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Six Top Global Pharma Companies Establish New HCP Technology Standards Group


Six of the top 25 largest global pharmaceutical companies announced the formation of Align Biopharma, a new group dedicated to setting technology standards that will make it faster and easier for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to connect with the life sciences industry. Founding members, with input from across the industry, will develop open standards and solutions for companies to streamline how HCPs get the drug and treatment information they need to deliver improved care to patients.


In ophthalmology, Allergan and Novartis, the parent company of Alcon, are members of the group.


“Common industry standards can make it more effective and efficient for life sciences companies and healthcare professionals to connect,” Patrick Retif, VP IT, Global Commercial at Allergan, said in a news release. “Working together can help harmonize digital engagement and information access across the industry and create a better experience for our shared customers.”


The rise of specialty drugs to treat complex diseases is creating a greater need for HCPs to have more timely and tailored information. As the number of new drugs increases so does the amount of information healthcare professionals require to facilitate patient engagement. There is significant potential for biopharmaceutical companies to use digital technology to inform HCPs on new or more complex treatments.


Initially, Align Biopharma will focus on developing two new standards to facilitate seamless digital engagement and simplify the HCP experience:


Identity management – definition of an identification and authentication standard to enable a single sign-on for HCPs to access online content – including websites, portals, virtual events, or webinars – across all companies.


Consent and communication preferences – definition of standards for consent and preference management so that there is consistency in how HCPs specify communication preferences with each company.


“Digital is transforming how life sciences companies and HCPs collaborate and interact,” said Paul Shawah, vice president of commercial cloud strategy at Veeva Systems. “With the proliferation of advanced treatments and digital channels, adhering to industry standards will simplify the challenges doctors face in getting the right information quickly.”

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Pharma Marketers Should Re-evaluate the Use of Social Media in Light of Growing Consumer Mistrust


As pharma gets ready to explore social media, perhaps they should first ask patients/consumers if they want to engage pharma companies via social media as new research indicates that social media has a very low confidence among US adults.


The biggest threat to online health seekers is “trust in information”. There are a lot of sites out there that will automatically cookie users and use those cookies to serve up ads which makes a lot of people uncomfortable.


Can pharma leverage social media to enable patient conversations? The answer is yes, but legal people need to stay away from coffee to allow someone at pharma to talk with patients and the FDA has to better understand what patients want from pharma companies via social media.


In the course of my research I have learned that nothing is more private than a patients’ health. Using social media to engage pharma companies is a very huge step and pharma has to make sure that the step is worth it by adding value in the patient’s eyes, not marketers.


Social media is NOT the answer for pharma at a time when all social media marketing is tanking with stories of false metrics and extremely low organic reach. Social media is part of DTC marketing, but it’s only a very small part of the pie.


Further Reading:

  • “Patients Prefer Easy-to-Find Health Info Over Trusted Health Info”;
  • “Millennials Trust Pharma Social Media, Mobile Apps & Advertising a Hell of a Lot More Than Their Geezer Parents!”;
JEAN PASCAL POISSONNET's curator insight, January 16, 12:27 PM
This sounds like a warning to Pharma industry as to the use of social media. What this article says is that health is not to be merchandised. Patients expect reliable information and long term commitment from Pharma industry to accompany them, not marketing coups. This can be done no doubt through the use of social media if used as true and trustworthy set of dialogue tools. 

Le digital : changement de paradigme pour la communication de l’entreprise | mon Entreprise Digitale


Le digital réforme en profondeur la manière de communiquer pour l'entreprise. Découvrez les nouveaux codes de cette communication « made in digital » !
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Les Hommes et les données sont les clés d'une transformation digitale réussie - Blog du Modérateur


À l'occasion du Hubday Future of Social Media, Emmanuel Vivier, cofondateur du Hub Institute, a dévoilé les tendances digitales qui révolutionneront le mon
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Using Facebook to build Patient loyalty


“You need to build your brand.” “Creating brand loyalty is paramount.”

As a practice, you may not think of yourself as a brand, per se. And all the constant yammering from “experts” about brand building can be overwrought. But the truth is your practice is a brand of sorts. You may be the brand that provides the most available procedures. You may be the brand that provides the most attentive follow-up care for your patients. You may be the brand that is known for rhinoplasty. You may be the source for wisdom teeth removal. Or to your patients you may simply be a brand that they trust and enjoy patronizing.

