Regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies have the potential to cure otherwise intractable diseases and are among the most promising domains for the delivery of paradigm-changing health care. However, the anticipated cost of these therapies will strain even well-resourced health-care systems. Globally, these costs will pose a much greater challenge, with most people not expected to be able to access the benefits of these technologies. Furthermore, it is expected that such technologies, as currently envisioned, will be hard to implement outside major medical centres.
Reducing the cost of developing and delivering these advanced therapies is critical for patient access, but also for researchers and innovators in the field. Society’s continued investment in research is critical to bringing their products to market. Reducing the barriers to access is a separate but equally critical task.
While some regenerative medicine therapies are based on approaches that do not involve cells, for cell-based therapies can we look to automation, robotics, machine learning or other technologies to simplify their scale-up or scale-out, perhaps making them no more complex than dialysis or chemotherapy?
The development of such technologies will require perspectives from global health practitioners among others with a health accessibility perspective. Therefore, competitive applications will integrate an array of disciplines to inform the team on how best to reach the goal of affordable, accessible regenerative medicine.