After Conquering Space, X-Prize Group To Reward Inner Exploration
from the the-next-fronteir dept
As we discussed last week when excerpting Andy Kessler’s new book The End of Medicine, as diagnostic tools to help prevent disease becomes more available, the cost of healthcare could decline dramatically. As it stands currently, it still makes more business sense for insurance companies to fund treatment than to fund screening. Now, the same foundation that funded the X-Prize for private space travel will announce a $10 million prize for any group that can develop an affordable method of DNA sequencing (via Hit & Run). In theory, this will pave the way to new preventative diagnostic testing. The use of prizes to spur innovation has continued to gain momentum, but unlike research in manned rocket ships, there’s already been tons of private and academic funding in the area of genomics. It’s not clear that this is an area that needs much financial incentive, but it’s good that the group identified the need for cheaper diagnostic testing as a critical component of advancing this field. Furthermore, if the contest does result in a major breakthrough, it’ll be a real vindication of the prize model for advancing research.