A quick post and a couple of behind the scenes photos of Dr. Anne Peters during the taping of the behind the scenes TV show “INDYCAR 36″ that follows Charlie Kimball on and off the track before the Long Beach Grand Prix.
Checking Charlie’s meter after practice.
The great part of being with Charlie’s doctor at the track is being in the pits during the race preparation and practice sessions and sitting with his family and friends in the stands during the race.
Interview with Anne and Charlie back at the trailer.
Update: The FDA approved the Edwards valve – it is the first replacement for the aortic valve.
Patients that received a new heart valve and the manufacturer Edwards LifeSciences are both very happy today. New research announced at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting reported that many patients who received this transcatheter Sapien heart valve felt “like they were ten years younger.”
The valve was ready for its close-up
I was able to see the new valve up close while I was taking photos for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Fall 2008 research magazine Discoveries. There was a cover story about one of the clinical trials at the hospital that involved this experimental artificial heart valve. Instead of requiring open-heart surgery this valve is designed to be inserted up through the groin into the heart. It’s then expanded into place at the site of the current damaged heart valve by a balloon.
The angiogram art approach to the valve
Editor Laura Grunberger, designer Diane Kuntz and I pondered the best way to create a cover photo for the valve story. There was the possibility of shooting a rare live surgery of a trial patient, or a still life of the valve itself. We decided to explore both options. Live surgery presents its own shooting challenges, but I had recently been shooting in an angiogram suite and was impressed by the video images that are captured during the procedure.
I thought the balloon and wire mesh had great design possibilities and there could be an angiogram art approach to the story. But I didn’t count on the heart monitor (dark instrument on the right) getting in the way. It was still a contender though and there was room for type and copy that would fit a cover design.
Showing a similar procedure in the angiogram suite
The second version involved going down to Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine to pick up an experimental valve. There I received my training on inflating the balloon and how not to destroy the sample. Back in my studio I had to operate the controls like the real surgeon above while putting it into place and keeping it damp without looking wet.
I had seen the more scientific depiction of the valve on the Edwards site and wanted to take a more dramatic approach. This involved setting up my own still-life surgery where the macro lens was inches away from the valve that was surrounded by lights, stands and reflectors.
The studio shot was selected over the OR version
I loved the balloon and mesh and created this detailed shot that had an abstract feel. I gave Diane some room to move in a little tighter, she inserted the masthead and some copy blocks you have a cover shot.
Older patients that couldn’t survive open-heart surgery can now live longer, happier lives and the technique could move to wider use as the clinical trials progress.
Update: Before the street race in Baltimore Charlie Kimball talked with New York Times Wheels writer Roy Furchott about how he drives 200 MPH without having a blood sugar of 200.
I’m off to the Indy 500 tomorrow to view to 100th Anniversary of the race and to see Charlie Kimball be the first driver with type 1 diabetes to compete in the race. I’ve written about being with him at races before and now you get to hear from him directly in this interview that was conducted at the Long Beach Grand Prix in April.
Charlie talks about how he learned to continue his racing career after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He is interviewed by my wife and his doctor – Anne Peters, the Director of the USC Clinical Diabetes Programs. Together they have worked out a system for Charlie to manage his diabetes while racing.
Additionally, Charlie reveals his emotions when he was first diagnoses with diabetes. He shares how he learned about his condition from other patients and bloggers, plus offers advice for other doctors about how they could work with their own patient athletes.
If you are an athlete with diabetes or help to treat one you will want to view Anne’s extended video on Medscape about how she works with Charlie to manage his blood sugar while racing. (Free registration required).
To get in the mood for the race watch Charlie go for the win in last year’s Indy Lights race at Indianapolis last year. This shows that he is excels on oval tracks as well as road courses.
As an added bonus read about how Charlie is the 2nd Kimball to make history at Indy. His father Gordon was the chief designer engineer of Pat Patrick cars that won the Indy 500 in 1981, ’82 and ’84. He and wife Nancy also get credit for raising a son they can be proud of on and off the track.
