An Open Source Cure for Cancer

December 4, 2012

 Salvatore Iaconesi shared in this TED Talk his approach
to managing his cancer treatment the Open Source way.


Being an artist and having a long time record of combining Art and Open Source,
he was struck by the transformation from Human Being to Patient, and the
disenfranchisement that it entailed.

 He decided to change the situation:

“What I did was to start from information.
I took my clinical record and transformed into
a very personal version of open data

I put them in the Web and
created a thing that I called
my open source cure.”

Here, by cure, Salvatore refers to a wider concept of “Cure,”
where there is space for human connection, art, science, and philosophy.

To embrace them all, Salvatore continues:

“I disclosed my clinical data
and invited everyone,
all society to participate in my cure”

by doing so, a community evolved around his collective of information and has lead to

  • 1 Projection Mapping at an Art Collective Concert
  • 35 Videos has been produced using his tumor images
  • 600 Poems has been written about his condition
  • 50,000 Testimonies from people who had received the same diagnoses
  • 60 Doctors have contacted Salvatore offering good practical advice
  • 40 Doctors received reviews from about 500 people in the site
  • 50,000 Strategies for treating cancer has been suggested
  • 200 People volunteered to help browse and classify all the information above

From all these materials, Salvatore has designed his own strategy to manage his cancer condition.

With this attitude and approach, Salvatore reminds us of the complexity of human beings, and how our health conditions must be approached with a wide spectrum that goes well beyond the biochemistry.

Salvatore also demonstrates here, the power of connectivity that emerges when we allow an unfettered free flow of information.

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