March 28, 2014


Stethoscope

It doesn't get more low-tech than the stethoscope. Credit: Lora Zibman / Flickr Creative Commons

Guest:

When it comes to healthcare, tech investor Esther Dyson wants to – ironically – “forget high-tech." Instead, she argues, "simply doing what we already know we should do, making that simpler and easier and more automatic, is a huge win.”

But doing what we ought to do isn’t always easy. That’s why Dyson is organizing a five-year, multi-city contest to improve our health. The contest will aim to show why long-term community-wide changes will positively affect health – and indirectly impact other measures of success, like high school graduation rates and economic growth.

For the project to succeed, Dyson believes the entire community has to get involved – from the mayor to the local McDonald’s.

But, seriously. How is McDonald's going to feel about serving fewer burgers and fries?

Dyson says that this is the perfect opportunity for fast-food restaurants to discover what healthy foods people will actually eat. In addition, HICCup would get a sponsor to subsidize healthy meals, but not unhealthy ones.

Ultimately, Dyson warns, we need to act quickly because, “what’s killing us now are the diseases of plenty and if we don’t start doing something about it, we’re going to start dying earlier and in greater discomfort and in large numbers.”

women, Esther Dyson, Sci and Tech, Body and Mind, space travel, 3-D printing, health, healthcare

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