(A huge thanks go out to my friend John McBride who had the skill, wisdom and patience to turn my stills and video into a professional presentation.)
For all the good support that empowered patient groups can provide to each others, it now looks as though concerns about a mysterious skin infestation were also spread on the internet. What was called Morgellons disease on websites with reports of rashes, eruptions and skin ulcerations has turned out to have no know cause according to a report in the LA Times about a Mayo Clinic study that reviewed samples provided by 108 patients.
Dermatologist Dr. Noah Craft praised Mayo study
The Mayo study was praised by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center dermatologist Dr. Noah Craft, who was quoted as saying that it was ”the best study done to date” on the condition. The photo above was take of Craft back in 2003 at the old UCLA Medical Center.
Two other studies that are being performed by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, are slated for release in the next few months.
Yesterday was the IndyCar series opener in St. Petersburg, Florida and the first race that Charlie KImball ran in the big league series. I’ve written before about him developing type 1 diabetes while he was racing in Europe and how my wife worked with him to manage his diabetes in the race car well enough to combine with his talent to drive into the premier US open-wheel auto racing series. The race was won by Ganassi teammate Dario Franchitti.
Charlie squeezing into his seat before the race
Having safely driven through a crash-fill start today Charlie worked up to 11th place before he had an unplanned connection with the turn three wall after a pit stop. The Indy Light series, where he raced the prior two years doesn’t have pit stops, and the high-speed action of changing tires and refueling was one of the many new challenges in this race. He learned the hard way today how much he can push the car with the mixture of cold tires, a full tank of fuel and racing adrenaline.
The race was run on a mix of city streets and an airport runway at a track familiar to Charlie from his Indy Lights experience. That series served as a great training ground for his move into IndyCars. There is a list of important changes that Charlie needs to master, but the race environment is very familiar.
Pre-race fist bump with proud racing engineer father Gordon Kimball
One constant is the trackside presence of his father Gordon who serves as Charlie’s low-key manager while maintaining an active motorsport engineering and avocado-farming career. Charlie’s mother and girlfriend often join them at the track as well.
This was my first time at the St. Petersburg race, but the street course track felt familiar to the Long Beach race last year. Unlike the transition from minor league baseball to the pros where there are different stadium sizes and crowds, the Indy lights and IndyCars series are run on the same tracks on the same days.
Charlie talking in his pit control center after qualifying
In many ways this felt like Charlie’s third year in the greater IndyCar series instead of being a rookie a new racing world. The encouraging part about the day was how well he performed while on the racetrack. He stayed out of early trouble as other drivers took themselves out through crashes plus he made on-track passes.
The rookie mistakes, like the one he made today will pass and he will progress to finishing races and being a competitive force while being an ambassador for diabetes.
Update: My guest blog post for the Digital Pharma Blog on Better Meetings Through the Use of Twitter was published today. There are tips on attending meetings and admiring them from afar. Start here and then click over the the DigPharm Blog.
“RT”, for readers not engaged in the Twitter world is short hand for re-tweeting, or sending the post of someone else to your followers. It’s a way for you to agree with the original observation and spread the message while giving credit to original author.
This brings the mesage to your followers and introduces them to someone they may wish to follow. It’s an act of support and friendship that creates relationship all around, and serves as a form of currency in the network.
The new marketing haiku, “You RT me and I’ll RT you” came from Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. @Doctor_V who I recently met at the Digital Pharma West conference in San Francisco.
@Doctor_V - Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. speaking at Digital Pharma West
He was on a panel discussing ways that pharmaceutical companies can reach doctors now that golf junkets are out and drug reps have a hard time getting face time. Bryan gave a more intelligent sounding answer while on stage. But his private conversation RT quote was more profound and representative of the shift that’s going on in marketing. (You can read more profound thoughts on his 33 Charts blog.)
The drug companies can look to Twitter to find some of their marketing answers. They can move to creating a relationship, where there is an exchange with their audience instead of selling.
