The Pandemic has forced science to act quickly, to consider the knowledge generated around the world and to promote joint actions to combat a virus that has required diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines carried out in record time. The presence of the virus is not over, and one of the great lessons is that science, health and the way of understanding them must take a new course to face the challenges of the future.
The fusion between science, innovation and entrepreneurship has allowed us to develop all the materials, tools and technologies that shape our lives. But are we aware of this impact? For this reason, within the framework of its 125th Anniversary, Roche Latin America holds the event “Celebrate Life: Science changes our lives”, which will expose the main scientific advances that humanity has seen and how they have been key to development from Latin America and the world; In addition, the future of science and how technologies should be rethought to support the post-pandemic society will be analyzed.
To analyze the future of Health, the potential development that Medicine has at the service of people and where science should point in the coming years in a context full of uncertainties and challenges, doctors and prominent scientist from the universities are present.
What should be the future of applied science in medicine?
Daniel Kraft, a keynote speaker at the event, emphasizes that “the convergence of accelerated technologies is rapidly enabling the reinvention of smarter, more available and more personalized healthcare, and accelerating science from discovery to clinical trials and public health”.
Likewise, for Rolf Hoenger, president of Roche Latam, science must advance to improve the quality of health, and that these advances benefit all patients effectively. “We need to invest more and better in health, from research and development of innovative solutions to their integration into health systems so that they reach patients faster.”
For his part, Antonio Vergara highlights that “through alliances between the public and private sectors, as well as academia, non-governmental organizations and multilateral organizations, we will have the ability to gather all the resources that promote science, knowledge sharing and access to it. Not only for a short term, but they are sustained and prosper over time”.
However, faced with a future full of paths to take, the question arises: What does the future of science and medicine require to cope with challenging contexts? For Marilú Acosta, the objective of medicine should be the preservation of health, and not its recovery. “If there is not a frank modification of the sector, of the power of health in the hands of those who exercise it, the future of medicine and health will be a contraction to such a degree that society enters a decline not only in health, but also in the development of humanity”.
An idea that André Medici agrees with, who argues that before understanding what the challenges of knowledge are, it is necessary to separate the structural and conjunctural problems to be solved. For example, the fragmented pluralism of the health offer, non-integrative care and the lack of management mechanisms are structural problems that, according to the economist, threaten a good delivery of medicine to the population of Latin America and the world.
There are recent and unpredictable factors that, according to Medici, should be paid attention to going forward. Some of these events are the mechanisms of the different health systems, the stability of each government and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic that put global health in check. “The pandemic has unstructured both the supply and the demand for health, which made it necessary to reconfigure access to services to avoid excess mortality and excess morbidity due to chronic diseases that were left behind during the year and a half of the pandemic,” emphasized the economist in Health.
The four panelists agree that innovation in science is the basis for caring for and improving people’s health, and they mention that the future of medicine will be related to distance care, making use of technology and telemedicine, and adding precisely to the counterweight of a very large population that needs to stay healthy, that deserves an early diagnosis, and high-quality care.
The contribution of Latin America to the world
Along with reflecting on the future of science and technological development, the event “Celebrate Life: Science changes our lives” will highlight the main contributions to science of humanity that have been developed from this region, and that They have played a fundamental role in the development of humanity during the last century.
“Our spirit as Latin Americans is marked by a unique passion, energy and warmth, which is felt in everything we do. This has not been the exception in the world of science, where we have seen key advances that have been promoted by people in our region, which today make many innovative treatments possible ”, added Hoenger in this regard.
In this context, Hoenger stressed that the greatest contribution is in “the effort of all health professionals, academics, researchers, representatives of the public sector, and my colleagues at Roche and other pharmaceutical companies put this passion at the service of people and help so that we all have a better future”.