Just a few weeks before the first cases of COVID-19 were made public, a group of more than 100 leaders in health and medicine was imagining the future of health innovation and factors that could determine its success or failure. A recurring theme was the increasing frequency of global crises that could lead to widescale disturbances and force healthcare leaders to collaborate and deliver truly global health solutions. This hypothetical series of events, now beginning to play out in real time, is described—alongside other future-oriented scenarios—in a new report released today by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (MIT CCI).
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The report—Trust or Consequences 2040: Will Innovations in Health and Medicine Deliver?—describes the changing environment for medical breakthroughs leading up to 2040 and the importance of trust in encouraging adoption. It addresses major questions such as “What developments will shape people’s health between now and 2040?” and “How will trust be critical in ensuring these developments help people everywhere live longer and healthier?” The report also identifies risks to health systems and medicine supply chains worldwide, opportunities to improve global health and consequences that threaten to undermine public trust in medicine.
“New health threats will emerge with significant impact on the delivery of healthcare throughout the world,” forecasted Roy Guharoy, system vice president of pharmacy, Baptist Health System and professor of medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School. “The current global supply chain is fragile and infested with many problems, as evidenced by frequent drug shortages. A solid infrastructure for the global supply chain is critical to ensure availability of medications to meet the needs of patients around the world.”
In April, as the pandemic was spreading, USP and MIT CCI asked the experts a follow-up question: “The COVID-19 pandemic has surfaced vulnerabilities in the global healthcare supply chain. Given this, what is the single biggest issue that should be addressed to ensure the availability of safe, quality medical products?”
Participants identified drug supply chain resiliency and shortages across the medical device and supplies sectors as crucial issues to tackle. They also offered a variety of solutions, which will be released in a future report.
“Many of the challenging issues we face in healthcare are recurring and persistent. Trust or Consequences 2040 points out that we must plan for the healthcare future we want, or we risk an erosion of trust and failure to fully benefit from promising innovations in health and medicine,” said Ronald T. Piervincenzi, chief executive officer of USP. “During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, trust is needed to ensure the integrity of our medicines and the global medicines supply chain. The decisions we make now, and in the months following this crisis, will have a lasting impact on the future of healthcare, trust in medicine and in building resilient supply chains.”
The consequences of erosion or collapse of trust are dire. Patients may not seek out medicines already proved to be safe and effective, leaving them vulnerable to bad actors. They may avoid needed healthcare or neglect to adhere to prescribed medical treatments. They may turn to unproven or risky alternatives rather than qualified health professionals and quality-assured medical products—all to devastating effect.
The report presents four potential future worlds that could emerge by the year 2040, and which are greatly influenced by new advances in technology—notably big data and artificial intelligence (AI)—as well as access to healthcare.
- Scaling the tried and true. A series of rolling crises spur effective global collaboration to address health concerns broadly. Meanwhile, medical advances based on big data and AI occur gradually and are implemented incrementally. As a result, the focus is on baseline care provided to all.
- Dangerous uncertainty. Problems with big data and AI lead to devastating healthcare failures. Unequal distribution of access means only the rich receive the most advanced treatments while people of modest means turn to therapies informed by traditional folkways. The efficacy and safety of science-based medicine are called into question.
- A world of difference. The successful application of big data and AI leads to rapid advances in personalized medicine and prevention, diagnosis and treatment informed by genetic information. Not everyone has access to the fruits of these innovations. Disparities between and within nations perpetuate a “haves” versus “have nots” dynamic.
- Solving tomorrow’s problems. Smart and deliberate innovation is broadly distributed. Advances in big data and AI help create effective, inexpensive genetic diagnostic tools that are applied globally. Diseases become more predictable and, informed by new insights about why illness occurs, the focus of healthcare evolves to emphasize prevention. New treatments also emerge. Technological advances not only lead to remarkable new therapies but also contribute to curbing increases in healthcare costs.
Trust or Consequences 2040 also suggests how public quality standards for medical products could help promote trust in health and medicine in the future—as they have for 200 years. In the most positive future outcome, diverse entities—standards-setting organizations like USP, caregivers, government entities and commercial providers active in the healthcare sector—work together to develop the new standards and oversight practices required to guarantee the safety and effectiveness of future medicines and products. Standards could also help address inequities in patient care by enabling the faster dissemination of best medical practices.
“This report inspires recognition of the importance of the public’s trust and guards against the dangers that rapid change sometimes presents,” said Kathleen Kennedy, executive director of MIT CCI. “We are grateful to the many prominent expert participants from around the world who shared their insights, which will help global, national and local leaders as they make important choices now during the COVID-19 outbreak and well into the future.”
