Explaining healthcare disruption

WE Communications Blog: Health

— Colleen Connolly, WE 

Disruptive is a term often used by companies to describe their technology, but a select few can truly disrupt an industry. This was the topic of XConomy’s Boston’s Life Science Disruptors event that I recently attended. One presenting company that stood out from the rest for me was Emulate, which has developed Organs-on-Chips technology to understand how diseases, medicines, chemicals, and foods affect human health. Organs-on-chips integrates micro-engineering with living human cells that aims to set a new standard for researchers predicting human responses.

Founded at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, Emulate is a textbook example of how healthcare and technology are converging to transform and disrupt the healthcare industry, particularly the life sciences.

For applications in precision medicine and precision health the implications for this kind of breakthrough technology are huge and have the potential to change the fundamentals of modern health. Imagine a world where you eliminate some of the trial-and-error aspects of medicine or therapies for rare diseases are brought to market faster because a therapy has already been tested on an Organ-chip? It’s all within the realm of possibility.

Personally, it is really exciting that the tools needed to make precision medicine and personalized health applicable transform and disrupt the healthcare system are being developed right here in Boston. My mission as a public relations practitioner is to work with innovators like Emulate to educate both the industry and the consumer that terms like precision medicine and personalized health are no longer just buzz words. Breaking down the science for a consumer audience is a tough task, but the challenge of explaining the benefits of technology from disruptive companies like Emulate and how it can potentially improve health outcomes is a tremendously thrilling assignment.