People may not think of your practice and associate it with a logo, such as a big brand like Coca-Cola, but a practice creates its own brand. And brand loyalty is important to create loyal patients. Here are a few ways to build loyalty to your practice through your Facebook page.

First off — What is brand loyalty?

Every business from hardware stores to plastic surgeons would say their ideal customer is one thing: a loyal one. Brand loyalty is nothing more than a person being partial to one business or product over another.

Before these digital days, brand loyalty grew out of a simple belief in the product. It was pretty much a one-way street. People bought Budweiser over Miller because they liked the flavor, and maybe even the company’s advertising, more than Miller.

Today, customers expect more. They often want something in return from the business or company. One way to engender that give and take is with your practice’s Facebook page. Since we’re all about the digital media world here at Advice Media | MedNet, here are some ways to use your Facebook page to build give and take…and patient loyalty.

How about a rewards program?

Consider creating some sort of rewards program, VIP club, or something similar. This may seem silly — plastic surgery or dermatology or dentistry practices aren’t like Starbucks. You don’t get a free mid-facelift when you buy a tummy tuck and two Botox sessions. But before you go off here, think about it. Maybe it’s a VIP program for those patients who have had X number of procedures. Maybe it’s based on how long they’ve been patients of your practice for a dentist.

Social media is a great way to let this group feel they’re really a part of your practice. You can announce the program on your Facebook page, along with perks that come with it. You can encourage those VIPs to post content to your Facebook page, maybe your blog (for something like a first-person before and after procedure story). You can ask the group if there is a certain new procedure they think you should add to your practice (maybe something like Cellfina or Ultherapy, maybe Invisalign).

It should be exclusive, however — not just anyone gets to be a VIP of your practice. But your recognition of their continued patronage is important to them, and that recognition builds their loyalty. Maybe you give them a free laser skin tightening, maybe free dental whitening. Maybe you have a special wine and cheese party once a quarter. Whatever. Your Facebook page is a great way to promote the possibility of every patient becoming a VIP patient.

Encourage your patients to review your practice

Research shows again and again that up to 90 percent of U.S. consumers read online reviews when making decisions about businesses and products. In the healthcare industry, this is the way potential patients seek to find a level of trust before they’ve even entered the practice.

Encourage your patients to review your practice, whether it’s a formal review on RealSelf, or just talking about something they’ve had done on Facebook. If they’re thrilled with their new nose, have them post a selfie video of it on your Facebook page. And then be sure to interact with the post from the practice side.

Don’t fear a bad review. Most people don’t trust reviews where there is never a negative word; they think the reviews are planted. But if there is a less-than-favorable review, be sure to respond to it and try to fix any issues the patient had. And then ask the patient to post about the final result.

Show them the real you

Doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers have always had a level of mystery to their offices. You can pull back the curtain with your Facebook page. Take photos of staff members doing their jobs, or just being goofy and post them to your page. If you just purchased a new laser for gum contouring, take a picture or video and tell your Facebook followers about it. If your aesthetician paints in her free time, put some of her work up on your page. If you have four dogs, post about them.

The idea is to show your Facebook followers a side of the practice they normally don’t see. That makes them feel more like family, and that keeps them coming back.

10 things for pharma marketers to know about Facebook and Instagram


According to Facebook Health industry manager Danielle Salowski, it's the combination of reach, scale, and engagement that make Facebook and Instagram useful tools for healthcare marketers. Facebook reaches 1.7 billion people around the world per month; on mobile, it reaches more than one billion people every day. Similarly, there are 500 million people using Instagram every month and 300 million each day.

One in every five minutes on mobile is spent on either of the social media platforms, Salowski noted.“When you think about that in context, there's actually a Super Bowl happening every single day on mobile in the U.S.”

It goes without saying that marketers continue to fall over themselves to affiliate themselves with the Facebook juggernaut. There are four million active advertisers on Facebook and 500,000 on Instagram, with 98 of the company's top 100 advertisers using both platforms. While Salowski declined to share specific details about the presence of pharma and healthcare marketers, she said that opportunities for them are numerous, given the six million health-related groups on Facebook that together accommodate 70 million users.

