Translational medicine works through the definition of unmet medical needs, their understanding and final resolution. In this complex and multi-disciplinary process patients have always been regarded as `end-users` or no more than `data provider`. Considering that the translational practice is nowadays highly inefficient (i.e., large intellectual and economical resources are wasted with limited impact on people health) here we propose to reverse the process: start from patients, engage them and keep them at the center. A new partnership needs to be formed between the patients and the health care professionals, as well as the treating physicians, to make the most out of the current `health resources`.
New patient-centric approaches are emerging but they remain isolated phenomena often difficult to implement. Here - with this perspective - we aim at thinking differently and learning from new experiences. We will discuss new approaches to create a radical change in the way translational medicine is managed and how this change would significantly impact people health and health care systems.