Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Social Media Week NYC Debrief: Health & Wellness Keynote: TEDMED's Jay Walker on The Future of Health and Medicine...

Last Thursday, February 16th, I celebrated social media along with a couple hundred other social media geeks and health nuts like myself at the Social Media Week NYC: Health & Wellness Hub at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. Jay Walker, Chairman and Curator of TEDMED, a community of people who are passionate about imagining the future of health and medicine, kicked off the day with his Keynote: 'To Change Faster We Must Decide Better.' (video)

Jay spoke about the "micro-choices" that Americans make to impact our health over the course of our lifetimes... whether it's drinking that second or third cup o' joe or deciding which doctor's advice to follow. Our collective catastrophic choices are making our country sicker and driving us toward bankruptcy. So, how the heck can we make better decisions to improve our health?!
Jay Walker, Chairman and
Curator of TEDMED.
Well, according to Jay, we need to fix the various dysfunctional "mental models" in our healthcare system. He began by looking at a well known mental model, "What Would Jesus Do." Then he spoke about mental models in healthcare, including: 

Teenage Boy Model - People think that they're invincible. 

Born Lucky Model - People think that health outcomes simply won't affect them because they're oh so lucky. 

Car Mechanic Model - People who go to the doctor only when they're sick to get themselves fixed up. 

Specialist Model - People go to a specialist to fix individual problems, but the reality is that we should be looking at the patient as a whole, and dealing with problems holistically. Amen to that! 

Rational Actor Model - People can make better health decisions if they are  presented with the information to do so. 

Star Trek Model - People rely on nanobots to fix everything.

Moreover, technology does not solve problems, it merely creates tools to help people solve problems based on their mental models. With the 'rational actor model,' it fails to explain why so many people still smoke even though they know it's bad for them. Most people don't make rational decisions, they make emotional decisions. 

However, he suggested that we adopt the 'personal informed model,' a model that is based on being open minded and continuously learning. I agree with this wholeheartedly. The question is, are YOU on board to take personal responsibility for your health? With the help and guidance of healthcare professionals, of course. 

Interested in joining the greatest minds in health and medicine at TEDMED 2012 this April 10-13 in Washington D.C.? Apply for a scholarship and the opportunity to join a community of passionate, leading-edge thinkers and doers who come from every discipline within the fields of health and medicine, business, government, technology, academia, media, and the arts. 

Blissfully Yours,

Tatiana Ridley, CHHC, AADP