Epic Measures Book Summary By Jeremy N. Smith

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"Epic Measures: Mapping the Path to a Safer and Healthier Future" is the amazing story about Christopher Murray and his incredible quest to build the most comprehensive medical study ever.

He and his loyal team of collaborators dedicatedly worked for years to map diseases and illnesses from around the world.

This book not only tells Murray’s story but takes you through every step taken by him, from motivation to implementation.

It also reveals how this revolutionary work has transformed global health care in countless ways.

Get ready to be inspired as you learn more about this man and his incredible endeavor!

Epic Measures Book

Book Name: Epic Measures (One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients.)

Author(s): Jeremy N. Smith

Rating: 3.6/5

Reading Time: 19 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

Jeremy N.

Smith is an acclaimed journalist and author who has earned his place in the writing world.

His work has been featured in some of the most prestigious publications, including the Atlantic, Discover and the New York Times, just to name a few.

He has also written a book titled Growing a Garden City, which explains how an entire community can be built through local gardens and farms.

All of these accomplishments make him an ideal author for Epic Measures - an book about global health statistics and their implications for our society today.

The Story Of How Christopher Murray Discovered The Lack Of Reliable Public Health Data And What He Did To Combat It

Health Data

In the book “Epic Measures”, Christopher Murray follows his quest for better health data across the globe.

He realized that reliable global health information was marred with poor and incomplete data.

In order to rectify this problem, he set out to measure both quality and quantity in world health so that resources could be allocated correctly.

This eye-opening journey led him to discover why longevity statistics from UN departments differed by 10-15 years, the gaps caused by individual departments focusing on specific diseases and more.

His findings spurred people into action, proving the necessary data about global health issues was available – which is essential for governments allocating funds accurately.

What makes Murray’s story extraordinary is his desire to make a difference in people’s lives.

Throughout this incredible journey we get an insight into how technology can improve and support public health initiatives worldwide.

The Murray Family’s Year-Long Sabbatical In Niger Is A Reminder Of The Power Of Careful Analysis To Help Others

When Christopher Murray was ten years old, his family took him on an unforgettable yearlong sabbatical to Niger.

His father was a cardiologist; his mother, a microbiologist.

Together, the whole family worked at a hospital in the Sahara desert that lacked running water and electricity.

Christopher served as an errand boy and his brothers worked as assistants, nurses, and aides.

During their time there, the Murrays noticed more malaria cases in the hospital than the nearby villages.

To figure out why, they took blood samples from everyone in the area and studied their health statistics.

This research showed that people who were taking vitamin supplements had higher iron levels which attracted parasites that caused malaria.

Their results were eventually published in Lancet!

Christopher’s remarkable childhood instilled important lessons about how to analyze treatments and diagnose diseases in him.

He saw first-hand how dedication to one’s work can effect change and make real differences – exactly what he later went on to do with countless healthcare initiatives throughout his career.

The careful analysis skills he learned at such a young age set him up for success later on.

Relying On Life Expectancy Alone Is An Insufficient Measure Of Global Health

In the 1980s, health organizations had no effective way to measure world health.

They primarily relied on infant-mortality rates, life expectancy and counting the number of deaths in an area to gain a sense of a country’s overall health.

However, these methods were inadequate as they lacked important details such as differences between someone who died of natural causes and a child who died due to malnutrition.

Looking at life expectancy alone also could not accurately reflect an individual’s general health.

At the time, there was another major issue with measuring world health – incorrect or incomplete data was often taken at face value.

The United Nations used five different methods to calculate life expectancy with results that could be off by up to 15 years!

The UN even relied on answers from simple questionnaires with no verification needed.

So conveniently enough, North Korea and Mongolia were labeled as “exceptional” countries for living a healthy long life according to what the governments provided – which obviously cannot be trusted.

To remedy the situation, Christopher Murray proposed creating a new global metrics system – one that incorporates more detailed metrics about population health than just infant-mortality rates and life expectancy.

The Arnold P. Goldsmith’S ’10/90-Gap’: How Improving Health Statistics Saved Millions Of Lives

Health Statistics

The data that health organizations were collecting and using was also skewed to justify ineffective work and funding.

For example, at the World Health Organization (WHO), 95% of staff focused on particular diseases and had tiny statistics teams that only wanted to prove how effective their work was with the goal of asking for more funds.

This eventually resulted in the “10/90-gap” which suggested 90% of world health issues were largely ignored due to uninformative data gathering methods and focusing on infant mortality.

An example of this is tuberculosis, which infected 7.1 million people annually yet went unnoticed since it affected mostly adults.

However, Dr.

Chris Murray pointed out early intervention and a brief course of chemotherapy would cure 90% of these patients while costing less than $250 per person.

Thanks to his work, WHO endorsed his finding, put him on the steering committee and even got World Bank to fund $50 million into tuberculosis projects in China; potentially saving five million lives within three years!

