Observations and Opportunities in Regenerative Medicine (Part 1 of 2)
For the last 5 years, I’ve been focusing most of my attention on the development of two main topics: Impact Capitalist and Regenerative Health Management. And while I may not be an expert in the science of regenerative medicine, there are only a few people that have a real grasp on the business of regenerative medicine. Even fewer have an understanding of the business of regenerative medicine as it relates to the physician-business owner.
In late 2013, a small group of us set out to discuss and discover the possibilities and complications in and around the field of regenerative medicine.
While traveling around the world and throughout the US, three questions dominated our conversations:
- What is the potential of regenerative medicine? And to what degree does it benefit patients?
- Could anyone successfully build a business that could, simultaneously, provide an impact in the lives of patients as well as a profit for physicians?
- Can the practice of regenerative medicine return focus on the patient-physician relationship instead of the traditional “treat and street” application of science?
These questions were discussed from two different perspectives. The medical and scientific perspective and the business and behavioral perspective, which was led by the team from Impact Capitalist.
The role of the Impact Capitalist team was not to determine the science of stem cells or regenerative medicine. Our expertise was in business ownership, entrepreneurship, and understanding human behavior and decision-making. We sought to determine whether there was a way to build a successful business in the field of regenerative medicine. We were also naïve enough to ask questions about
- The care of the patient side of health care, and
- The quality of life issues facing physicians today.
Rather than focusing primarily on the treatment side of regenerative medicine, we decided to focus on helping patients and physicians navigate the complexities of regenerative medicine. This focus puts the emphasis back on the patient-physician relationship. It allows physicians to be physicians, and not just providers of treatments. And patients get what they want most: time with, and advice from, their physician through the health and treatment process.
The Impact Capitalist platform was built to help business owners and entrepreneurs learn how they can make a meaningful difference in the lives of other people through business ownership, and yet feel good about making a profit. In fact, we believe that it is good to righteously pursue both “Impact and Profit.” It is through the Impact Physician platform that we provide advisory services where we help physicians understand, manage, protect, and grow their business and personal resources as they navigate the complexities of business ownership.
After several years of research, observations, and conversations with scientists, doctors, and patients in the United States and around the world, we determined that the best way for us to make both an impact and a profit in the area of regenerative medicine was through translational oriented clinics to find ways to help patients live a better quality of life by giving the their body what it needs to heal itself.
It was during this process that we asked ourselves, “if we’re going to develop a platform that could have a huge impact on the lives of patients, why can’t we also develop the platform to also make a huge impact on the lives of physicians?”
Our primary objective was to develop a system that seeks to benefit patients as well as take care of physicians. These clinics, we thought, should have both a patient-based focus and yet also offer a better quality of life for physicians.
Regenerative medicine is about helping the body heal itself. That is, giving the body what it needs to do, or should do, naturally. We used to view regenerative medicine as the future of medicine. This view is wrong. Regenerative medicine is medicine in the present. And it is guiding the way to how we will receive, use, and practice medicine for the next 50 years.
New and better technologies are beginning to advance regenerative medicine treatments faster than ever before. However, while most in this field are thinking about “cures” for diseases or replacement organs, it’s the incremental changes that most often have the greatest impacts on humanity.
Contrary to popular belief, more and better technology is not necessarily the answer to health care issues. Yes, technology continues to offer more and better tools, but technology by itself is not going to provide better health care or the practice of medicine.
It is through relationships that physicians help patients understand, manage, protect, and better their health. Healthcare and the practice of medicine will only be disrupted when a platform uses technology to enhance the patient-physician relationship. Healthcare will never be “disrupted” until the patient-physician relationship is treated as sacrosanct.