Ideas and Insights from Engineering, Science, Medicine and Arts
Edited by Satish Nambisan
The healthcare sector has long been dependent on sources of innovation and value creation. Novel therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, Healthcare IT innovations and services (i.e. healthcare delivery, contract resource organizations (CROs)) will ultimately improve patient quality of life at a rapid pace. The recent passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 (more commonly ACA) has attempted to realign financial incentives for developing new healthcare innovations, while also aimed to reduce skyrocketing healthcare costs. The ACA has been the focus of a greater national debate regarding cost versus benefit and will likely continue to be challenged on its effectiveness for years to come. Policy aside, innovation and entrepreneurship are clear solutions to many of the problems identified within the current healthcare system (i.e. efficiency of patient care, improved survival and outcomes and more robust safety profiles). Historically, the notion of a true entrepreneur is one who is fueled by independence, creativity, drive to change the status quo and high risk tolerance. These qualities are central to enriching the healthcare ecosystem, particularly in a time when Big Pharma companies are downsizing internal discovery efforts and moving towards decentralization. The healthcare entrepreneurship landscape is riddled with risk, complicated by an unaligned value chain and tempered with expensive (yet wholly necessary) regulatory oversight. Risks aside, the upside is huge. Improving quality of care for patients and addressing unmet clinical needs is fundamental to our innate drive for innovation.
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