Letter from the Editor
pills, people, patients, physicians, process
Looking back just a few decades in this industry, we find that healthcare seemed simpler.
We got sick, we went to the doctor, he (almost always “he”) knew what to prescribe, we
took the prescription to the pharmacy and followed instructions.
Fast forward to now, and – with all the amazing advances we’ve seen – somehow it seems
much more complicated. Yes, medical science has advanced. Yes, treatments are more
sophisticated. And we’re learning more all the time about the personalization of medi-
cine. And patients are more empowered. And the digital world has opened lots of new
doors. And there are patient advocacy groups and tons of websites to give us information
on our conditions and the treatments for them. And we have fitness apps and wearables that can keep track of
everything from steps walked to calories consumed to heart rate and even things like diabetes risk.
But that’s just the problem. Even though the world has handed us all these gifts, it’s a little dizzying to understand how to use all of them and whether you’re getting the right information. If you want to know more about
your [insert condition here], should you be asking your primary care physician or a specialist? Or both? Or the
unbranded website of the company that makes the medication you’re taking? Or the patient advocacy group
that seems to be up on the latest therapies? And how can you be sure that all your healthcare professionals are
in touch with each other, as they’re supposed to be? And do you know how to get on your doctor’s portal to ask
questions? How about co-morbidities, or multiple medications? What kind of wearable or app will help you
most efficiently monitor your vital signs and progress? Why is adherence such a big problem, when we have
more help adhering today than we’ve ever had – at least theoretically?
I wish I could answer all, or even most of those questions. But the truth is that we’re at a new juncture, largely
courtesy of technology, partly courtesy of new initiatives like patient-centricity and personalization. And so we
may be a kind of transition generation, appreciating progress but still taking on the responsibility of understanding and using it.
We try to keep up with all this, and bring you the people who have a grasp on change. We hope that it will be
informative, and assist you in furthering the work you do every day. Let us know what topics will be most useful
Neil Greenberg, Editor
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