The slivers of the federal budget that go toward innovation are drops in a very big bucket. “We like to think of ourselves as an innovation nation,” writes Alex Tabarrok in The Atlantic, “but our government is a warfare-welfare state.”
What this implies is that although we did see more investment, the funding is becoming more concentrated. By taking financing series/rounds into account, we know that the concentration is heading into later stage companies. There are two likely reasons for this. First, VCs are very conscious of capital constraints in a volatile macro environment and want portfolio companies to weather the next storm if need be. Second, later stage assets in biotech require larger amounts of funding. With LPs demanding closer time horizons for an exit, these companies may have a better chance receiving additional rounds vs. discovery start-ups (without an asset) seeking a first round.
This discussion focusses on recent news, with the NHS deciding to allow companies - including the pharma industry - more access to health records. Later, the conversation turns to the future of the pharma industry and the possiblities for healthcare.
Rebecca Aris interviews Alex Butler The Social Moon We’ve heard from quite a few folks now from both within pharma and those more visible driving change on the outside. This week we’re lucky enough to catch up with someone who has spanned both camps in the last few weeks as he makes the move into the service sector off the back of a successful career with pharma giant Johnson & Johnson. Alex Butler is an extremely well-known figure when it comes to digital pharma, being a regular speaker at conferences and one of the more outspoken pharma folks when it comes to actually personally using social media channels such as Twitter. During his time with Johnson & Johnson he has directly led the development of initiatives such as Psoriasis 360, which won three categories at the recent PM Society Digital Media Awards, so he can certainly practice what he preaches. During our discussion, Alex talks about how his focus beyond pharma, on the broader world of technology and communications and how this affects society, gives him a slightly different perspective on what the industry should be doing to drive better healthcare delivery. He also talks about his personal experience with digital projects, key lessons learned and who else he sees as drivers of change. Critically, Alex provides a perspective on how it’s not all about Facebook and Twitter, but a more cohesive approach to collaboration and online engagement, which involves the use of novel technology from beyond our sphere of comfort.For the supporting article and to add your comments, please visit: http://www.pharmaphorum.com/2011/10/19/social-pharma-faces-alex-butler/
Over the last several months, I’ve met with government leaders, executives from payers, providers, life sciences, pharmaceutical and many other types of organizations (including professional sports orgs) all interested in the transformation underway in the healthcare industry. Many have shared their frustrations and aspirations and commented about the fundamental shift happening to them, their patients (dare we say consumers), and partners in this very complex ecosystem. Without question, they are asking for answers to the ever increasing costs that have only yielded incremental improvements in better healthcare outcomes. They're asking how do we, as leaders, influencers and buyers of healthcare, do a better job of focusing on acute care, wellness and prevention to improve the health of our communities and overall population. They also want to support a fair and balanced reimbursement that thoughtfully considers quality metrics, not just volume of care.
Let's face it, there is global consensus that over the past decade healthcare systems around the world -- public or private, local or national -- have become unsustainable. Runaway costs and commitments, aging populations, and outdated business models have created a series of unwieldy and uncoordinated healthcare systems that in some cases, threaten to undermine entire economies. Governments and industry are taking this seriously and making hard choices in an attempt to reign in the economic impact of an industry looking to redefine value and consequently success.
We don't know yet what this transformation will ultimately look like and the changes will likely continue for many years, even decades to come. But some of the defining characteristics of this new industry have already begun to take shape. We're seeing payers – from governments to employers to individual consumers – challenging the existing system in search of more healthcare value. There is a blurring of the boundaries between payers and providers. Health and wellness centers are coming to the people in places like grocery stores and pharmacies, not just traditional care locations. And, perhaps most significantly, a fundamental shift away from the volume-based, fee-for-service model that has dominated the healthcare industry for decades is underway in favor of, a more performance-based, outcomes-driven approach. On top of that, in the US the numbers of physicians and hospital systems using an EMR has doubled over the past two years.
I think we are seeing progress. Yet, we all agree more can be done.
