Venture capitalists have proven more willing to invest in health care-related software applications than in early-stage medical research, which carries more risk and longer times to return on investment, writes consultant Stewart Lyman. Alliances between Big Pharma and academic institutions, patient group investment units, public funding for research, tax breaks and prizes help encourage research. "Fighting disease isn’t just a good investment in our health; it’s also an excellent investment in our economy," Lyman writes.

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