TEDMED Great Challenges: How Can the Maker Movement Drive Medical Innovation?

March 24, 2015

How can the Maker Movement transform health and medicine? Please join us this Thursday, March 26 from 12-1 PM EDT as we discuss this question and related topics during our next Great Challenges online event for “Medical Innovation.”

The discussion will be moderated by Justin Barnes — health innovation strategist and host of the online radio program, “This Just in.” Justin and our group of expert “makers” will explore how and why we should support these efforts, how good ideas can be scaled up, and what large, established businesses can learn from these smaller-scale innovation efforts.

The Maker Movement has been defined as one driven by inventors, designers and tinkerers. It is fueled by a convergence of hackers and artisans who leverage open-source learning, contemporary design and powerful personal technology to solve everyday problems in seemingly simple ways. The movement manifests in many ways: in the physical therapist who uses off-the-shelf toy race cars to build mobility machines for children with disabilities; or in the nurse who adapts a nebulizer with a pacifier to fit in babies’ mouths.

Makers are all around us, and in health and medicine the results of these “DIY” efforts are creations that may not only efficiently address unmet needs in the healthcare space, but also unlock the imaginations of the public. Is the move towards a health and medicine “maker culture” good for the industry? How can we ensure that these inventions make a difference for those in need? And what lessons can those already established in the healthcare industry learn from the Maker Movement?