It goes to show just how important accurate data is when it comes to saving lives or accurately treating people.

Skewed information can have serious consequences such as going unnoticed or unpredictable costs that could be devastating for individuals or healthcare organizations when it comes down to seeking help from donors or ministries who trust these overseas organizations for assistance.

Murray’S Innovation Leads To A Reevaluation Of Global Health With Disability-Adjusted Life Years


Christopher Murray developed a revolutionary method for measuring world health by focusing on quality of life and years lost.

This was achieved through two main ideas: the first was looking at how many years are lost when someone dies, and the second was creating a scale to rate non-fatal illnesses based on their overall effects on quality of life.

The process for calculating these numbers involved consulting with international experts and surveying members of the public to come to a broad consensus about the severity of illnesses, taking into account environmental factors.

These metrics were then combined and used to calculate a number called Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY).

This allowed Murray’s team to get an accurate picture of a nation’s overall health, including both early deaths and non-fatal illnesses.

With this new method, Murray changed the way we look at world health, making it easier to take action against preventable issues like poverty and disease that lead to loss of life or impede quality of life.

The Global Burden Of Disease: A Groundbreaking Study That Sheds New Light On Global Health Losses

When Professor Murray and his team released their Global Burden of Disease findings in 1993, they revealed some startling results that, up until then, had been neglected by the WHO.

They uncovered huge disparities in what countries were suffering from – with simple dental problems causing as much health issues as anemia in Sub-Saharan Africa and injuries causing four times more problems than cancer in the Middle East.

The study also exposed how the WHO was misusing resources when it came to global health, dedicating 90 percent of its staff to areas impacting less than half of the global health loss.

Naturally, these revelations caused a lot of controversy and disbelief – understandably so given how difficult it had been to gather and organize statistics from such a broad scope of different countries.

This left many questioning Murray’s accuracy and wondering if there might be errors somewhere along the way.

Nevertheless, it was encouraging to see that a single metric for all data had proven itself more helpful than the previous method used prior – finally providing policy makers with a clear picture of which areas needed help most urgently.

How Don Murray Transformed From Ignored Bureaucrat To Global Health Visionary With Bill Gates’ Help

Bill Gates

When Christopher Murray tirelessly worked for the World Health Organization (WHO), he was guided by their motto “publish or perish”.

But the bureaucracy of WHO had other priorities and spitefully trumped the power of his well-researched publication that compared health systems on how fairly, responsively, and effectively countries operate.

Murray quickly found himself ousted from his role as a leader in the department due to politically motivated higher-ups incompatible with his work’s results and progress.

In an effort to continue producing meaningful work beyond WHO and to safeguard it against potential adversities, Murray looked into the academic community and its system of peer-reviewed scientific journals.

This led him to develop a lasting bond with Bill Gates and the pioneering effort of IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation).

The institute gave Murray an immense level of resources such as understaffing, computers, financial support, etc., empowering him with state-of-the-art tools that pushed his research initiatives even further than WHO was willing to tackle.

It enabled him to build data showing health indices in new unforeseen ways, i.e., providing assessments on how harmful certain diseases had been according to age group or even areas like Afghani men aged between 30 and 34.

In this way Murray circumvented authorities’ negligence and is now a leading source on global health issues with IHME serving as a successful medium for development.

Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray Is Using Data To Improve Global Health And Provide Accessible Information To All

In 2012, the incomparable Dr.

Christopher J.L.

Murray and his organization began studying global health interventions and the underlying root causes for disease outbreaks – a move that has since revolutionized the sector.

To ensure that the money spent on healthcare each year is used optimally, Murray’s organization now publishes updated and easily accessible versions of the Global Burden Study.

The study’s results are alarming but vital – from discovering that household air pollution is one of the leading risk factors to illnesses like stroke and heart or pulmonary disease to finding that relief efforts between 1980 and 2010 ended up replacing malnutrition-related diseases with instances of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and physical inactivity due to unchecked obesity among developing nations.

To allow everyone access to this vitally important information, Murray worked to develop an interactive online-visualization tool that even allows reporters access to analyze data and create news stories either at federal level or with regional relevance.

Wrap Up

The key takeaway from Epic Measures by Eric L.

Topol is that to effectively help humanity, we must understand how all diseases and illnesses impact us and track their changes over time.

To accomplish this goal, 20 years of hard work has led to an incredible tool that allows countries and citizens alike to identify their health risks and combat them accordingly.

In terms of actionable advice, staying strong and flexible is the best way to prevent many of the leading causes of disability such as lower back and neck pain.

To prevent these ailments or improve your current condition, take regular breaks throughout the day will go a long way in relieving any potential tension, while stretching your body out before bed is also highly recommended.

Additionally, exercising your core muscles can make improvements to your posture too if necessary.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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