12, 2014 in what is shaping up to be the most ambitious and impactful TEDMED gathering yet.

In Washington, DC, the event will again be hosted at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts -- while in San Francisco, the gathering will convene at the Palace of Fine Arts. Delegates in both cities will experience TEDMED speakers from the other stage through live, digital hi-definition simulcasts. TEDMED Live, which provides streaming video access to medical schools, teaching hospitals, selected non-profit organizations and government agencies free of charge, will broadcast the unified stage program to more than 100 countries, where it will be seen by an estimated 100,000 people globally.

"TEDMED is passionately committed to inspiring the innovative thinking that will lead to a healthier world for our planet's seven billion people," said TEDMED Curator and Chairman Jay Walker. "Our theme, unlocking imagination in health and medicine, focuses on imagination as the critical ingredient that is taking scientific progress and humanitarian compassion to the next level."

A world-class roster of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers

TEDMED's 2014 speaker roster reflects an ongoing commitment to spotlight the science that drives medical progress. TEDMED's curation team of medical doctors, scientists, public health experts, technologists and business leaders vetted thousands of nominations to select 80 speakers and performers.

"Our program features respected authorities in important medical fields, along with undiscovered voices whose ideas are credible, provocative, and promise transformative impact in health and medicine," said TEDMED Director of Stage Content, Nassim Assefi. "Our speakers will tackle exciting and fascinating topics from nanotechnology to bio-inspiration. They will also confront some of the most controversial issues in public health, from gun violence and illegal drug use to compensated organ donation."

Notably, this year's speaker roster is 51% female and 49% male.  Speakers represent 20 nations from around the globe.

The 2014 TEDMED stage program is organized around nine distinct themes, each designed to provoke fresh thinking and unlock participants' imagination. Sessions range from "Turn it Upside Down," where speakers will address insights that flip beliefs and question standard operating procedures in health and medicine, to "Don't You Dare Talk About This," which will ask difficult questions and tackle controversial issues that people are reluctant to discuss publicly, or even acknowledge as problems.  The complete list of sessions, themes, hosts and speakers can be found at www.tedmed.com/speakers

A few of the more than 80 speakers and performers across both stages are:

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, will share the amazing medical insights and technology that have put her on the cutting edge of high-tech diagnostics.

Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University, will offer a provocative but science-supported view of the drug abuse crisis.

Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, U.S. Army Surgeon General, the first woman and first nurse to serve in the position, will discuss how healthcare's toughest battle may be aggressively addressing the mistakes and shortcomings of caregivers.

Nadine Burke Harris, founding physician at the Bayview Child Health Center and founder and CEO of Center for Youth Wellness, will reveal a little-understood factor in childhood that profoundly impacts much adult-onset disease.

Abraham Verghese, Provostial Professor and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University's School of Medicine, will share compelling, original insights into the impact of language on health.

The Hive:  Forward-thinking entrepreneurs and scalable innovations

In addition to its world-class speaker line-up, TEDMED is known for providing opportunities for event participants to meet with the most visionary entrepreneurs in health and medicine and for showcasing the game-changing innovations they represent.

"We're very fortunate to attract successful entrepreneurs from inside and outside the health industry who are joining the health and medicine revolution," said Shirley Bergin, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, TEDMED.  "These innovators are bringing proven talents and multi-disciplinary experience, enabling new ideas and addressing existing problems with new technology and solutions."

At TEDMED 2014, the focus on entrepreneurship and innovation is embodied in The Hive, an informal social environment featuring the innovative ideas that can transform health and medicine. The Hive spotlights innovations across the healthcare landscape from biotech and life sciences, health IT, mobile and digital health and more. Featured companies include (click here for a complete list):

  • CureLauncher is a service and platform that transforms the way patients in need are matched with clinical trials that fit their conditions.
  • Not Impossible rallies techno-wizards and medical professionals to disrupt the status quo by using a DIY mentality to reach people in need all over the world.
  • QuantuMDx has developed a pocket-sized lab that delivers your DNA-based medical diagnosis in minutes – even if you're 100 miles from the nearest hospital.
  • Remedy offers a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform that leverages Google Glass to enable remote experts to see through the eyes of on-site physicians and weigh in on procedures, treatment plans, or diagnoses.
  • ThriveOn delivers personalized mental health support from licensed professionals to patients anywhere, through their online platform.

