Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2018.
More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the Mexico/US border in recent weeks. Housed in tent camps, converted warehouses, and other shelters, they have had no idea when they will see their parents again. The Trump Administration may end the enforced separation by indefinitely detaining families together, but that is unlikely to eliminate enduring health impacts.
Health care never stops engendering political debate. Ten states have asked the federal government for the right to impose work requirements on some individuals receiving Medicaid, insurance premiums are expected to rise again this year, and the Affordable Care Act continues to provoke legislative and judicial action. How will all of that influence the upcoming election?
From National Geographic Documentary Films and winner of the 2018 inaugural Sundance Film Festival Favorite Award, Science Fair follows nine high school students from around the globe as they navigate rivalries, setbacks, triumphs — and, inevitably, hormones — on their journey to compete at the 2017 International Science and Engineering Fair. Facing off against 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries, only one will earn the Gordon E.
Over the past 20 years, almost 200,000 children under age 18 have been shot. Nearly as many attend schools where a shooting has taken place. Mass casualty events receive much of the attention — 60 percent of high school students say they are concerned that a shooting will occur in their school or community — but these actually represent just a fraction of the damage caused by gun violence. Along with physical injuries, the emotional impact of such trauma can be lifelong.
Water is perhaps the world’s most precious and health-sustaining resource, and surely one most at risk. Microbes, lead, and other contaminants threaten access to clean and safe drinking water. Record-breaking droughts and catastrophic floods put burdensome pressure on agriculture and imperil crops. In the face of these challenges, leaders are stepping up to reimagine water systems and solutions.
The #MeToo movement has inspired a sister movement called #USToo, designed to expose and eliminate sexual harassment in the sciences. A sweeping new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine looks at the extent to which women in these fields are harassed on campuses, research labs, medical centers and other academic environments.
As the nation’s top doctor, the US surgeon general is uniquely positioned to use his bully pulpit to drive Americans toward healthy decision-making. Jerome Adams is the 20th person to serve in that capacity, where he promotes wellness strategies, warns the public against emerging health hazards, and is a leader of the 6,500-person Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which stands ready to travel the world in a crisis.
Marijuana is now legal for medical purposes in 29 states, and nine states allow it to be sold for recreational use. With broad claims made for its physiological and psychological value, cannabis is being used to treat seizures and glaucoma, reduce pain and inflammation, stimulate appetite, lessen stress, boost the immune system, and much more.
Medical and technological breakthroughs, cultural and demographic upheaval, policy changes, and financial realities virtually guarantee that the health care system of tomorrow will look nothing as it does today. In addition, business models favoring hospital consolidation, payer-provider integration, and new reimbursement mechanisms are driving new ways of delivering patient care. Unprecedented changes are the reality. How can we evolve?
Nothing demonstrates that health is an industry ripe for growth and change more clearly than the enthusiastic participation of venture capitalists. Far more than in the past, they are committing resources to seed start-up operations, not only in artificial intelligence and data science, but also in the life sciences and health-related services and delivery systems.
Visionary architects, artists, and builders are using cutting-edge design to transform homes, workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, and parks. Recognizing the health-promoting power of good design, their blueprints call for farmers’ markets and recreational fields on hospital grounds; planning processes that revitalize challenged communities by engaging local people as collaborators; and art that reflects and celebrates culture.
The United States health system falls short, bluntly declares the Commonwealth Fund in its recent report, “Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better US Health Care.” The study compares the US to ten other high-income countries. The US is by far the top spender, but sinks to the bottom when it comes to measures of outcome, access, and equity.
Many clinicians have first-hand knowledge of what happens when their patients are unable to obtain the medications they need, at an affordable price. Widespread drug shortages and skyrocketing prices have created a crisis that could be costing lives in the US.
Burnout is afflicting more than half the physicians in the United States, according to the National Academy of Medicine, which defines it as “a syndrome characterized by a high degree of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a low sense of personal accomplishment at work.” Doctors are leaving the field in droves, intensifying acute workforce shortages that put patients at risk.
Almost 10% of the US population lives with diabetes – that’s 30 million people, with another 84 million diagnosed with prediabetes. The devastating disease can shorten lives and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, vision loss, and the need for limb amputation – but it can also be managed with lifestyle changes and exciting new therapeutic advances.
Population growth, shifting agricultural practices, and altered weather patterns are weighing on the food supply, a pressure that will only intensify over the next 30 years, when the planet holds an estimated 10 billion inhabitants. Rising temperatures will reduce crop yield and spawn more pests, higher carbon dioxide levels will lessen the nutritional value of food, and fish will move away from the equator, where the greatest population growth is expected, and closer to the poles.
Women with early-stage breast cancer may not need any chemotherapy. That’s the treatment-transforming finding from just-published research in The New England Journal of Medicine, which drew on more than 10,000 women for the study. By analyzing the genetics of tumor samples removed during surgery, doctors were able to distinguish between those who might gain additional benefit from chemo, with all of its toxic side effects, and those who could safely skip it.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is the third leading killer in the US, yet it rarely commands the attention paid to #1 heart disease and #2 cancer. As both advocate and patient, Grace Anne Dorney-Koppel is fighting to change that. After being given less than five years to live in 2001, Grace Anne embarked on an ambitious rehab program, and now helps fund pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation clinics across the country.
The states shoulder a significant amount of responsibility for tackling the opioid epidemic, reversing obesity trends, and reducing tobacco use within their borders. They also have policy decisions to make about expanding Medicaid, developing health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, serving undocumented residents, and strengthening their public health systems. Budget constraints, politics, demographics, and health indicators all influence their response.
The sequencing of the human genome – a complete map of the body’s three million base pairs – opened a window into disease processes, led to new diagnostic tools and personalized therapies, and heralded an age of medical discovery. A brief documentary produced by Retro Report describes the historic race to unlock the genomic code, the birth of precision medicine, the use of CRISPR technology, the evolution of gene therapy, and the potential of genetic testing.