When we talk about health care, we usually think of hospitals, physicians, drug manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, and insurance companies.
But there are many others involved in the health care industry. One of those that need to be more closely associated with hospitals are the biotech companies. Biotechs are often small companies headed by an entrepreneur who has a patent that he or she is trying to commercialize.
Biotech companies are often associated with universities, including medical schools. Professors or graduate students may start the company while maintaining their university positions. Many universities encourage one foot in academia and the other foot in business. The university benefits since they hold the patents that are developed.
Hospitals have long sought a university connection or, better yet, a connection with a medical school. That gives the hospital more prestige as a research center and enables the hospital to be ranked by such groups as US News & World Report.
Hospitals need to have a direct connection with biotech entrepreneurs. Entrepeneurs and hospitals can help identify the most pressing needs of the hospital and physicians -- with hospitals providing support to the biotech companies to create the process or product, get a patent, and then get the patent commercialized. Get the basic science to the bedside -- the longtime goal of what is called translational research. Hospitals need to help biotechs find the funding and industry support to get started on this task.