Thursday, October 20, 2016

More HCPs Opting for Digital Technology During Clinical Trials

Pin It Now!

Would you be surprised to learn that sixty-four percent of clinical trial executives have used digital technology in their research and ninety-seventy plan on doing so? Perhaps not.

The question may no longer be, 'how comfortable health care professionals feel with using technological advancements to better assist with their research and development' but where are we headed and how will the demand for innovation impact big pharma?

According to a new survey conducted by Validic, of 166 executives at pharma and biotech companies, contract research organizations, and others in the clinical trial space.

"The use of digital health technologies and patient-generated health data is becoming a proven necessity to the operational efficiency and patient-centricity of the pharmaceutical industry," said Validic CEO and Co-Founder Drew Schiller who spoke at the DPharm Disruptive Innovations US in Boston. "This remotely-collected data has the potential to reduce patient burden allowing for more passive engagement and data collection, while also improving the accuracy of data patients contribute during and after trials," Schiller adds.

The survey also found that 33 percent of respondents had used wearable activity trackers, 36 percent had used sensors, 45 percent had used in-home clinical grade medical diagnostic devices and 47 percent had used apps. And of these apps and devices, more than half of the respondents indicated that they planned on using them in the future.

As part of their study, Validic also asked HCPs and pharma companies about their business cases for using digital technologies. Seventy-three percent noted that digital technology "helped to demonstrate the real-worl value of an intervention. Sixty-eight percent were motivated by the costs they were able to reduce while conducting trials and 68 percent interested in increasing patient centricity.

For the complete eBook and more on this case study, please visit Validic.

*(This survey summary first appeared on Mobile Health News)* 

Related Articles:
Six Pharma Innovations Pharma Marketers Should Be Aware Of
The Science Behind X-Ray Imagine
Four Consumer Trends Impacting the Healthcare Market
Big Pharma Talks Pay and Patient Engagement at PSA 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Big Pharma talks Payer and Patient Engagement at PSA 2016

Pin It Now!

On September 28-30th, during the course of our annual three-day Pharmaceutical Strategy Conference (PSA) conference, over 120 biopharma’s top strategists gathered at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, in New York City, to partake in meaningful discussions on the industry’s latest trends in deal-making, innovation, R&D, commercial and reimbursement strategies. Most importantly, the group of HCPs and industry experts joined for an honest dialog on the current relationship between the pharma companies, payers and patients.

The roaster of experts were representatives from companies including Pfizer, McKinsey & Company, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, GSK, Astellas, Merck, Purdue Pharma, Huron Consulting, PwC, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Aetna, just to name a few.

Here were some of the important points on the best practices of audience engagement and building lasting relationships that were captured during the course of the event:

What does value mean in today’s environment?
  • Listen carefully to your customers and sales professionals; 
  • Establish connectivity with your customers and people within your organization; 
  • Patients question your values every day. As a pharma expert, you need to communicate your values in such a way that they align with the values of the patients.

When I get up early in the morning I think to myself, ‘What would the patients say if they in the same room with me?’ - Deborah Waterhouse, GSK

How much is the patient deciding which medications he or she is going to take and essentially pay for?

  • The payer is the king, but… 
  • The healthcare professional should be the one to decide which medicine is right. 
  • The main player should be the healthcare professional. So when the company [GSK] is having an interaction with a healthcare professional, we know it is based on the scientific knowledge of the physician.

    “There are a lot of unmet needs in the primary care market, and to be successful you need to be aggressive in identifying those needs.” - Jon Kaiser, K-PAX Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

On the best way to engage the primary care community:
  • Your patients and payers are on digital and social platforms, are you? 
  • There are apps that allow you to align with physicians, and tech platforms that allows you to evolve from the traditional marketing. 
  • How do you train people [sales professionals] differently to provide a personalized experience? • Know what they value and what their incentives are. 
  • What new drugs are coming into market? Engage the payer in this conversation as early as possible

“We try to look at the problem through a lens of the patient,” Walt Johnston, Astellas

 What’s the right way to engage a patient in today’s environment?
  • Think about what patients need in different stages of his or her illness. Social listening helps with looking at the words people use in different stages. You need to speak the patients’ language and provide them with what they need.
  • Consumer activation -- partnering with patients and consumers and bringing them into the conversation makes a difference. 
  • Provide direct consumer advertising that provides an educating point of view; 
  • Support the patient with information on their condition and/or diseases once they get on the treatment; 
  • Work closely with patient advocacy organizations. It was suggested that the FDA likes to see both the science of physicians and the patients behind the treatments to feel more secure and that they can trust the treatment. Therefore, it is very important to incorporate the patients’ voice.

Lastly, on pharma reputation:
  • It’s the biggest challenge; 
  • How are we perceived in terms of trust? 
  •  Pricing is the largest issue and the most visible issue pushing companies to take on the Responsible Pricing approach as the strategy.

