TED Talks have been around since 1984, but have become popular since they were made available for free online viewing in 2006. These short lectures, usually less than 20 minutes long, are a great way for experts to be seen as thought leaders in their fields. The talks provide a platform to deliver stories in a captivating manner and serve as a great outlet for communicating innovative ideas.

There are many TED Talks related to the healthcare industry, including many that have come out of TEDMED, an annual conference focusing on health and medicine.

Here are a few medical-focused TED Talks worth watching:

The coming crisis in antibiotics – Ramanan Laxminarayan

In this TED Talk from TEDMED 2014, health economist and professor Ramanan Laxminarayan discusses the rising challenge of antibiotic drug resistance, a growing concern for the medical community. He focuses on lessons learned from the energy crisis and compares them to the state of antibiotic resistance. He says, “We need to completely rethink how we’re going to use measures to control biological organisms, and rethink how we incentivize the development, introduction, in the case of antibiotics prescription, and use of these valuable resources. And we really now need to start thinking about them as natural resources.”

How do we heal medicine? – Atul Gawande

In this TED Talk, surgeon and public health journalist Dr. Atul Gawande, discusses the evolution of the healthcare system in the United States and its growing complexity. While doctors are capable of delivering extraordinary treatments, they often lose focus on actually treating people. “In every field, knowledge has exploded, but it has brought complexity, it has brought specialization. And we’ve come to a place where we have no choice but to recognize, as individualistic as we want to be, complexity requires group success,” he says. He recommends that those in the medical profession take a step back and start operating as a system. Doing so requires three skills: finding where your failures are, devising a solution, and getting colleagues across the entire chain to adopt these changes.

Health care should be a team sport – Eric Dishman

Eric Dishman, a healthcare researcher for Intel who studies how new technology can solve big problems shares his personal story of being diagnosed with two rare kidney diseases that doctors said would likely kill him within two or three years. Throughout his battle with his illnesses, Eric challenged the status quo of the healthcare system, a system that he found flawed in many ways. “It’s dependent on passive patients who just take it and don’t ask any questions.” Throughout his talk, Eric focuses on revolutionizing that broken healthcare system through three pillars: care anywhere, care networking and care customization. “These three pillars of personal health—care anywhere, care networking, care customization—are happening in pieces now, but this vision will completely fail if we don’t step up as caregivers and as patients to take on new roles.”

Check out some more TED Talks on medicine. Which would you recommend?

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