These changes are the foundation of a more purposeful and integrated system soon to emerge. These changes are also encouraging healthcare organizations across the ecosystem to reconsider their business models, restructure their operations, and redefine the definition of value and success for themselves, consumers, patients and the many stakeholders of this rapidly changing industry. For these organizations to continue to improve in this dynamic environment they will require new skills that increase agility, improve efficiency, and pave the way for transformation. It's a grand challenge.
I’m personally energized by these conversations. It is an important moment in time. We at IBM thrive on grand challenges. As we work with our clients to innovate and think through these new competencies, I look forward to sharing with you what we are learning. I hope you will do the same. We are on a collective journey, a journey that will not only have impact today, but leave a legacy for those that come tomorrow. Let's work together to build Smarter Healthcare!
Join us in the dialogue as we work to help redefine value and success in healthcare and life sciences! It is an exciting time.
One of the things we did right from the beginning is surround ourselves with experienced, successful people. We proactively went out and got the best and the brightest involved early and this provides both credibility and, most importantly, guidance, as we move the company forward. Finally, just you have to be out there selling all the time so every person you meet and every conversation you have, that person could be a potential investor. You have to communicate what you are doing, the opportunity, and see how they respond. Fund raising, at the end of the day, is about finding the right person with the right story at the right time. You have to talk to lots of people to do that.
Citing the same source as everybody else I come to a very different conclusion. Using the recently released NVCA/MoneyTree data (where you can see and play with the spreadsheet yourself), I graphed a couple of the long term trends from the funding data on the “First Sequence by Industry” tab (where Ryan got his 153 startups number).
We need to remove our pessimistic lenses because over time everyone, including LPs, have started to believe there’s a major crisis in the startup biotech world. The data are what they are, and while its tough, they don’t cry out that biotechs are hurting, shriveling, or suffering immensely. There’s an ecosystem here that works: it funds ~100 new startups a year, not a bad pace of venture formation.
Don’t get me wrong, its a tough environment for biotech startups. And it might be abit tougher than in 2007 or 2000. But is it as tough as 2003, 1998, or 1995? I don’t know, but those were tough times. But tough is the nature of any startup in the venture ecosystem. Fundraising has never been easy. Its entrepreneurial capitalism. Lets get on with it.
The Nike+ FuelBand is designed for anyone who wants to be more active. It measures your daily activity and turns it all into NikeFuel. So you can set a goal ...
The device provides readouts right on its face, but can also wirelessly transmit gathered data to an iPhone app or a computer via a built-in USB plug. Users can then do a more comprehensive review of what they’ve been up to and can adjust their activities accordingly.
From the announcement:
Designed to be worn throughout the day, the ergonomic, user-friendly NIKE+ FuelBand uses accelerometry to provide information about different activities through movement of the wrist via a LED dot matrix display. Four metrics are available: Time, Calories, Steps and NikeFuel. Unlike calorie counts, which vary based on someone’s gender and body type, NikeFuel is a normalized score that awards equal points for the same activity regardless of physical makeup.
Users set a daily goal of how active they want to be, and how much NikeFuel they want to achieve. The NIKE+ FuelBand displays a series of 20 LED lights that go from red-to-green as the user gets closer to their goal. The FuelBand syncs with the Nike+ website through a built-in USB, or wirelessly through Bluetooth to a free iPhone app, to record activity and track progress every day. The app interface also provides encouragement and motivation as goals are achieved.
"It's a disturbing irony: In an industry whose entire economic value is founded on its ability to innovate, why is there so much discomfort with the risk required for innovation. Where did the courage to innovate go? ... And yet despite the fact that pharma cannot continue to flourish without knowledge-based innovation, it has been measurably among the worst industries in applying the new power of knowledge dexterity to its innovation business. Indeed, rather than being energized by the possibilities and promise of Speed of Change, the industry seems to have been paralyzed by it."
We’ve all read something along these lines before: “Company X announces new internal social network with gamification features”. With big names such as Samsung and Salesforce using this technology, there is clearly value to be had in having these gamified social networks. Inclusion of badges, points, and leaderboards all lead to increased user engagement but what happens when you take away these features from the network?
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