Today healthcare for all has been identified as a major challenge for the 21st century. The world is daring to change today’s “Sick-Care” medical system to become real healthcare. This new vision of a healthcare system must become more predictive, personalized, preventative and participatory if it is to accomplish this goal. For the 21st century to embrace a true healthcare system, the related pharmaceutical and medical instrumentation industries are changing and becoming more interdependent.
The 20th century diagnostics and therapeutics practices that focused on the affluent have to change. The traditional competencies resident in “Big Pharma” and medical diagnostics are not sufficient. Many are applying new management practices being forged by the exponential advances in technologies, more foresighted government policies and a radical change in consumer behavior. How is this affecting healthcare? We see this effect in The X prize Tricorder contest which is based on the power of small group teaming and the movement to zero cost diagnostics for the emerging billion at the “Bottom of the Pyramid” based on the growing market power of this least affluent economic sector of our population. We see it in techno-philanthropists who are funding vaccines and other diagnostics and therapeutics and in larger groups and consortia formed by large firms, SME’s, entrepreneurs and academic and national research facilities. Finally, we see it in computer-based genomics and the power of the stem cell creating individualized solutions based on tissue engineering and mass customized medical solutions, often guided by the patients themselves.