WHAT WE SEE
Atherosclerosis is also known as ‘hardening’ of the arteries. It is a result of genetics, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking cigarettes. It is a common underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke, and represents the highest expenditure of world health care (app €198 billion in EU and $300 billion in the US).
In patients who suffered a heart attack the recurrence risk of an acute coronary syndrome is high, particularly within the first year when recurrence rates are up to almost 20%.
The immediate site of plaque rupture contains a high concentration of inflammatory cells. Plaque inflammation is therefore pursued as a therapeutic target to lower the recurrent rates of atherothrombotic events.
People want to be Involved
We live in an information society. The public seems to develop an ever growing need for information, while systems around us are growing along with that need. Availability of data and information is becoming more and more real time, people want to have an always on connection with the internet.
FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, is a recent phenomenon. People fear they miss certain news, certain knowledge, certain events and parties, etc.. While the amount of information is growing, it is getting harder and harder to make the right choices for what to focus on. The public would like to see all the coolest things with the littlest effort.
Skepticism towards centralized institutions (such as banks, insurance companies, government, big pharma’s) is growing. More and more projects get decentralized, large groups of individuals become part of projects. Everybody wants to own the product, but it needs to be unique.
Openness and transparency is key. The public wants to be involved and be part of the development process of products, systems and services.
Pharmacy is one of the most profitable branches in the world (app $ 300 billion a year, rising to $ 400 within three years), but revenues are under pressure.
The big pharmaceuticals need to position at about ten times more new products than 20 years ago (to maintain the desired 10-15% growth). Prices of medicine will rise, especially bio-pharmaceutics.
According to the World Health Organization there is an inherent conflict of interest between the legitimate business goals of pharmaceutical companies and the social, medical and economic needs of the public to select and use drugs in the most rational way.
There is a growing need for more "Personalized Medicines". A model medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare - with medical decisions, practices, and/or products being tailored to the individual patient. See Wiki for more information.
Interest in Science
In an era where kids play with iPhones and iPads, 1 billion people use Facebook, “I Fucking Love Science” has more than 6 million likers, and where high school students prefer programming classes above other languages, we dare to draw the conclusion the interest of the public in science is growing rapidly.