Tempus Launches COVID-19-Specific Clinical and Research Initiatives for Oncology
CHICAGO, May 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tempus, a technology company advancing precision medicine through the practical application of artificial intelligence in healthcare, introduced a series of offerings designed to both advance vital research and support physicians in treating cancer patients, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tempus is equipping physicians with the tools they need to treat high-risk patients while limiting their exposure to the virus, with mobile phlebotomy services, on-demand virtual case reviews, and COVID-19 PCR diagnostic testing for cancer patients.
“Cancer continues to be among the leading causes of death worldwide, and now more than ever, it is critical that cancer patients continue to receive the care and treatment they need for survival despite the pandemic,” said Eric Lefkofsky, Founder and CEO. “In the last few months, we’ve quickly mobilized to create offerings that ease the burden on physicians treating cancer patients amidst the threat of COVID-19, through a series of services and tests that are badly needed to ensure therapies aren’t disrupted.”COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Testing
Earlier this month, Tempus launched a diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19. Tempus’ CAP-accredited/CLIA-certified labs in Chicago and Atlanta are supporting the acceleration of testing in the U.S., and expect to test approximately 12,000 patients daily across both labs, with the ability to scale further if needed. Tempus makes it seamless for physicians to test their patients for the virus, providing results within 24-48 hours at no cost to the patient as Tempus bills insurance directly. Mobile Phlebotomy
Tempus now offers mobile phlebotomy services, which are available to patients who require a blood draw but are too sick or unable to travel to the clinic, or do not have access to an in-office phlebotomist or draw site. Experts are able to perform blood draws in patients’ homes for any Tempus test in which a blood sample is required, at no added cost.Virtual Case Reviews
Tempus’ on-demand virtual case review system provides clinical support to physicians and care teams in a timely manner when an in-person meeting isn’t possible. Tempus’ Medical Affairs team is available to answer patient report questions in real-time in a secure portal. In addition, Tempus now offers a variety of tele-health support services specific to COVID-19 if needed.Research Collaboration
Tempus has launched a large research collaboration to structure data for up to 50,000 COVID-19 positive patients. As part of the IRB approved study, Tempus is partnering with providers to collect data on COVID-19 patients, which Tempus is structuring and de-identifying without cost. In addition, Tempus expects to perform full transcriptomic profiling of approximately 10,000 patients within the cohort. All data will be shared with all participating institutions without restriction. About Tempus
Tempus is a technology company advancing precision medicine through the practical application of artificial intelligence in healthcare. With one of the world’s largest libraries of clinical and molecular data, and an operating system to make that data accessible and useful, Tempus enables physicians to make real-time, data-driven decisions to deliver personalized patient care and in parallel facilitates discovery, development and delivery of optimal therapeutics. The goal is for each patient to benefit from the treatment of others who came before by providing physicians with tools that learn as the company gathers more data. For more information, visit tempus.com.Erin Carron
Tempus’ TIME Trial™ Program Reaches Critical Scale and Operational Milestones
CHICAGO, May 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tempus, a technology company advancing precision medicine through the practical application of artificial intelligence in healthcare, has reached a milestone in fully enrolling 2,500 oncologists into its Tempus Integrated Molecular Evaluation (TIME) Trial™ Program that seeks to rapidly match patients largely in the community setting to targeted clinical trials. To date, Tempus has signed up over 50 provider networks, over 30 unique biomarker trials, and has rapidly opened sites onto trials in an average of 10 days. Through the TIME Trial™ Program, Tempus is bringing the very best clinical trials to communities across the country, giving thousands of patients access to novel therapeutics.