See also: 8 ways for pharma to improve the way it uses Twitter

“We're getting there with pharma brands getting more comfortable on the [Facebook] platform,” Salowski added.

Established about a year ago, Facebook Health is the social-media giant's newest industry team, comprising a mix of experts from pharma, healthcare, and digital media. It is staffed by Facebook veterans across a range of markets, including New York, Washington D.C., and Menlo Park, California.

For pharma marketers hoping to more effectively reach audiences on Facebook and Instagram, Salowski offers the following ten tips from the Facebook health team.


Parents spend 1.3 times more time on Facebook mobile than those who are not parents.

Some drugmakers may think that Facebook is not relevant to their audience, but Salowski said that parents and users over 45 years old are actually quite active on the platform. According to the company's findings, parents spend 1.3 times more time on Facebook mobile than those who are not parents. In addition, Facebook found that 82% of its 45-plus audience said that modern technology allows them to connect with friends and family easily.

“We see new moms using groups a ton. When you think about that life stage, there are obviously lots of questions you have. You want to create a community to get answers,” Salowski explained. “We also see a lot of groups for caregivers. They have a loved one who's suffering from a certain condition and the groups become a way for them to vent.”


With a common advertising infrastructure, advertisers only need to create a single ad for Facebook and Instagram deployment. Photo credit: Franklin Heijnen/Creative Commons

As part of its effort to be marketer-friendly, Facebook has a common advertising infrastructure across all of the company's products. This means that advertisers only need to create a single ad for Facebook and Instagram deployment.

“All the technology, targeting, and measurements live in one portal, so it's really easy for advertisers to start using Facebook for mass global reach across variants and different products,” Salowski said.

Of course, advertisers with more flexibility can choose to tailor their ads to provide custom content for each platform.“For pharma, sometimes it can be so hard to just get that one asset approved, they may want to use that across both platforms,” Salowski continued. “What we want the brands to do is experiment, because there's not a one-size-fits-all.”


Since both Facebook and Instagram are feed-based products, all advertising is integrated in the user's feed. There are no pop-ups or interstitials.

“When you think back in the day, people used to have really personal relationships with their physician and pharmacist. We got a little away from that, but we believe that Facebook can help bring that back and help pharma reconnect with people one-on-one,” said Salowski.


At a basic level, Facebook can target users by age, gender, and device, but it can target by specific interests and locations as well. “We built an interest graph where we can target people based on things they're interested in, people they follow, and pages they like,” explained Salowski. “It's not just mass marketing being bought on television. Our targeting can get to the root of more about your patient than just age and gender.”


Building a branded page provides drugmakers with a vessel for their media content and allows them to leverage Facebook advertising's capabilities. At the same time, It can serve as a tool for drugmakers to drive business outcomes.

“Our goal is to work as a partner with [pharma companies] every step of the way and get from asset creation to talking about content strategy and helping them navigate med/legal review,” said Salowski. She points to Allergan's Facebook page for immunosuppressive agent Retasis as an example of a branded page done well.


AstraZeneca's Save Your Breath community for patients suffering from COPD has nearly 100,000 members.  

“We've seen some brands build unbranded communities off their Facebook pages that become safe places for people to come together and connect,” said Salowski. “It's more about the condition they're suffering from.It's never actually about the drug.” To that end, AstraZeneca's Save Your Breath community for patients suffering from COPD has nearly 100,000 members.  


Bayer was the first pharmaceutical company to test Facebook's scrolling ISI capability within the newsfeed. The drugmaker is using the ISI capability on an ad for its bluetooth-enabled auto-injector Betaconnect. The ad includes a click-to-call feature that directs users to Bayer's nurse call center.

While not a new ad product, Facebook's scrolling ISI allows advertisers to layer text on existing Facebook ad units. Drugmakers can stitch together a static or video ad with a scrolling video of all the text in the ISI.


Drugmakers have the option to disable comments on Facebook pages to avoid adverse event reporting. It's a change the company made with pharma in mind, Salowski noted.“There are clear ways to contact the brand that we feature. But if the user has a question or wants to connect with the company,  they can do that through the page.”


