Feb 15, 2023
My "Why"

By Joe Smith, SVP and Chief Scientific Officer

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” – I first heard this early in my training as a physician-scientist and have subsequently shared it with many of my mentees over time.  I didn’t initially know that this quote traced back to Theodore Roosevelt but did appreciate that without some link to individuals’ personal drives or some sense of shared passion it can be difficult to have the genuine conversations that move hearts and minds.

Since joining BD a little over a year ago, I have been asked by colleagues both inside and outside the company why I joined and what I hope to achieve in my role as BD’s Chief Scientific Officer.  In the interest of transparency and with a desire to encourage even more genuine engagements, I wanted to share my “why”.

Of the many lessons my path in healthcare has taught me, a few important ones stand out around the opportunity to impact care through innovation:

  1. The scope of unmet healthcare needs for our growing and aging population is large and expanding.
  2. The potential for meaningful technological innovation in healthcare is boundless.
  3. Important insights from basic, translational and clinical science are increasing exponentially.
  4. In the main, however, healthcare delivery systems are incompletely prepared to readily assess and adopt the full array of emerging technology solutions and/or ingest and utilize the fast-growing array of scientific insights to best meet the growing healthcare needs of the population.

To substantially transform healthcare delivery to take full advantage of evolving innovations AND the insights being gleaned from advancing science AND the iterative understandings from smart and learning systems requires heretofore unrealized levels of transparency, interoperability, adaptability, standardization and integration of ever-evolving best practices at SCALE. Great strides are being made in transparent description of healthcare practices and outcomes. There is great focus on interoperable sharing of large data sets to create more actionable insights. Recent experience with the pandemic has emphasized the adaptability of healthcare systems.

To help realize the required transformation requires that we as innovators in medical technology think beyond individual innovations to holistic solutions integrating and optimizing end-to-end processes encompassing the entire experiences of the patients, families, clinicians and provider organizations, so that we can help to create a sustainable healthcare continuum. And, critically, we need to SCALE these meaningful innovations to provide standardized, best-in-class solutions globally. I believe this is something BD is uniquely well suited for, given its broad portfolio, deep expertise, and global reach.  

So why am I here? – I am here to work with all of you to help us identify, develop and deliver the most meaningfully innovative, comprehensive, and transformative healthcare solutions at a global scale to help patients and families, doctors and nurses, and hospitals and governments meet the healthcare needs of the people they serve.


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