The traditional one way marketing message doesn’t work well on Twitter. Beverly Macy, the co-author of the upcoming book “The Power of Real-Time Marketing” @PowerRTM likes “the 80/20 rule of Twitter – give 80 percent of the time + ‘get’ or talk about yourself 20 percent of the time”.
TweetDeck is the new black bag for @Doctor_V
This could mean a paradigm shift from moving product to focusing on helping the patient become healthier. From selling to the doctor to helping them do their job.
We heard great examples at the conference of companies creating patient support communities. Could we see a similar support to doctors that would offer practice management tips, assistance in moving to electronic medical records, or working to connect attendees at dinner meeting talks to expand referral networks?
What would be other examples of RT a customer that would work to reach physicians? What else can we learn about marketing from Twitter?
This week’s cover of TIME has a very graphic photo of Aishia, an 18-year old Afghan woman who had her ears and nose cut off by members of the Taliban for fleeing her abusive in-laws.
At first glance it’s a photo of a beautiful woman. Then there’s the second take of shock after seeing her missing nose.
A beautiful woman or a shocking portrait?
In a video, photographer Jodi Bieber talks about her personal reaction to the Aisha and how she wanted to portray her as a beautiful woman and not a victim.
Richard Stengel, Managing Editor expressed concern about running the photo. Her was worried about the safety of Aisha (she is in a safe location and is headed to the US for reconstructive surgery) and about the disturbing effect it could have on children viewing the cover.
I admire the balanced treatment of the photo. It would have been easy to make the photo even more shocking, but I think that causes people to turn away instead of stopping to engage the issue.
Foundations that surgically repair cleft lips and cleft palates take the opposite approach. Both Operation Smile and the Smile Train take the approach of showing very graphic photos of children with deformed faces.
A graphic approach to fund-raising used by Smile Train
When I had the assignment of working on a cleft palate story for the UCLA School of Medicine Magazine I needed to decide on which patient to feature and how graphic of a deformity to show. As I flipped through a photo book of patient photos in the office of Dr. Henry Kawamoto there were many examples of major deformity. I selected a boy with a mild defect that I showed playing on a tire swing with his family. The cleft palate could be seen, but a happy childhood was the over-riding message.
My low-key portrayal was a conscious reaction to the Smile Train approach and supported by the editor. Their use of photography may be the right method for soliciting donations though. The co-founder, Brian Mullaney comes from an advertising background and they may have tested an entire range of fund-raising approaches and learned that the graphic photos work.
For me, the TIME approach of attraction and shock works better. The Smile Train photos just move me to quickly turn the page.
What do you think? Which engages you more? Can both approaches be right for different reasons?
UPDATE: Charlie Kimball signed with championship winning IndyCar team Chip Ganassi Racing. “Charlie Kimball orchestrated one of the biggest rookie IndyCar driver signings in recent history”, says Speed’s Marshall Pruett.
There are those that say that the reason fans watch car races is to see the crashes. I was always more interested in the racing – and now that I know a driver I certainly didn’t like to see Charlie Kimball upside down on the track like he was at Chicagoland Speedway last week.
This was a crash I didn’t want to see
Fortunately the cars are built with a strong driver’s cockpit and Charlie walked away with only memories of a “wild ride down the backstretch” and some soreness. (You can see the wild ride just before the 3 minute mark.)
A better memory is watching Charlie celebrate his second place finish in Sonoma the previous week. It was an exciting race, one that we thought could have been his first Indy Lights victory.
Better to see Charlie Kimball celebrating his second place finish than upside down
The Sonoma track is a wonderful winding road course with elevation changes that I was able to experience first hand in a pace car ride piloted by Charlie where he alternated between rocketing through the turns and turning his head to chat with passengers in the back seat. We knew we were in for a ride as we entered the car and Charlie told us not to worry about the odd burnt brake smell emanating from the Honda Accord.
Charlie with his full attention on the racetrack
This pace car ride was only part of a dream weekend in Sonoma that started with dinner at the Andretti winery. We sat one table over from the owner, legendary driver Mario Andretti as well as having the opportunity to chat with team owner Michael Andretti. An added bonus was the front row seat to the introduction of all the Andretti Autosport drivers that include Michael’s son Marco, Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie’s Indy Lights teammate Martin Plowman.
