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In this Harvey V. Fineberg keynote, the President of the Institute of Medicine explains how improving the health of Americans is the first step to take if the country is to become more competitive and innovative. A society cannot tackle innovative endeavors if its people are unwell. He remarks on the country's relatively low standing in areas like life expectancy and infant mortality in comparison to other developed nations.

In order to improve the overall health of America, Fineberg believes that politicians and policy advisors must enact health care reform that focuses on preventing illness and disease. He argues that the country cannot spend its way to getting healthier; this has not worked in the past and it will not work in the future.

By tackling the issues of tobacco, diet and exercise, he believes the country can become a healthier and more competitive society.