Letter from the Editor
A World Without What?
There’s an interesting idea circulating at the top tier of healthcare: a world without
disease. Its most visible champion is Johnson & Johnson, which has an initiative by that
name, headed by Cat Oyler, Global Head of External Innovation Strategy and Operations. But others are also on the bandwagon, and it’s inspiring.
At first, this seems to fly in the face of a common misperception about our industry.
What would all those profitable companies do if there were no disease? They’d go broke!
Hardly. In fact, the goal is largely based on the idea of preventive care, something the
industry is also investing in more and more. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen over-
night, nor is it going to be the responsibility only of healthcare companies. It will require governments, payers,
academia and patient organizations working in concert.
J&J has kicked off this goal with a series of Quickfire Challenges, offering grant help to various entrepreneurs,
companies and organizations in numerous areas of healthcare: perioperative care, to support nursing skills
development and develop nursing leaders; “Reimagining Respiratory Protection,” to protect the public from
infectious agents and the threat of pandemics; the First 1000 Days challenge for prevention and interception of
childhood disease and disorders; a Carcinogenic Exposure Meter challenge to reduce tobacco use among young
people; and many more, in devices, mobile wellness and other areas.
In a blog, Cat’s colleague Ben Wiegand, Global Head, World Without Disease Accelerator at Janssen Research &
Development, writes “We’re calling for ideas and innovations from…entrepreneurs, researchers, start-ups, tech
…We’re seeking the best science and the brightest minds …and the latest in digital technology to help us disrupt
the existing health paradigm by shifting from a model of diagnose and treat to one of predict and preempt.” You
can see the video here.
“We imagine a time when widespread disease is a historical artifact,” says Cat. “We have the capabilities and we
have the responsibility, to free the world from disease.”
And that’s the industry you proudly work for. That’s your Why for today.
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 to you!
Neil Greenberg, Editor
To become an HS&M contributing author or provide feedback, please email me