Health technology is an exciting, expanding frontier that promises a better life for everyone

‘Chemistry is at the centre of this whole thing,’ says Jason Heikenfield, leader of the Novel Devices Lab at the University of Cincinnati in the US. His team work on wearable, non-invasive patches that gather rich biomarker data in real time and feed it to monitoring devices. Technology like this will replace the spiderweb of tubes, lines and wires that surround hospital patients.

‘We have something special.’ The words of Mark Green, professor of bio-nanotechnology at Kings College London. Green is referring to conjugated polymer nanoparticles, a technology that offers long-term molecular tracking in vitro and a host of diagnostic, imaging and therapeutic advantages. This will cut waiting times for diagnosis and allow for hypersensitive imaging, manipulation and examination of a single cell of interest.

Heikenfield and Green are both right: there is something special happening and chemistry and chemists are at its heart. It’s the diverse nature of chemistry that means it’s ‘impacting research in all kinds of different directions’, says Robert Grubbs, who won the Nobel prize in 2005 for his work on the metathesis reaction in organic synthesis. From devices to drugs, sensors to scanners, chemistry is helping develop the materials, pathways and processes that will ultimately deliver faster, better, personalised healthcare to the masses.

When our teams at Chemistry World and Notch Communications began putting this collection together we weren’t sure where it would take us. What we have found is a landscape of committed and energetic companies and labs all focused on improving patient care and safety. Everyone we have spoken with as we developed this collection shares this passion and focus, and all of them look forward to a future – one that is very nearly here – where we can all benefit from low-cost, fast, effective and personalised healthcare. Better living through chemistry is not just a slogan, it’s a reality.

We’re delighted to launch our first special collection on technology for health, exploring current and future trends, topics and innovations that will affect healthcare and patients all over the world. We’d like to thank all of our partners for sharing their stories, being generous with their time and expertise, and for giving us a glimpse of what the future holds.

Finally, we’re putting together our next collection, on green and sustainable chemistry, now. If you’d like to take part then please get in touch and we’ll help you tell your story