The Need to do Something Different.


Dr. Ken Buetow, BIG Health Catalyst

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. One may then fairly question the sanity of the biomedical enterprise – stuck by complex forces in existing paradigms we continue to hope for new outcomes such as personalized medicine.

Time Magazine has just published an article “He Won His Battle With Cancer” , outlining the challenges cancer presents to the biomedical community. It quotes Senator Kennedy from the June Senate hearings as saying “We need to integrate our current fragmented and piecemeal system of addressing cancer. Front and center in our current system are the troubling divisions that separate research, prevention and treatment”.

The Time article makes a strong call to do something different. It focuses on the new “Stand Up to Cancer” (SU2C) advocacy group that proposes supporting a model for research where cross-institutional, multi-disciplinary teams work on time delimited projects designed to produce specific deliverables.

The BIG Health Consortium will personify the “do something different” call as a “boots on the ground” group committed to exploring novel approaches. It will join the disconnected pieces observed by Senator Kennedy into a 21st Century Biomedical System. Like the approach of SU2C it will attempt to break down the barriers that slow the discovery process and translation to care by joining individuals, organizations, and institutions that want to demonstrate the reality of personalized medicine.

Crazy? No more than doing nothing.

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