Innovation in Medicine

The business of human rights

Humanity has tried to ease its own pain and diseases ever since it realized that it could ease something at all. Illness, wounds, psychological suffering have always been there, and we have tried to solve them out with all we had at hand. What we now call medicine started out as a part of our spirituality, primitive superstitions and shamanic practices that would later evolve to become more and more scientific. The capacity to relieve people from their pain, suffering, and even death itself, quickly became a source of power, and the shaman of the tribe was always close to the chief and revered as a messenger from beyond. Perhaps that perception of healers didn’t change much for a long time.

As a source of power, medicine has always interested those who looked for power. When society and civilization became more complex, money and material value appeared, and people organized themselves in a scale of hierarchy, medical practices found themselves in the middle of an ideological or economical struggle. The change of religions and the birth of capitalism shaped medical practices and established a channel for them. 

Medical knowledge comes from research, and research requires money investment. Unless governments or organizations provide that money for free, investors will want to generate revenue, and the comercialization of medical solutions is often their way to do so. Also, providing solutions for people’s needs in exchange for money is business in a nutshell. For this reason, medicine has understandably become a business, and it is challenging for many people to access the latest developments in medication and treatment: the more they need it, the higher the prices will rise.

Bringing the latest discoveries to health practices

Providing innovative soliutions for health professionals and companies can be very a very profitable business, especially since a more solid healthcare and comprehensive insurance is required by the law. The current trend in first world companies is to ensure the wellbeing of workers in order to increase their productivity and engagement with the business, and prevent non-attendance and licenses. Pollution, a stressing lifestyle and a series of other damaging factors are contributing to increase mortality and the incidence of some diseases, even if the overall development of medicine and other sciences are actually helping us fight diseases, cure ourselves and extend our lifespan. Conditions such as cancer and mental disorders - anxiety, depression... - mean greater expenses to our healthcare system, so even from a money point of view it makes sense to improve the population’s health and implement preventive programmes.

Many companies provide health solutions and legal services and businesses from all areas are starting to hire them. In the long run, they save money and increase productivity, even if health isn’t often seen as a worthy investment. Some companies only provide healthcare or attention because they are forced to do so by the law. 

Education and marketing will increase the amount of businesses that hire health services and health solutions.

Medical advancement

As seen in red herring’s top companies list, health companies can be a very profitable business nowadays, and the development of medical technology, medication and innovative treatments may open up the horizon to a new medical era. One thing that medicine has in common with all the other areas of science is that its knowledge accumulates and potentiates itself. In other words, the more we find out about how our body works and how diseases work, the more tools we have to develop new treatments and intervention techniques. We open doors that lead us to other doors that will be opened in the future. 

Last generation treatment and brand new areas of research, like gene therapy or mother cells, may be the beginning of a new era for fighting diseases and even erradicating them. The biggest downside of this is that these new technologies and drugs are extremely expensive, because the sources of funding want some returns of investment, that’s how businesses work. New promises like getting rid of cancer or curing addiction inspire researchers and organizations to look for funds and work for laboratories or medical technology companies. The advantage of this is that they can get all resources they need to carry out with their work and reach new fidings, while the biggest downside is that their results may then get caught in a commecial circle where the main priority is not to help people or contribute to world health, but to make money.

Science doesn’t stop, and it actually develops faster and faster. And only God knows what big discovery is next in line.

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