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Content Manager at Knect365, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, content marketing and marketing analysis. She can be reached at or @Ksenia_Newton

Friday, October 14, 2016

Four Consumer Trends Impacting the Healthcare Market

Pin It Now!
Technological advancements has not only aided innovation in medicine, but has also made more consumers knowledgeable about their options in the healthcare market --- giving consumers more control in the decision making process.

The Healthcare Financial Management Association recently published their second report, of a series of four, called 'Health Care 2020'. In that report, according to the Becker's Hospital Review, HFMA discusses "the increasing impact of consumerism on healthcare business trends and recommends guidance for industry stakeholders looking toward value-based care."

[Healthcare] consumerism is defined by the HFMA as "a trend that reflects the growing importance of consumer choice in the healthcare marketplace.

As for what those trends are? Here are four key factors and trends impacting the healthcare market:

1. Consumer choice and population health: Consumers expect transparency and choice in their healthcare experience.

2. Health ownership: Increased cost-sharing under high-deductible health plans encourages consumers to consciously direct and control their healthcare spending.

3. Consumer insights: As healthcare organizations refocus delivery efforts to meet consumer expectations, healthcare leaders need to understand and target the unique preferences of their particular demographic populations.

4. Quality feedback: To adopt new consumer-driven strategies, hospitals need ways to gather and analyze patient feedback

For a more detailed analysis of the four consumer trends impacting the healthcare industry, you may visit the Becker's Health Report.

Related Articles:

The Science Behind X-Ray Imaging -

Six Pharma Innovations Pharma Marketers Should Be Aware of -

How to Develop a Nose for Innovation -

Do Efforts to Expand Digitally in Healthcare Compromise Patients' Confidentiality? -

Want to stay atop industry trends? Subscribe to our newsletter for free content and more to come:

SUBSCRIBE >>> ePharmaBlog Newsletter

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Science Behind X-Ray Imaging

Pin It Now!

X-rays are a kind of electromagnetic radiation. This is typically produced within a vacuum tube where a high voltage excites the electrons released by a hot cathode. This radiation has enough energy to shift electrons from atoms to produce observable ions. When X-rays strike an object, some X-rays will be absorbed and some reflected, depending on the density of the object. Those that are reflected can be captured as an image on a photographic plate or detector.

How X-ray Imaging Works

The concentration of calcium in our bones absorbs more radiation. X-rays can form a good picture of existing skeletal structures. The X-ray absorbing bones show up as lighter patterns while the softer tissue allows X-rays to pass through and show up as darker tones. Modern X-rays are normally taken by placing a body part (such as an injured arm or leg) in front of an X-ray detector and subjecting it to a short burst of X-rays; the process takes about 1/50th of a second. X-rays can also be taken of the lungs where trapped gases absorb less radiation than the surrounding tissue. They are also used in dentistry where the teeth absorb X-rays.

Other Techniques

X-rays can also be used for soft-tissue comparison in diagnosing such conditions as lung disease. However, they are not of much use in investigating homogenous tissues such as muscles or the brain. Sometimes denser materials such as iodine may be injected into the body to better absorb and visualize X-rays.

Computed tomography (CT) allows for a more three-dimensional view by automated assembly of "slices" taken via a series of cross-directional X-rays.

Fluoroscopy is another technique which allows radiologists to take a series of moving by placing the patient between a source of X-rays and a fluorescent screen. Modern fluoroscopes can display and store these images via an image-intensifier and digital camera.

History of X-ray Use

Before the late 1800s, physicians had to rely on stethoscopes to diagnose the lungs and the sense of touch to diagnose bone fractures. X-rays and their use in imaging was discovered not by medical researchers, but by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen. At first X-ray imaging was a mere side-show attraction, but the technology was soon adopted by the medical community and spread around the world.

Photographic plates of the time required 15 minutes of exposure. Since over-powered X-ray sources or prolonged exposures to radiation could lead to medical conditions such as cancer and even burns, many people remained skeptical. When these problems became widespread, steps were taken to study and establish safe dosages, and methods implemented to ensure radiologists were properly trained. Today, less than one-half of one percent of cancers are caused by radiographic imaging.

Medical Imaging

In 2015, it's estimated that there were about 183 million X-ray images taken. The number continues to climb as our population ages and medical treatment and monitoring of conditions become prevalent and for longer periods of time. When combined with other imaging techniques such as MRIs or sonograms, the accumulation of digital images in any one patient history can be overwhelming, especially for those suffering from bone-related disorders such as osteoporosis and arthritis. The medical community has thus developed such solutions as the radiology information systems. This is an imaging technology were X-rays, and essentially any image or document of medical concern, can be archived in a standard format with a standardized interface that allows them to be shared and accessed by a wide range of computerized systems.

X-ray technology has become a standard and crucial tool for diagnosing a wide range of medical and dental problems. As the number of patients and their medical images accumulate, we fortunately find that there are systems in place that allow efficient storage and retrieval of these images. A physician can share X-rays with specialists all over the world for diagnosing and treating special problems, which means better healthcare for everyone.