A video for GSK's meningitis campaign garnered more than 63,000 views and nearly 2,000 likes to date.

More than 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day, and pharma advertisers who have brought their videos onto the platform have seen good results, said Salowski. In September, GlaxoSmithKline ran a campaign on Facebook to raise awareness of meningitis. One of its videos for the campaign garnered more than 63,000 views and nearly 2,000 likes to date.

Drugmakers such as Pfizer are also starting to experiment with Facebook's more immersive products such as Canvas, which combines text, links, images, and videos for a full-screen mobile advertising experience. “Canvas is a product where you can activate sight, sound, and motion to take over the entire screen,” said Facebook Health's Sachin Nanavati at Digital Pharma East in Philadelphia in October. “The average dwell time on Facebook Canvas ads is 31 seconds.”

And there's also Facebook Carousel, which allows users to scroll across several images and integrate video. “It's a good opportunity to tell a story on mobile,” said Nanavati.

"Canvas and Carousel ads are appealing because of the opportunity that additional screen space provides to display the appropriate balance of information related to our medicines and their ability to engage and inform consumers in an interactive way," said Julie Thaler, Pfizer's director of digital strategy and data innovation, in a statement. 


There are two different purposes for each platform, said Salowski. Facebook is about content discovery, while Instagram is a platform for inspiration.

“When I go on Instagram, I'm following fashion designers, beauty artists, and fitness stars – those are the people who inspire me in my life,” she explained. “You're going to Facebook to seek information. You might want news or you might want to see what your friends are up to. When you think about that from a brand perspective, brands can have it all on both, especially if you're demanding mobile first.”

Closing the digital gap in pharma | McKinsey & Company


New research on the digital maturity of pharma, relative to other industries, reveals clear opportunities to improve performance by better connecting digitally with patients and physicians.

Top Pharma Companies on Facebook


Back in August, 2011, Facebook opened up comments on ALL pharma pages, which meant that the pharmaceutical industry no longer was able to shut off comments on their product-related pages. Consequently, several companies decided to shut down their pages (read, for example, "Pharma Facebook Pages Being Phased Out" and "Janssen to Shut Down Psoriasis 360 FaceBook Page").


These days Facebook offers new opportunities and tools for the pharmaceutical industry to do promotions such as disease awareness campaigns (e.g., "Novartis, Queen Latifah, & American Heart Association Team Up on Facebook Live Broadcast") and ads that comply with FDA regulations (e.g. "Bayer's Betaseron Facebook Ad Uses a New Feature: Scrolling ISI" and "Will Drug Ads "Like" Facebook?").


Meanwhile, many top pharmaceutical companies have corporate Facebook pages. The following Slidehsare presentation is an analysis and review of Big Pharma Facebook pages. View the presentation here.


Further reading:

GSK and MIT Team Up to Test Flumoji - an Android App That May Provide RWE in Clinical Trials


Flumoji is your health wizard. Tell it how you feel and it will magically learn how to help protect you from Flu and other ailments.

This MIT study is designed to help increase awareness of the spread of flu and flu-like symptoms and educate you on how to reduce the risk of -- and help prevent -- flu infection. Your data along with other users of the app could potentially improve overall health outcomes in the general population.


Flumoji is being tested by MIT and GSK to see if it can speed up identification of flu outbreaks.


“Real-time tracking of seasonal flu outbreaks is key,” says GSK on Facebook. “However, researchers have yet to find a tracking mechanism that’s fast and reliable enough to support testing of potential #flu treatments in clinical trials.”

rob halkes's curator insight, January 12, 9:15 AM

RWE (real world evidence) and RWD (-data) bear the promise that we find context conditions and personal factores needed for #precisionmedicine ! It takes more to "tango" however, so it is good to see how initial collaborations begin to find ground!

Infographic: Can Pharma Stuff EHRs with Coupon Offers, Free Samples & Other Stuff Doctors Say They Want?


Physicians do not like EHRs. That much is clear. But the vast majority have to use electronic record systems on a daily basis. What can pharma do to better give doctors what they want?

rob halkes's curator insight, January 12, 9:22 AM

There's more to the question whether #pharma can give doctors what they want: to begin with, wouldn't it be good to discuss what goods are necessary.. Doctors would learn that it takes more to tango.. Pharma would learn that docotors have good idea for value added services :-)

Novo Nordisk Glooko To Jointly Offer Digital Health Solutions For Diabetics


Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is working with Silicon Valley startup Glooko in launching jointly-developed and branded digita
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What does social media listening actually tell us?


