Innovation in a digital context is not just about technology – it’s still about people

Every business is now a digital business to some extent, based upon the degree to which it uses digital media to communicate with its customers and stakeholders. As digital technologies continue to integrate with and transform our lives, it’s business-critical for healthcare communications to evolve in step. The need for innovative digital products, campaigns and experiences to serve patients won’t stop growing – yet the skills to do so are not native to all businesses. Digital technology, if it’s to be engaged with, insists that the customer should be at the centre of everything we do. That we should be driven by data, perspectives, behaviours and experiences rather than instinct. Innovation in a digital context is not about technology. It’s about people. This is at the heart of innovation for patients as well as for healthcare professionals. Fundamentally, this is what drives our business. True patient- centricity means meeting – and exceeding – the digital … [Read more...]

The new world of association congresses

These past few months have shown us that the world we live in has changed almost overnight. While the environment in which businesses can engage their communities is being disrupted, the customer and external audience needs remain constant. The medical congress world is no exception to this. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) still need to continue to support patients and engage with peers during the coronavirus pandemic. And medical and association-led congresses are a chance to share insights, data and showcase scientific breakthroughs. They are an opportunity for the healthcare industry to connect and engage with thought leaders and patient advocacy groups, and most importantly to highlight scientific progress. However, these key face-to-face events and activities are now facing a new paradigm. The question remains: how can these key calendar milestones continue to engage attendees in a new world. Reimagining the rules of engagement We all know that … [Read more...]

Landmark IT deal will provide access to digital tools and save hundreds of millions of pounds for the NHS

An agreement struck between NHSX, NHS Digital and Microsoft will save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds and enable all eligible organisations in England to access Microsoft 365 digital tools. The agreement guarantees significant cost savings for both individual NHS organisations and the NHS as a whole. It will improve productivity, enhance collaboration and strengthen cyber security across healthcare services.  As part of the agreement, Microsoft 365 will be deployed to as many as 1.2 million staff across NHS organisations, including Trusts, CCGs, and health Informatics Services, creating a truly joined up NHS. Staff will be able to communicate more effectively and will have access to the information, applications and services they need, reducing the administrative burden on staff and improving patient safety. It secures access to a variety of Microsoft applications, building on an agreement first announced in April 2018 that enabled NHS organisations to use … [Read more...]

Mayo Clinic launches AI study to investigate how COVID-19 attacks the heart

A collaboration between Ultromics, a specialist AI system to support clinicians in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to quantify cardiac involvement in COVID-19 and help triage high-risk patients with myocardial injury. The research team is applying the artificial intelligence system to map how the COVID-19 virus attacks the heart, in response to findings that the disease impacts one in ten victims with heart disease and also significantly weakens the hearts of other sufferers. The UK based company will work with the Minnesota based centre of cardiology to explore and analyse echocardiograms of COVID-19 victims. The research team will be looking for clues about how the virus affects the human cardiovascular system and will produce a map of the cardiac features of COVID-19. The Mayo Clinic will assist Ultromics in the development of the image analysis application programme that automates the analysis on echocardiograms. The … [Read more...]

Key emerging trends in digital health

Digital health is an innovative, ever-changing area in healthcare. With the potential to ease the demand on overstretched healthcare systems across the world, while simultaneously offering patients the opportunity to control their own disease management, digital health offers an opportunity to improve healthcare for patients while helping doctors to be more efficient.                                         From the ever-increasing availability of new apps aiming to help the management of chronic disease to the increasing popularity of video doctor appointments, digital technologies offer improved accessibility and ease of use for patients. As digital health continues to become increasingly important for the healthcare sector, we take a look at four key trends. There’s an app for that: how … [Read more...]

Current and future trends for developing digital medical communications

Evolving digital trends and user needs Most if not all medical communications companies now see digital delivery as a must-have in their armamentarium, and we are all at pains to highlight the capabilities we have and make sure the words ‘digital’ and ‘innovation’ are liberally scattered throughout pitches and proposals. Like any communication tactic, however, we have to ensure that digital products are helping us say the right thing in the right way at the right time to ensure our healthcare audiences, whether they are HCPs or patients, can fully utilise these products to help them prevent and manage illnesses and health risks. That, in turn, means understanding and meeting the rapidly evolving and diversifying needs of these audiences. For example, given that 50% of all internet usage is now via mobile devices and 50% of all mobile content is video, any online piece would be facing an uphill battle to have reach and impact if neither were covered. Likewise, there is … [Read more...]

J&J says COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in early 2021

Also receives US federal backing to increase manufacturing for the shot Johnson and Johnson has joined the ranks of groups developing vaccines for the new coronavirus, saying it will start clinical trials of its lead candidate in September. Batches of the vaccine could be approved for emergency use as early as the start of 2021, if efficacy data is available by the end of the year, says the drugmaker. It has also received US federal backing to ramp up manufacturing for the shot, including new capacity in the US and expanded production overseas, with the aim of making a billion doses available worldwide on a non-profit basis. J&J and the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) have collectively committed $1bn to the vaccine project, which will be spent on R&D and clinical testing of the vaccine, with additional funding also earmarked for coronavirus antiviral drug development. “The world is facing an urgent public health … [Read more...]

Digital divergence – Combining digital and pharma is proving less easy than previously thought

We tend to view evolution as a one-way process that heads towards the positive. It’s a fallacious view, of course; evolution doesn’t have an end in mind and even as it aims to achieve a greater fit with the environment, it is by no means a steady progress. Its history is full of dead ends, stumbles and falls. Recent months have provided an example of this in the way that pharma companies and digital health companies have fallen out. It’s an important and interesting phenomenon for which evolutionary science provides not one but two explanations. As usual, let me guide you towards the practical implications, for pharma and digital, of evolutionary theory. Failed relationships What we’ve seen recently – for example when Otsuka and Proteus ended their collaboration – is a number of pharma companies looking at digital partners, seeing value in getting together, forming a nascent relationship and then falling out. Interestingly, these break-ups don’t seem to … [Read more...]

The digital shift in pharma marketing

Indegene’s surveys in 2016 and 2019 show a spike in digital spend In October 2019, industry leaders from tech and pharma met in Philadelphia to discuss and envision the future of digital in augmenting healthcare.  One of the panelists who leads omnichannel and data strategy for a large pharma company strongly recommended grabbing every opportunity to know your customer, gather data from various touchpoints, and then create a personalised, relevant service for customers. For an industry that has long functioned within iron-clad regulatory boundaries, this may be a milestone moment. Creating the right omnichannel mix The pharma industry embraced the call for digital transformation five years ago in a bid to survive sweeping changes in the business environment. This included the end of the patents era, compliance codes that were more strictly enforced than ever and, most importantly, the online transition of healthcare stakeholders. Furthermore, the emergence … [Read more...]

Matthew Gould, NHSX: Regulating AI in health and care

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive Officer at NHSX and a group of senior leaders from regulators recently held a roundtable meeting to discuss AI in healthcare and how the organisation is set to regulate the field. In a blog post published this week, Gould said “Doing AI right means putting a set of rules around it that will make sure it is done safely, in a way that respects patients’ privacy and keeps the confidence of citizens and staff.” “Some of those rules already exist – like the 2018 Data Protection Act, for example, which put GDPR into UK law. But there are gaps, lots of regulators on the pitch, and a lack of clarity on both standards and roles.” “The prize – if we can get this right – is making the UK a world leader in AI for health, giving the NHS the benefits of this new technology safely, reducing the burden on its staff and improving outcomes for patients.” As part of the blog post, Gould announced some of the agreements that came from the round … [Read more...]