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May 20th, 2007
Just in the past 30 years, biomedical innovations have helped to lengthen life expectancy in the United States by four years. They have also materially enhanced quality of life for tens of millions of patients, enabling them to continue fruitful, productive lives.
What of the next 30 years? Technology in biomedicine is changing so rapidly that it cannot be viewed as merely evolving. Rather, we are at a historic inflection point in the history of scientific innovation. The defining technologies of the early 21st century are surely biotech-nology, nanotechnology and information tech-nology. The emerging coalescence of these three technologies holds out prospects for economic and social benefits that should make those of the past few decades appear pale by comparison. From the science we already know, the fruits of discoveries already made will totally transform how we live, how well we live and how long we will live. Beyond these benefits, we may anticipate with some confidence the emergence of very sizable future markets for pharma-ceuticals and medical devices made possible by the convergence of these three technologies.
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