The process of translating scientific breakthroughs into practical applications that enhance patient care and public health is a complex journey with many obstacles. It often takes years for innovative discoveries to transition from the lab to medical practice. In this article, we explore the challenges and potential solutions surrounding this translation gap, shedding light on the crucial need for bridging the divide between science and healthcare.
The Challenge of Translating Scientific Discoveries into Medical Practice
The process of translating scientific research into practical applications that can improve patient care and public health is a complex and time consuming endeavor. It takes many years for new insights generated in the laboratory to make its way from the scientist’s bench to the medical doctor’s office.
One recent study examined this “translation gap” by analyzing data collected over a 20-year period from 1990-2010. The study found that it took an average of 17 years for clinical interventions based on newly discovered knowledge to be used in practice (Morris et al., 2011) . This translation gap was even longer when it came to technologies such as drugs or medical devices: it took an average of 21 years for them to start being used in clinical practice.
Drug Development and Healthcare System Challenges
In comparison, the development of a new drug from idea to market typically takes between 10 and 15 years (Tamimi and Ellis, 2009)). This means that even after a successful drug has been developed, there is still a significant delay in the amount of time it takes for new insights to reach the medical doctor.
This delay is due in part to shortcomings within the healthcare system (Medlinskiene et al., 2021). This may be due to physicians being slow to adopt new treatments, citing lack of reimbursement, difficulty in changing practice habits, and inadequate training. Additionally, there is often an unequal distribution of resources between research and implementation, meaning that not enough funding is allocated to the latter stages of translation.
Closing the Translation Gap and Embracing Longevity Medicine
It is clear that the process of transferring scientific discoveries to the medical doctors’ office is complicated and lengthy. It should also be noted that, while some progress has been made to reduce this translation gap, more work needs to be done to ensure that new discoveries are implemented quickly and effectively.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that this translation gap will be closed by the medical system any time soon. And traditional medicine suffers from other weaknesses relative to longevity medicine. That’s why NOVOS focuses on delivering scientific insights about longevity directly to you, the consumer. We equip you with the latest information, tests and formulations needed for you to upgrade your lifestyle to be one that goes beyond general health and extends into maximizing your longevity.
- Tamimi NA, Ellis P. Drug development: from concept to marketing! Nephron Clin Pract. 2009;113(3):c125-31. doi: 10.1159/000232592. Epub 2009 Aug 12. PMID: 19729922.
- Medlinskiene, K., Tomlinson, J., Marques, I., Richardson, S., Stirling, K., & Petty, D. (2021). Barriers and facilitators to the uptake of new medicines into clinical practice: a systematic review. BMC health services research, 21(1), 1198. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-07196-4
- Morris, Z. S., Wooding, S., & Grant, J. (2011). The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational research. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 104(12), 510–520. https://doi.org/10.1258/jrsm.2011.110180