Friday, June 19, 2015

This week in ePharma: Smartphones now test for HIV, detect Flu, and more!

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Shout out to Columbia University and the team of biomedical engineers!

 Did you know that now you can use a smartphone accessory that will test you for HIV and syphilis within 15 minutes? This software apps takes a finger prick of blood and within minutes detects the results. According to the article published on Columbia University website, it has been successfully tested in Rwanda and if mass produced, its manufacturing cost will be around $34, which is significantly lower than the cost of a lab equipment (which is in thousands of dollars.)


Image credit: screenshot
Are you prone to getting seasonal allergies but still desperately trying to avoid it year after year?


This new HEALTHYDAY mobile app by Johnson & Johnson (also in partnership with Tylenol, Zyrtec and others) is taking up the challenge by mapping out potentially "dangerous" neighborhoods with the most concentration of flu, cold, and allergy activity based on search queries made by users on Google, social media mentions, and doctors' alerts, all of whom are location-based. The app's smart algorithm is collecting and combining data and is making predictions towards outbursts of coughs, sneezing or domination of pollen in a neighborhood.










Image courtesy: patientslikeme.org
"Making healthcare better for everyone through sharing, support, and research" is the slogan for PatientsLikeMe - an online community of like-minded individuals concerned about health and healthcare. Everyone is welcome to share their symptoms and discuss possible treatments with other users. But how exactly PatientsLikeMe is going to make healthcare better for everyone? The answer is - by partnering with FDA! The premise is to monitor and regulate drugs based on users' reports after the drugs have been mass-produced. The idea is to have a better understanding of how medical drugs interact with people on a larger scale than the sample taken for clinical trials.


Image courtesy: www.ahaa.org
According to AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic marketing report
Hispanic population is underrepresented in terms of advertising efforts by pharmaceutical companies.
As stated by U.S. Census Bureau the Hispanic population in the United States is 54 million, representing approximately 17% of the U.S. total population. It makes it the nation's largest minority segment. However, this factor doesn't convince pharmaceutical companies to invest in advertising towards Hispanics, and the media ad spend toward this demographic target stays way below the national average.


About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at knewton@iirusa.com 

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