Cure- This is a powerful concept. It is at the core of what we aspire to do in medicine. The simple truth is that every practitioner aligns his/her skills to most directly impact the idealism of contributing to cures. Some have professional grade hand/eye coordination that allow surgical talents. Some focus on communication and change management that is best suited for preventing disease through health and wellness. Most are somewhere in between these two simplistic examples.
Cause- This is also a powerful concept. It engenders two district yet complimentary purposes. First, the academic, mechanistic cause or underlying eitology of disease. The cause of the disease is rooted in our anatomy of the body and now molecular genetics of cellular physiology. Second, the altruistic purpose or “cause” that matters to us individually. For me as a physician/scientist, the cause is a merger of these two definitions.
2- The bridge between the cause and the cure. The pathway. The plan. The A-Z. This is the most powerful realization I’ve had in the past decade. The art of medicine. The possibility that people, processes, and technology have TODAY in the context of a sustainable biomedical ecosystem. By focusing on product development with a clearly stated goal (decreased cost AND improved outcomes), there are partnerships that converge and yield unexpected synergy. There is no excuse for silos of clinical expertise driving optimization of outcomes that is not synchronized with scientific expertise rooted in the emerging sciences. This requires partnerships based on trust and a shared vision.
#cause2cure- This is a description of the ecosystem that is BECAUSE OF YOU. You the scientist. You the philanthropist. You the clinician. You the community member. You the leader. You the mentor and coach. And all of us as the continuous student.
#cause2cure- This is why I do what I do. Healthcare is dependent on this ecosystem to deliver transformative changes. It starts with a transformative, long-term investment from philanthropy. The investment needs to build and acquire assets as quickly as possible. The assets most valuable are those that are created, invented, and owned by the inventing institutions through basic research and discovery teams. Those assets need to be merged and co-developed with a commercial partner such that speed and agility are maximized. That time-to-patient is ultimately dependent on the successful integration with a clinical trial team that are experts in the clinical sub-speciality and trained to execute defined FDA clinical studies. These four teams create a team of teams approach that can invest dollars to create new knowledge and can apply the new knowledge to create/save new dollars. By doing this within a patient-centric care model such as a non-profit academic medical institution, the growth of the ecosystem is by design able to re-invest into a continuous learning ecosystem. The key is focus, focus, focus. Where Focus Goes, Energy Flows. Success leads to success. Start small with a narrow patient problem and be prepared to expand as the people, processes, and technology organically grow in adjacent areas.