How a rampaging pathogen has transformed healthcare in a flash

 

It is safe to say the world as we knew it is teetering on the edge. A surprise attack by a microscopic pathogen has forced governments to crater economies and blown up everyone’s plans. Escalating debt, unemployment and social unrest are doubling down on our existential anxiety about The Future of Everything.

In this episode of The Big Middle, I’m in hot pursuit of some new hot spots of innovation – positive pandemic impacts.

I find plenty in the healthcare innovation sector.

“I have certainly seen in the fields of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, surprisingly rapid progress and an ability to remake the rules to some extent.”

My guest, our guide to healthcare innovation, Professor Richard Barker of Oxford University and King’s College London, founder and CEO of New Medicine Partners and the startup Metadvice, a renowned expert in biotech, population health, precision medicine, diagnostics, informatics, and Chair of the Health Innovation Network – what that is and does, as we go.

 

Quotes

 

On “surprising” pace of change:

“I have certainly seen in the fields of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, surprisingly rapid progress and an ability to remake the rules to some extent. We have seen scores of diagnostic tests approved by the FDA or notified bodies in the EU. 

We’ve seen 1700 or more clinical trials set up for promising and indeed unpromising therapies and we’ve seen vaccines being produced or at least developed and trialled in the world and all of that in the last three months.”

 

On importance of embracing data for personalised, precision healthcare:

“We’re deeply schizophrenic [about data collection and use] ..We’ve got to move, and I would love to see this happen in my lifetime, to the situation where patients feel not just a sense of responsibility about their health but also a sense of being able to control their own health data – not just what’s in their electronic medical record or their Fitbit or their diabetes remote monitoring or whatever it is – and that way it just simply reinforces people wanting to do the right thing with their own bodies.”

 

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