“We have experience with clinical trial rapid deployment models, however Tempus provides an unparalleled level of commitment and support in aligning all involved parties and streamlining the process, especially given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Julio Peguero, Director of Research of Oncology Consultants. “We ultimately met our target goal of activating this trial in just two weeks, and hope to do the same for future patients.”Last spring, Tempus launched the TIME Trial™ Program in an effort to increase clinical trial participation by using real-time clinical and molecular data to match patients to trials, and then rapidly open pre-qualified sites once a patient has been identified. Since then, Tempus has built its TIME Trial™ Network, inclusive of some of the country’s top community hospitals and academic medical centers, totaling over 50 research sites and 2,500 oncologists.As of today, the program has 30 pharma-sponsored clinical trials, covering dozens of unique, actionable biomarkers across both solid and hematological malignancies. Every week, Tempus screens thousands of new patients against the criteria of the ultra-rare trials in the TIME Trial™ Network. Thus far, Tempus has matched nearly 1,000 patients to the trials in its portfolio and averaged just under 10 days from patient screened to site activated.“Cutting-edge cancer therapies increasingly target narrower populations of patients, and the clinical trials that study these therapies require equally specific patient populations,” said Amy Franzen, Vice President of Operations and Program Lead. “Tempus is able to use its advanced technology, access to real-time data, and strong operations to get the right patients access to the right therapies, closer to home.”Tempus screens patients from sites in the TIME Trial™ Network against applicable inclusion/exclusion criteria utilizing genomic sequencing data, matched with the patients’ clinical data. Then, Tempus applies its computational algorithm to provide rapid, comprehensive matches to applicable trials that can be brought to the patient. Once a patient has been screened and matched, Tempus provides the patient’s physician with a report that ranks relevant trials. If the physician expresses interest in enrolling his or her patient in a trial, the Site and Sponsor leverage a standard contract, standard rate card, and a central IRB to rapidly open the clinical trial and enroll the patient into the study in under two weeks.For the same reason that precision medicine is now possible due to technological advances such as cost effective genomic sequencing at scale, the maturing of artificial intelligence, and the evolution of cloud technology, it is now possible to run clinical trials more efficiently and based on real-time data. Tempus is increasing the speed of clinical trials and reaching into community settings, where the majority of cancer patients are treated today.About Tempus
Tempus is a technology company advancing precision medicine through the practical application of artificial intelligence in healthcare. With one of the world’s largest libraries of clinical and molecular data, and an operating system to make that data accessible and useful, Tempus enables physicians to make real-time, data-driven decisions to deliver personalized patient care and in parallel facilitates discovery, development and delivery of optimal therapeutics. The goal is for each patient to benefit from the treatment of others who came before by providing physicians with tools that learn as the company gathers more data. For more information, visit tempus.com.
Completely Online Summer Math Camps Offered to Meet Strong Demand from Parents During COVID-19
San Diego, May 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Parents looking for a summer camp this year may find that there are limited options due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Art of Problem Solving (AoPS), a leader in math education that has prepared hundreds of thousands of students for some of the most prestigious universities, has transformed its Summer Camp activities online to create a collaborative learning and social space for children in third grade through high school. The Summer Camp activities help students develop problem solving skills through group activities in math and related subjects.Though this is the fourth year that Art of Problem Solving has offered a Summer Camp, this is the first time the organization is offering the camp experience completely online. Activities include learning how to develop cryptographic skills to protect internet security, to a class that integrates math learning as part of a poetry project that concludes with a Poetry Slam. The two-week and four-week sessions start in June and last through the summer.“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are seeking a summer camp experience for their children that conforms to social distancing norms while encouraging learning and collaboration,” said Richard Rusczyk, the founder of Art of Problem Solving, which has offered classes since 2003. “At Art of Problem Solving, we quickly adapted our on-campus Summer Camp experience with our online academic models. Our first-ever online Summer Camp is designed to encourage students to develop problem solving skills in a personalized and collaborative group environment.”The COVID-19 pandemic has created wider public awareness of the relevancy of math and statistics in everyday life. Rusczyk said his organization has seen that interest reflected in demand from more parents and children who see math skills as increasingly important. Also, in response to COVID-19, the company offered for a limited time a free trial to its Beast Academy program that integrates comic-style “beast” characters and exercises, puzzles and games.The Art of Problem Solving began in 1993 with a pair of textbooks for middle and high school math contest participants. Ten years later, Art of Problem Solving launched a website with an online school and full math curriculum designed for high-performing math learners. Every member of the 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 U.S. International Math Olympiad teams―each of which took first place in the competition―are Art of Problem Solving alumni who collectively participated in more than 110 Art of Problem Solving Online courses. The Art of Problem Solving is an ACS WASC Accredited School that offers programs online and, prior to COVID-19, at its nationwide campus locations. The organization also works with school districts to integrate their offerings as part of school math lessons.Looking beyond the immediate pandemic, problem solving skills are considered to be essential to the nation’s future workforce. As professions shift toward greater use of automation and artificial intelligence, there is expected to be an increased demand for people who have the ability to identify creative solutions and manage these developments. Critical thinking and problem solving is a top skill identified by National Association of Colleges and Employers.About Art of Problem SolvingArt of Problem Solving has successfully trained hundreds of thousands of motivated students in preparation for success at top-tier colleges and careers. Through rigorous, high-quality K-12 math curriculum, online classes and learning centers, Art of Problem Solving trains today’s brightest minds to solve tomorrow’s challenges. For additional information, visit www.artofproblemsolving.com.Jaclyn Walian
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