One of the few times my wife wasn’t grabbing Charlie’s continuous glucose monitor
I got this combination up close and back-stage view to world of racing when my wife Anne Peters became Charlie’s diabetes doctor (more of the back story in a previous post). This opened up the winery dinner, pace-car ride, plus viewing the races from a mix of the hillside Andretti team hospitality compound and down in the pits. A bonus is socializing with the Kimball family, team sponsors and getting special tours explaining the similarities and differences of the Indy Lights and Indy cars by team mechanics.
Charlie Kimball is a spokesman for diabetes on and off the track
Amazingly much of this is possible because of Charlie developing type 1 diabetes three years ago. He is now a leading inspirational athlete that speaks at a number of diabetes events about how he controls his blood sugar during the race and generates press attention as the series travels from racing circuits across the country.
The final good luck fist-bump before qualifying
In the end, once the novelty of a driver with type 1 diabetes wears off what will matter is how well Charlie does on the track. He is currently 3rd in the driver’s standings and is gunning to move up to a major-league Indy team next year.
Charlie finished 6th in Kentucky on Saturday and the final race is in Homestead, Fl on Oct. 2nd. The Indy Lights qualifying and races can be viewed on-line at http://www.indycar.com/fil/.
I know that I’m enjoying the ride.
To see how Charlie manages his diabetes you can watch this WGN report that was produced at the Chicago race that shows where he stows his glucose increasing orange juice and how his continuous glucose monitor works.
A quick post in honor of the Nobel prize winners Robert G. Edwards, an English biologist who with a physician colleague, Dr. Patrick Steptoe, developed the in vitro fertilization procedure for treating human infertility.
ICSI (artificial fertilization), sperm being injected into egg
My brush with the field came from a lab in a fertilization clinic at UCLA. We put together an illustration of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI.
If you look close you will notice that the little fish-like sperm is still in the injection needle instead of being placed in the egg. This was to avoid any controversy over creating and destroying a life.
The egg in the photo was a sample of the extra eggs that are produced in fertility treatment that often get discarded instead of being used for stem cell research.
(The original photo was more monochrome, the color was added by the imaging team at Getty Images. You can look for image # 876486-001.)
A racing gurney and looks of concern make me happy
I’ve been fortunate to have done most of my healthcare photography at major medical institutions. Mostly at University of California, Los Angeles and recently at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. These are major trauma and research centers. The places you want to go when you have a major health issue like a heart attack.
An EKG and exam in the emergency room
This series was shot to illustrate an integrated team approach to handling a heart attack from the arrival and evaluation in the ER and the examination and potential intervention in the angiogram suite.
Opening a blocked blood vessel in the angiogram suite
Even though this case was a simulated heart attack I always enjoy the challenge of making the cases look realistic. They need to pass “the hallway test” of colleagues who will see the photos when this “Report to the Community 2010″ is printed.
As fun as it is for me to shoot these emergent situations. An often overlooked part of healthcare is preventing problems in the first place. This could be teaching healthy eating practices in an elementary school.
Eating fruit and yogurt at a nutrition lesson
Or having a trusted relationship with your primary care doctor.
Personal interaction builds a bond of trust between patient and doctor
In real life, patient areas don’t have that refined TV look that you find on “House“, nor are research labs as stylish as they are on “Bones” and the “CSI” shows.
The first challenge is always to understand what’s going on in the lab and determine how to communicate that unique story. In this case the researcher is doing an advanced DNA screening of an individual patient to calculate the respond to an expensive chemotherapy medication. This is an early stage of personalized medicine.
DNA screening to match effective treatment for a chemotherapy drug
Having cancer is about more than how your DNA reacts to treatment, it’s also about how you deal with the emotional aspect of the disease.
A cancer survivor volunteers to hear patient's concerns
Prevention, bonding, research and emotional health are important part of care. I love showing it all.
But that still doesn’t beat sending a trauma team racing down the hall.