Abernethy to speak at TEDMED

April 17, 2013 – Amy Abernethy, MD, will present “Can Patient Data Have a Second Life?” at the conference in Washington, D.C.

The DCRI’s Amy Abernethy, MD, will be a featured speaker at this week’s TEDMED conference in Washington, D.C.

Abernethy will present “Can Patient Data Have a Second Life?” on Wednesday, April 17 from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Another Duke faculty member, Professor of Medicine and Divinity Richard Payne, MD, will present “How Does It End?” on Friday, April 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The School of Medicine will host a TEDMED simulcast April 16-19 in the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Center for Health Education on the fourth floor in the Student Affairs Living Room.

TEDMED, an annual interdisciplinary conference devoted to innovations in health and medicine, was founded in 1998. This year’s speakers include U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, former Google Vice President Larry Brilliant, and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins.

Abernethy will speak on the difficulties of sharing personal health information for future research. Even as electronic health records have changed how clinicians gather and store patient data, much of this information remains locked away in separate databases. Transferring information about a patient from one place to another, even with that patient’s full awareness and consent, remains a difficult process.

Health information, Abernethy suggests, should be treated like blood donation: a straightforward, voluntary process that serves a societal need. Using this framework, Abernethy proposes a technology-driven system for patients to volunteer their personal health information toward both general and disease-specific medical research.

Abernethy is a tenured Associate Professor in Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing, Director of the Duke Center for Learning Health Care (CLHC) in the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and Director of the Duke Cancer Care Research Program (DCCRP) in the Duke Cancer Institute. She is Co-Chair of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC), an appointee to the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum, President of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, on the Advisory Board for the Rapid Learning System for Cancer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Co-Chair for the PRO Core of the NIH-funded Collaboratory, and Co-Principal Investigator of a NIH-funded faculty development (K01) program in comparative effectiveness research at Duke.