New Original Video Programming Features Promising Medical Advances and Powerful Human Interest Stories
WEBMD PREMIERES @WEBMD’S #FUTUREOFHEALTH WITH ROBIN ROBERTS Tweet
“The pace of health care advances is remarkable, and their impact on people’s lives cannot be overestimated,” said Dr. Steven Zatz, President at WebMD. “We want to create experiences that engage, inspire and motivate people, and we believe that working with great storytellers like Robin Roberts, and producing powerful video content like Future of Health, will enable us to do just that.”
WebMD and Robin Roberts bring viewers on a journey through cutting-edge research labs, playgrounds, classrooms and people’s homes as they explore the innovative use of 3-D printing for prosthetics and organ transplantation; a new obesity treatment that offers a much-needed alternative to highly invasive gastric surgery; transformative new technology that restores vision to the blind; a highly experimental procedure enabling women without a womb to carry and deliver babies of their own; and advances in wireless medicine that turn smartphones into life-saving devices.
“Collaborating with the WebMD team on the Future of Health has been a thrill,” said Roberts. “What’s on the medical horizon is incredible, and I hope this is just the first of many series that we will work on together.”
WebMD’s Future of Health: Episode Synopses
“Future of Vision”
What if you were blind for half of your life, with doctors telling you there was no hope? And suddenly, thanks to astounding new technology, you are able to see again? Thanks to what’s being hailed as the “Bionic Eye,” Larry Hester has been given that gift. WebMD and Roberts take you to witness Hester’s life-changing moment when, after 33 years in the dark, his “bionic eye” is turned on. Viewers will follow Hester’s progress as he learns how to decipher light signals that enable him to do things that were previously impossible. Hester is one of the first patients in the U.S. to receive the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, an implantable, visual prosthetic approved to provide functional vision to those blinded by retinitis pigmentosa.
“Future of Obesity”
With more than two-thirds of U.S. adults overweight or obese, an innovative new medical device, VBLOC® vagal blocking therapy delivered by the Maestro® System, is proving to be effective in the war against obesity. It’s the first FDA-approved new medical device for obesity in over a decade, and it allows patients to lose weight without compromising their lifestyles. WebMD and Robin Roberts go behind the scenes for an exclusive interview with the first patient to publicly speak out about his experience with this groundbreaking, recently approved device. Overweight most of his life, Mike Magnant has failed at one diet after another. In this intimate portrait, viewers will see how a pacemaker-sized electronic device is helping Magnant significantly shed pounds and live a healthier, active life.
“Future of 3-D Printing”
What seemed like science fiction only a few short years ago now has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. With 3-D printing, the future has arrived. Ariah is an adorable and energetic 5-year old girl, born without a hand. Peter Graven is a middle school teacher who wants to inspire his students. With the help of a 3-D printer, Graven’s 8th grade class was able to give Ariah a gift she never could have imagined: a prosthetic hand. Viewers of this powerful episode will witness the emotional moment when Ariah receives her new hand.
In addition to prosthetics, 3-D printing also holds great promise for organ development and transplantation. To discover what the future holds, WebMD and Robin Roberts will introduce viewers to Dr. Atala, a trailblazer in the realm of regenerative medicine, and go behind closed doors to his laboratory at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Here, in this futuristic laboratory, Dr. Atala works to grow new human cells, tissues, and organs, which spark new hope for medical miracles.
“Future of Womb Transplantation”
Christina has been told to give up on her dreams of one day carrying a child. Born without a womb, doctors say there is no way she can ever carry a child. Meanwhile, halfway around the world in Sweden, women are giving birth to babies after undergoing an astounding new procedure: womb transplantation. Thanks to this experimental new procedure, Christina has reason to be hopeful. WebMD and Robin Roberts take viewers to Sweden to learn more about the womb transplantation clinical trials that are underway, which have already resulted in three healthy babies with additional women expecting to deliver this spring. Viewers will be introduced to Mats Brannstrom, the pioneering doctor behind the uterine transplants, and visit his laboratory for an exclusive look at the science behind this procedure. Dr. Brannstrom also sheds new light on his plans to produce a uterus grown from a patient’s own cells, and the potential for womb transplantation clinical trials getting underway in the U.S. as early as this fall.
“The Future of Wireless Medicine”
The innovation happening in wireless medicine is changing the game in healthcare, and we have the stories to show just how far it’s pushing the bounds of traditional medicine. WebMD and Robin Roberts consult with the world’s leading expert in wireless medicine, Medscape Editor-in-Chief Dr. Eric Topol, about how cell phones and other devices provide innovative new treatment options and the potential to save lives. Viewers will get up close with a device that allows the wireless diagnosis of ear infections, a wireless heart monitor, and a defibrillator drone, an emerging prototype technology that could allow first responders to fly robotically controlled equipment to the scene of a medical emergency.
“WebMD has been a terrific partner on this series because they have very high editorial standards, a brand people trust, and a passion for great storytelling,” said John R. Green, Vice President of Programming and Development, Rock’n Robin Productions. “The Rock’n Robin team crisscrossed the country over the last few months, even traveling to Europe to capture these incredible stories, and we’re so excited to share them with the world.”
About Rock’n Robin Productions
Rock’n Robin Productions (www.rocknrobin.tv) is a full-service broadcast and digital production company that creates new and exciting programming for network, cable, and online audiences. From documentaries and news-driven specials to entertainment and sports programming, short-form digital series and live special events, Rock’n Robin Productions produces virtually every type of show. Robin Roberts serves as the company’s president and is the driving force behind much of its programming.
WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms and health-focused publications.
The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD.com, Medscape.com, MedicineNet.com, eMedicineHealth.com, RxList.com, Medscape Education (Medscape.org) and other WebMD-owned sites and apps.
WebMD®, Medscape®, CME Circle®, Medpulse®, eMedicine®, MedicineNet®, theheart.org® and RxList® are among the trademarks of WebMD Health Corp. or its subsidiaries.
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