There is a wealth of wisdom to be garnered from listening and pharma social media teams should be encouraged to undertake the exercise.
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Patient Reported Outcomes Can Predict & Curb Non-Adherence


On average, it is estimated that over 50% of patients eventually abandon their treatment. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) could facilitate efforts to reduce these figures. Defined as any data coming directly from patients about how they feel or function in relation to a health condition or its treatment – with no clinician interpretation to remove the patient ‘voice,’ PROs could help health organisations better optimise their ability to deliver high quality care to each individual who needs it. When patients do not take their medication as intended, patients do not meet their therapeutic goals, biopharmaceutical companies cannot maximise their commercial potential, and payers are burdened with increasing healthcare costs.


With the transformation from a provider-dominated market to one where the patient is central, there is an increasing emphasis on subjective, rather than objective, patient outcomes. Therapies need to better reflect patient needs if drug developers and healthcare providers hope to align with the reward-for-outcomes that payers insist upon and might place a premium on. PROs are proving to be a great source for insights on patient needs and thus potentially reveal effective solutions to curbing non-persistence with medication. PROs provide information on health, including symptom status, physical function, social function, and wellbeing as reported by the patient.


Today, data analytics have advanced to the point that PRO data can be used to predict which patients have a relatively high risk for non-adherence.

Industrie pharmaceutique: 2017 sera-t-elle une année record en fusions et acquisitions ?


La pression sur les prix, la difficulté pour les big pharmas de créer de l
Plançon Isabelle's curator insight, January 11, 9:32 AM
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#DIABT1 : soirée consacrée au digital dans le diabète de type 1 - Pharmageek


Une soirée pour échanger sur le diabète de type 1 et sur ce que le digital peut améliorer dans la prise en charge de la maladie.
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Pfizer creates app for patients with depression


Brand: Pristiq

Owner: Pfizer

Duration: September 2016, ongoing

There are more than 165,000 health apps, according to a 2015 IMS Health report. Of the th
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Pfizer Shuns “Next Shiny Thing” When Developing Mobile Health Apps


NYC-based pharma company Pfizer currently has 15 apps in the US iOS app store, ranging from a chapstick companion app to an app for people with kidney cancer. At the HIMSS Connected Health Summit in National Harbor, Maryland, Pfizer executives talked about two of the company's apps and their broader strategy for developing mobile health interventions.


"We recognize that the data shows patients expect meaningful digital solutions from us, and it is our obligation to deliver that," Judy Sewards, vice president of data and digital innovations, said. "When we think about it at Pfizer, we’re not thinking about what's the next shiny thing, or what's the next widget or what everyone else is doing, but looking through the lens of our patients as people."


For instance, Pfizer's app for smoking cessation, called Quitter's Circle, was developed in partnership with the American Lung Association. Dennis Hancock, Pfizer VP of global commercial solutions, said all the features of that app were driven by insights into the quitting process.


"It would be really easy to talk about buzzwords -- telemedicine, crowdfunding," he said. "While they’re important features to the app, they had to be driven by insights into what the smoker would find useful. I don’t think chasing features is a really good idea in the mHealth space. Let’s start with insights to know what people want and overcome those barriers using the best tools available."


Further Reading:

  • “Pfizer Joins the #Pharma Digital Accelerator Club: Offers $250,000 in Prize Funding for Metastatic Breast Cancer “Disruptive” Technology!”;
  • “Pfizer and IBM Join the Parkinson's Disease ‘Internet Of Things’ Club”;
Dove Nobel's comment, January 6, 9:32 AM
JEAN PASCAL POISSONNET's curator insight, January 7, 11:52 AM
Put the patient at the center of R and D regarding ways of developing mobile apps and involve health pros in the process : 2 golden rules applied by Pfizer, in order to market apps with true added value. 

