Systems Biology: Traditionally, biology has sought to understand the functioning of the human body by reducing it to small, individual components such as genes and molecules. Systems biology seeks to understand the interaction between networks of genes and their interactions with proteins. This data-intensive approach is made possible through advances in computing, the falling cost of genetic analysis, and other technological advances. This will play a critical role in bringing about personalized medicine.
Computer-based drug development: High-power computing and a rich body of knowledge are helping to cut the cost of drug development and accelerate the process. This is occurring both through the identification of drug candidates and the use of in-silico testing through simulations, which can help predict if compounds will likely be safe and effective or not.
Financial and regulatory pressures are not working in favor of new technologies. Though part of the solution to reining in the rapid growth in spending on health care lies in developing and implementing new technologies, investors need to see a reasonable road to returns. They also want to have confidence that regulators will not needlessly slow their development because of political rather than scientific debates.