Published On January 28, 2016
THE ART AND PRACTICE OF MEDICINE ALWAYS MOVES FORWARD, but some periods advance by leaps and bounds. The past 10 years fall squarely into such a category, with the introduction of ideas that both save lives and inspire wonder—3-D printing of living tissue, tailor-made medicines and triggering nerve responses with light, to name only a few.
When it launched in 2005, Proto magazine declared that it would cover such frontiers, a mission that gave the magazine a seat on the front lines. So at the 10-year mark, Proto devoted an entire issue to a survey of what has passed through its pages.
“A Decade of Change” offers an overview of themes that surfaced time and again: the rise of big data, the puzzling importance of the microbiome, and questions about ways to measure and improve care. Through a more quantitative lens, “The Changes We’ve Seen” takes an interactive approach to more than 30 metrics—the cost of sequencing a genome, survival rates in patients with AIDS and malaria, the number of open-source journals, and more—to visually capture this time span. And a series of video interviews asks experts to weigh in on the advances made on five topics from Proto’s very first issue—stroke care, the genetic roots of mental illness, using animal organs in humans, palliative care and infectious disease.
The next 10 years will bring more change, and new breakthroughs that will save more lives. If the past is any clue, it’s a good time to be on the frontiers.