Johnson & Johnson, Rest Devices team up to launch connected sleep coaching system for babies


Boston-based Rest Devices has announced a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson to develop a smart, personalized sleep coaching system for babies (and their parents, hovering over their crib with a smartphone). The offering, which consists of a wearable baby monitor called Mimo and a companion app called Nod, was announced during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

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Pharma adopts data-science culture in move toward AI


To whom does pharma turn when facing cutting-edge research challenges such as designing algorithms to comb unstructured EHR data hunting for undiagnosed pa
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The battle for the best pharmaceutical marketing practices has begun. And the big guns are now digital pharma marketing gadgets. Social media has slowly but surely bought its place in the pharma marketing budgets, reducing traditional marketing budgets.

Channel mixes are now placing use of digital tools, devices and analytics support systems as the next strategic advantage and area of development. Multichannel marketing in pharma therefore is in vogue. In the US on digital marketing spending by pharmaceutical industries is in billions.

Many trends are shaping this change. The stakeholders of the healthcare industry are evolving and continue to expand their roles both within and outside of their domains. With the rising healthcare costs, the need to develop virtual solutions is also becoming eminent. Furthermore, the customer directions are changing. Physicians are not just passive recipients of information, but now seek active engagement and input from pharma companies to ensure they provide the best care to patients.

The patients themselves are becoming aware and active regarding their health decisions. This again creates a new channel of consumer engagement for pharma, which can only be successfully attained with the help of social media.

It is important to understand the magnitude of growth of social media overall to perceive the kind of benefits pharmaceutical marketing can obtain using this medium. Social media has become the key source of health seeking information for patients. Around 34% of Americans regularly use social media for this purpose. Twitter became a popular means to send information among physicians. It has now become a common ground for physicians to share information and ideas. Finally, the same has become an effective medium for patient education and connection by health policy makers and providers. The social media therefore is the new front to engage both physicians and patients.

Pharma marketing strategies therefore need to infuse digital media as a key ingredient in their efforts to drive optimum results.

Dove Nobel's comment, January 6, 9:32 AM
JEAN PASCAL POISSONNET's curator insight, January 7, 11:41 AM
Social media will become the heart of marketing for Pharma companies. This is a chance to create a true cooperative ecosystem where industry, health profesionals and patients have a chance to interact. Though in Europe, the relationship between health pros and industry is more and more regulated, this is still a chance to reinvent such relationships and a way out sterile conflicts of interest.

Moving Beyond the Pill in the Healthcare Sector - eMarketer


Mobile is encouraging healthy behavior

Pharmaceutical manufacturers, payers and healthcare providers (HCPs)—as well as a host of tech-focused newcomers—are exploring digital programs that complement standard therapies and hold promise to keep patients healthier and produce better outcomes. Known as “beyond-the-pill” or “around-the-pill” services, they have been a long time coming, and may finally be gaining traction, according to a new eMarketer report,“US Healthcare Beyond the Pill: Digital Tech and New Partnerships Bring New Life to the Industry” (eMarketer PRO customers only).
























For the past several years, healthcare and pharma firms have been trying, with mixed success, to step up their beyond-the-pill programs. Early efforts included basic informational websites and simple apps designed to provide information about medical conditions and therapies.

“When the pharma industry first moved into digital technology, it was primarily in the marketing space, leveraging things like websites or HCP portals to share product information and to educate,” said Amy Landucci, head of digital medicine at Novartis. “But in the last three years, we’ve seen a pretty big shift away from just doing digital marketing—though it’s still very important—to looking at how technology can help enhance patient outcomes.”

Today’s beyond-the-pill solutions can collect, monitor and analyze health-related information, track patient activity, improve medication adherence, provide personalized decision support, predict medical crises and streamline medical care using a variety of advanced computing techniques. Mobile technology, the IoT and AI are three of the technologies making this possible.

Read one here




rob halkes's curator insight, January 7, 9:33 AM

Pharma started about thinking in terms of servicing health care "beyond the pill" in about 2000. Today developments have been increased by ideas of 'integrated care' and "precision medicine" the latest concept indicates fine tuning of medications to personal physical and genome conditions. Diagnostics are all in the game, that is. But a study in which I participated [ ] made clear that development and creation is one, servicing and delivering is two. Partnerships for example are unavoidable is one in in the game for sustainable business.