6 TED talks from 2018 relevant to public health

I receive my dose of public health inspiration through books, podcasts, and videos – and I seek it quite regularly. So you can bet that I consume a lot of content, and I love sharing it too!

Last year, we published a blog post compiling six TED/TEDx talks from 2017, and it was quite popular. We’re back again with a new list of TED/TEDx talks relevant to public health – there are six in total, presented in 2018.

Happy watching!

How monitoring animal health can predict human disease outbreaks
Tracey McNamara at TEDxUCLA

“What does the health of a region’s animal population say about the health of the local humans? More than you’d think, argues Tracey McNamara. As an expert in zoonotics — the study of diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans — McNamara explains how paying attention to animal disease patterns could have predicted events like the 1999 West Nile Virus outbreak and stresses the need for global health agencies to start monitoring animals just as closely as they do people.”

How doctors can help low-income patients (and still make a profit)
P.J. Parmar at TEDxMileHigh

“Modern American health care is defined by its high costs, high overhead and inaccessibility — especially for low-income patients. What if we could redesign the system to serve the poor and still have doctors make money? In an eye-opening (and surprisingly funny) talk, physician P.J. Parmar shares the story of the clinic he founded in Colorado, where he serves only resettled refugees who mostly use Medicaid, and makes the business case for a fresh take on medical service.”

The key to a better malaria vaccine
Faith Osier at TED2018

“The malaria vaccine was invented more than a century ago — yet each year, hundreds of thousands of people still die from the disease. How can we improve this vital vaccine? In this informative talk, immunologist and TED Fellow Faith Osier shows how she’s combining cutting-edge technology with century-old insights in the hopes of creating a new vaccine that eradicates malaria once and for all.”

In the opioid crisis, here’s what it takes to save a life
Jan Rader at TEDWomen 2018

“As a fire chief and first responder, Jan Rader has spent her career saving lives. But when the opioid epidemic hit her town, she realized they needed to take a brand-new approach to life-saving. In this powerful, hopeful talk, Rader shows what it’s like on the front lines of this crisis — and how her community is taking an unusual new approach to treating substance-abuse disorder that starts with listening.”

Also, check out the documentary on Netflix Heroin(e), which features Jan Rader.

What if we eliminated one of the world’s oldest diseases?
Caroline Harper at TED2018

“Thousands of years ago, ancient Nubians drew pictures on tomb walls of a terrible disease that turns the eyelids inside out and causes blindness. This disease, trachoma, is still a scourge in many parts of the world today — but it’s also completely preventable, says Caroline Harper. Armed with data from a global mapping project, Harper’s organization Sightsavers has a plan: to focus on countries where funding gaps stand in the way of eliminating the disease and ramp up efforts where the need is most severe.”

A new way to fund health care for the most vulnerable
Andrew Bastawrous at TED Salon: Optum

“In 2011, eye surgeon and TED Fellow Andrew Bastawrous developed a smartphone app that brings quality eye care to remote communities, helping people avoid losing their sight to curable or preventable conditions. Along the way, he noticed a problem: strict funding regulations meant that he could only operate on people with specific diseases, leaving many others without resources for treatment. In this passionate talk, Bastawrous calls for a new health care funding model that’s flexible and ambitious — to deliver better health to everyone, whatever their needs are.”

Hope you enjoy(ed) these talks.

Which one(s) did you enjoy? Are there any other TED/TEDx talks from 2018 relevant to public health that’s worth sharing with the PH SPOT community? Let us know in the comments below.

About TED:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.


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