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Fall 2022 - Innovation

Innovations for Improving Patient Treatment Outcomes

Patrick M. SchmidtAs the publisher of BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine, our motto at FFF Enterprises for the past 34 years has been “Helping Healthcare Care.” The reason: There is a patient at the center of everything we do. Catapulted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of medicine is changing fast, with innovations in telehealth, disease treatments and medication adherence. And, as we progress to meet the needs of a broadening patient population, we must expand our healthcare systems’ diversity to also affect patient treatment outcomes.

Technology is expanding and improving to make it easier for patients and providers to connect, and telehealth is becoming the norm for many Americans. This comes after almost three years of dealing with the pandemic and with new viral threats looming, forcing the healthcare industry to adapt to meet the needs of both patients and providers. But, as we explain in our article “Pros and Cons of Virtual Care Solutions” (p.20), research has found that while the majority of Americans are willing to try video visits, most prefer visits in-person. And, even though most providers are struggling with virtual care demands due to investment and integration issues, it is clear that as it continues to grow, providers need to be on board with the necessary tools and training.

Solutions in disease treatment and management are also expanding. In our article “Breakthroughs in Gene Therapy” (p.23), we explore the advances in gene therapy and genome editing that show great promise for curing genetic diseases. Researchers are treating blindness, blood and immune disorders and sickle cell disease using CRISPR/Cas9 and CAR-T therapies. And, as major research institutions note, 2022 has built on the successes of gene therapies in 2021, proving to be a record year for approvals in this innovative area.

For those managing diseases with medications, nonadherence continues to plague patient outcomes, with only 50 percent of medications taken as prescribed. And, while packaging has historically helped in this arena, new smart packaging technologies are quickly improving adherence rates by up to 87 percent. We examine some of these new technologies in our article “Improving Patient Adherence with Smart Packaging” (p.28), including radio frequency identification systems, smart blister packs, smart inhalers and injectable pens, and bar code-enabled drug systems. But, as we note, with the newness of these technologies, security and safety concerns must be addressed.

One area affecting patient treatment outcomes that is gaining more attention is diversity, equity and inclusion. As we explain in our article “Addressing the Healthcare Diversity Gap” (p.32), minorities are underrepresented among physicians and in academic and clinical research, making it difficult for many to receive equitable care. And while the reasons are varied, the solution that is achieving success may lie in employing nonclinical professionals.

As always, we hope you enjoy the additional articles in this issue of BioSupply Trends Quarterly, and find them both relevant and helpful to your practice.

Helping Healthcare Care,

Patrick M. Schmidt

Patrick M. Schmidt
Patrick M. Schmidt is the publisher of BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine.