The dramatic improvements in basic biological research, as well as the impact of high technology, are associated with a rapid increase in life expectancy, social change and public health measures, all leading to important modifications in Medicine.
In the past few years, we have seen radical changes in Medicine: we have gone from paternalism to therapeutic alliance, from treating patients to taking care of them, from the concept of disease to the concept of illness, from compliance to adherence. All this has marked the change from a medical-centred system to a patient-centred one, where patients are less passive and play an increasingly active role in their treatments (empowerment). Moreover, communication (to communicate “with” the patient and not “to” the patient) has become more relevant. In all cases, the background philosophy is “to look at things from the patient’s perspective”, who, in our case, is a child, necessarily linked to his/her parents.
In the next few years we will witness a profound change in Medicine and healthcare, due to progress in technology and the ability to analyse large amounts of data from single patients.
Research should be addressed towards new ambitious goals (think more and think different), but it should also look differently at old results.
The winning intuition would be not just having new ideas, but finding better results in existing ones.
We need more research and better research. Now it’s time to individualize our approaches in Pediatrics and Neonatology: care and cure for each and everyone.