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31 (More) Days of #BIF7 - Day 24 - Alex Jadad

I searched for definitions of "health" on the Internet today. Below is a sampling of the top results:

The state of being free from illness or injury: "he was restored to health"; "a health risk". A person's mental or physical condition.
- from

Health is the level of functional and (or) metabolic efficiency of a living being.
- from

The condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially : freedom from physical disease or pain.
- from

And, now, here is the definition of health offered by Alex Jadad during his BIF-7 talk:

"The capacity of an individual and a community of people to adapt and direct their own lives."

This sentence explodes the old, normative definitions of health because Alex and innovators like him in the healthcare industry have crafted it deliberately by rebuilding the notion and language of "health". This shift in the definition of health expands from semantics to the paradigm of what's expected and possible in healthcare, including "creating a platform for wellness instead of sick care" and attempting to "turn unavoidable suffering to meaning".

For Alex Jadad, this mission has taken form at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation in Toronto where he works to help create “... a world in which people, regardless of who they are or where they live, use state- of-the-art information and communications technologies (ICTs) with enthusiasm, proficiency and confidence, to achieve the highest possible levels of health and to help health systems make the most efficient use of available resources.”

Additional information:

BIF Profile Page

This is part of my 31 (More) Days of #BIF7 blog series.


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