Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the leading public health challenges of the next 50 years. Pharmaceutical therapies have traditionally targeted the later stages of neurodegenerative diseases; however, this strategy - as the recent failures of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs have highlighted - has been unsuccessful. Venture capital has underperformed as well during this time, as many new companies have been unable to maintain growth once they reach the public market and have produced less than desirable returns. As a result, venture capitalists have opted for later-stage financing. Nevertheless, new technologies are being developed to answer the question of how to best address neurodegeneration. New tools of detection will allow for much earlier diagnosis and a much greater chance of discovering and applying effective treatments. Realizing that genetic knowledge is insufficient to produce innovative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, scientists have begun to apply the genetic knowledge attained towards a future of individualized treatments. As these new tools of detection converge with an increased ability to create very precise individual solutions, the risk of successful future investments should come down and provide the potential for outsized returns that have traditionally governed the venture capital financial model.
The role of marketing communications is to advance the bottom line and the public good – and not necessarily in that order. Giving back is an integral part of the New Normal. And there has never been a better tool to accomplish this mission than social media.
But healthcare marketing –and particularly of the regulated variety --is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, marketers understand the importance and opportunity in social media. It’s where the people are. It’s where the action is. But then there are all those pesky regulatory concerns.
As Walter O’Malley –the man who moved the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles once commented, “The future is just one damn thing after another.”
Since World War II, the majority of American wartime engagements have been characterized by a series of low-intensity, asymmetric conflicts. These conflicts have increased the importance of understanding the dynamics of individual actors within complex battlespaces which in turn has led U.S. military commanders, intelligence professionals, and wartime decision makers to seek a variety of means for identifying, tracking, and differentiating persons of interest. From the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan, the process of understanding the movements and activities of hostile actors has become paramount to successful military targeting and combat operations. Over the last 50 years, the military and intelligence communities have developed a plethora of technologies capable of accomplishing this task to include overhead satellites, infrared imaging, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), advanced biometrics, and host of other personnel identifying and tracking technologies. While these technologies have closed the gap in enabling U.S. military and intelligence professionals to understand the human aspect of the battlespace, there are still significant challenges in uniquely identifying the movements and activities of specific persons or groups of persons.
Given the above outlined challenge of understanding the battlespace, this article will explore an alternative means of identifying and uniquely tracking individuals. Specifically, this article will explore the combined use of remote sensing technologies and genetically engineered biomarkers in order to uniquely identify, track, and differentiate persons of interest. Such a combination of two disparate technical fields would be technologically challenging both within the biological and remote imaging scientific fields, thus emphasizing the paramount importance of combining biological markers with distinct signatures that are detectable by specific and technologically matching visualization means. In addition to discussing the technical challenges associated with such a combination of technologies, this article will also discuss both the potential military benefits and negative implications this process could have in ethical, legal, and diplomatic terms. At the conclusion of this article, the reader should have a fundamental understanding of how remote sensing technologies and biomarkers can be combined to better understand the battlespace as well as the possible implications of this technological paring.