TEDMED Expands Reach for Healthcare Innovation

Spring generally means two things for us at Steelcase Health: warmer weather and TEDMED – two things we eagerly look forward to! Both signify a sense of newness, fresh thinking, and imagination – sentiments we embrace with open arms. And, while you may be expecting TEDMED information to begin populating this space again, that won’t happen until September when TEDMED hosts its first live, multi-city event.

In the spirit of freshness and innovation, TEDMED has announced an exciting change! From September 10-12, 2014, TEDMED will bring together delegates in both Washington, D.C. and San Francisco for this year’s gathering. The change of date along with the additional venue is only part of TEDMED’s new strategy to create more dialogue and expand the scope of their mission. In 2015, the conference will announce additional live-stage locations around the world.

“Expanding TEDMED to the San Francisco Bay area just seems natural,” explained Jason Vanderground, brand manager of Steelcase Health. “San Francisco is where TEDMED began. It moved to Washington, D.C. to be nearer to our nation’s policymakers, and now it will be active in both locations.”

Each year, Steelcase Health not only partakes in TEDMED, but also lends its expertise about healthcare environments. “We look forward to our participation again in 2014,” commented Vanderground. “It’s great to be involved with TEDMED because it closely parallels Steelcase Health’s intention to align people, place, and technology in healthcare.”

Engaging in the History of Human Imagination

The theme of imagination is prevalent in TEDMED. A special focus is placed each year on imagining and innovating a better future for healthcare. The imagination and innovation themes are no surprise given Jay Walker’s involvement as curator and chairman of TEDMED. Among his other achievements, Walker is also the founder and curator of the world’s only library for the History of Human Imagination.

The Walker Library from Walker Digital on Vimeo.

Vanderground and a team from Steelcase Health recently spent some time with Walker at the library. Vanderground described the experience:

The library is a collection of books, objects, and historical artifacts that look at the story of human imagination over the history of civilization — the pieces themselves are amazing. Interacting with Jay, his energy and optimism creates the energy in the space. There’s a lot that can get you down in the world; the space is very optimistic and inspiring. It creates a desire to come back and apply yourself that much more in your work and all that you’re involved in.

According to Vanderground, “The name ‘Library’ is a misnomer. The History of Human Imagination Library is a very experiential place — a room of special items. It has many different levels and is very interactive. Music, sports, ancient scriptures, pop culture, whatever you’re interested in, you can get lost in it. The library weaves all of these pieces together.”

The discussion between Vanderground and Walker was based on their common desire to see improvements in health. “We talked about the current transformation in healthcare and how so much change is happening, shifting from a fix-it model to a wellness model. There is a new reality of designing for integrated experiences, while focusing on human needs,” stated Vanderground.

Vanderground continued: “Both of us were especially interested in how technology is going to change the healthcare experience for everyone involved, being mindful that people are at different stages of engaging with technology.”

Technology is changing and improving healthcare, giving care providers more ways to interact with caregivers on behalf of a loved one. Technology enables interaction that would not have been previously possible.

An illustrative example is the need of multiple family members to attend a meeting with doctors about an ailing parent. Chances are that not all family members are able to attend the meeting face-to-face, but by scheduling a conference using Skype or FaceTime, those family members can participate in the important meeting no matter where they are. The technology creates a new dynamic by providing family members the opportunity to be involved in the important care decisions firsthand.

Imagination, Understanding, Passion, and Innovation

Steelcase Health’s involvement with TEDMED continues to feed our innovative spirit. Engaging with those who desire to enhance the healthcare experience is part of what inspires Steelcase Health to continue improving healthcare environments. By connecting people, place, and technology, healthcare interactions can be shaped into positive experiences. Learn more about Steelcase Health’s latest research and seating system, Regard.

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