The TedMed 2012 conference was held last week. I was not able to attend, but the reports I’ve read indicate that preventative health was a big topic. In fact, of the 50 challenges proposed in TedMed’s Great Challenges program, the challenge voted number one was “inventing wellness programs that work”. From the TedMed.com challenges brochure:

“From corporate America to the U.S.government and its armed forces, small businesses and even religious and educational institutions, many large-scale organizations have a strong economic motive to encourage their workforces to adopt healthier lifestyles (worker wellness means lower insurance rates for employers). Many organizations have discovered elements that support worker wellness to some degree, but no group has put it all together for large scale, long-term success. Compounding this problem is a disagreement over the relative responsibility of the individual versus the responsibility of the organization for employee health (with issues ranging from workplace environment and stress, to on-the-job support for healthy lifestyles—or the lack of such support). What kinds of innovation should we be thinking about and how can we encourage them to come to market as soon as possible?”

The conversation will be ongoing at TedMed.com. Medical device designers should have some valuable input.