Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Raymond H. Kahn


The world is undergoing a biological revolution that has made unparalleled demands on the American health care system. This demand for health care and its escalating costs provide abundant Incentives for reducing the cost through better technology. Recent developments in medical technology include the CAT scanner, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), as well as new advances in prosthetic devices. Most biomedical research and development takes place at not-for-profit institutions, such as universities, hospitals, and private foundations, much of it supported by federal funding from such sources as the National Institutes of Health. But, today, the institutions are in danger of major cutbacks in funding at a time when inflation has already endangered the resources available for biomedical research. One potential solution to this problem is to encourage a better relationship between industry and the research community; in a period when federal support is obviously leveling off, industry can provide the vital margin while simultaneously encouraging a continued federal commitment. Unfortunately, the objectives of research do not parallel those of industry. Scholarship traditionally has been devoted to the transfer of information by publication, while industry responds to the proprietary needs of a corporation and reflects a commitment to the profit motive. Clearly, any "marriage" of industry with the scientific research community as a cooperative venture will require some innovative thinking on the part of both.