"TEDMED believes the most exciting hotbeds of new ideas are environments that function as a hive mind – a place where people, innovations, concepts and provocative questions collide, blend, merge, bounce off each other, and inspire further iterations and groundbreaking new insights," continued Shirley Bergin.  "These cutting-edge technologies and disruptive solutions point the way to a healthier tomorrow."

Partnerships with industry leaders and innovators make TEDMED possible

One of TEDMED's greatest strengths is the passionate and generous community that contributes so much to make the annual gathering possible. Individuals and organizations alike contribute their time, thinking, resources, moral support, encouragement and skills, and talents because they share TEDMED's vision of a better tomorrow in health and medicine. 

"Our profound and enduring gratitude goes out to our partners for their thought leadership and mission alignment in creating this powerful, global gathering," said TEDMED CEO Jose Suarez.

Abbott, as TEDMED's first global partner, allows TEDMED to "unlock imagination in service of health and medicine" coast to coast with the organization's first simultaneous, dual-coast event. (Additional TEDMED partners will be announced shortly.)

The American Medical Association, a venerable organization representing almost 300,000 physicians across America, joins forces with TEDMED this year to engage at the leading edge of the health revolution.

Stanford Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco help put the MED in TEDMED, supporting TEDMED's mission to take scientific progress and humanitarian compassion to the next level.

The California Endowment has made possible TEDMED's expansion to the West Coast.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the powerhouse of TEDMED's year-round Great Challenges program, which convenes a diverse online community to explore the thorniest public health issues.

Steelcase Health, TEDMED's design partner, designed and created the social spaces that support health and collaboration.

TEDMED is also supported by its Corporate Innovation Patrons: AstraZeneca, Autodesk, AARP, Blue Shield of California, Booz Allen Hamilton, Digitas Health, Google, GuideWell, Pfizer, StartUp Health Network and the American Beverage Association. These companies provide generous assistance that allows TEDMED to continue bringing together innovative thinkers and doers at its annual gathering.

Delegate Experiences: Connecting and inspiring the TEDMED community

Highlights of a TEDMED gathering include many opportunities for Delegates to explore new ideas and share perspectives. Engagement platforms include the Campfire, a dedicated "social catalyst hub" in The Hive powered by Giant; Beyond the Stage, a series of opportunities for Delegates and speakers to have person-to-person discussions around the important topics explored; Topic-centric Lunches, offsite culinary experiences where Delegates will explore provocative topics inspired by the stage program with Luminary Labs supporting social collaboration; TEDMED Bookstore and author book signings courtesy of Politics and Prose in Washington, DC and Book Passage in San Francisco; Simulcast and Social Lounges supported by TEDMED's global, contributing and host city partners; Imagination Community Art Installation reflecting the TEDMED community's global response to the question, "How do you imagine a healthier world?" powered by TBWA\WorldHealth, which also developed the TEDMED mobile app; Lab Testing Reinvented by Theranos; The Great Challenges Program, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Bacteriography, a pop-style, bacteria-based art exhibit created by speaker Zachary Copfer; and Evening Celebrations, TEDMED's popular social dinners at iconic offsite venues in each city.

Applications are open to join TEDMED 2014.  Anyone who is passionate about creating a healthier world is encouraged to apply to attend in San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC. Special rates are available for military and government personnel. To apply, click here.

If you are a reporter with an assignment from a national media outlet, please click here for information about press passes.


TEDMED is the annual multi-disciplinary gathering where leaders from all sectors of society come together to explore the promise of technology and potential of human achievement in health and medicine. Bringing together doctors, patients, policymakers, technologists, educators, students, media, researchers, innovators, and many others, TEDMED shares and celebrates the best of what the world has to offer in health and medicine.

TEDMED, LLC is an independent organization. The TED logo is used under an exclusive license from the nonprofit TED conference. Jay Walker has served as the Curator and Chairman of TEDMED since 2011. Walker is also the founder of Priceline.com.  For more information, please visit www.TEDMED.com.

TEDMED Press Contacts:

Sallie Olmsted / Aida Abramyan
Rogers & Cowan for TEDMED 2014
310-854-8124 / 310-854-8126
[email protected]
[email protected]



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