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Roche, GE Project Brings New Spin To Clinical Decision Support

Posted on January 10, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

The clinical decision support market is certainly crowded, and what’s more, CDS solutions vary in some important ways. On the other hand, one could be forgiven for feeling like they all look the same. Sorting out these technologies is not a job for the faint of heart.

That being said, it’s possible that the following partnership might offer something distinctive. Pharmaceutical giant Roche has signed a long-term partnership deal with GE Healthcare to jointly develop and market clinical decision support technology.

In a prepared statement, the two companies said they were developing a digital platform with a difference. The platform will use analytics to fuel workflow tools and apps and support clinical decisions. The platform will integrate a wide range of data, including patient records, medical best practices and recent research outcomes.

At least at the outset of their project, Roche and GE Healthcare are targeting oncology and critical care. With a pharmaceutical company and healthcare technology firm working together, providing tools for oncology specialists in particular makes a lot of sense.

The partners say that their product will give oncology care teams with multiple specialists a common data dashboard to review, which should help them collaborate on treatment decisions. Meanwhile, they plan to offer critical care physicians a dashboard integrating data from patient’ hospital monitoring equipment with their biomarker, genomic and sequencing data.

The idea of integrating new and possibly relevant information to the CDS platform is intriguing. It’s particularly interesting to imagine physicians leveraging genetic information to make real-time decisions. I think it’s safe to say that we’d all like it if CDS systems could bring the rudiments of precision medicine to thorny day-to-day clinical problems.

But the truth is, if my interactions with doctors mean anything, that few of them like CDS systems. Some have told me flat out that they end up overriding many CDS prompts, which arguably makes these very expensive systems almost irrelevant to hospital-based clinical practice. It’s hard to tell whether they would be willing to trust a new approach.

However, if GE and Roche can pull off what they’re pitching, it might just provide enough value it might convince them. Certainly, creating a more flexible dashboard which integrates data and office workflows is a large step in the right direction. And it’s probably fair to say that nothing like this exists in the market right now (as they claim).

Again, while there’s no guaranteed way to build out useful technology, bringing a pharma giant and a health IT giant might give both sides a leg up. I wonder how many users and patients they have involved in their design process. Let’s see if they can back up their promises.

Hospitals: Can you afford to ban big drug company payouts?

Posted on September 1, 2010 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

A hospital's best friend?This week, a very interesting (and important) question courtesy of the indefatigable KevinMD.com:  Can hospitals afford to shut down the lucrative relationships doctors have with pharmas?  To quote his blog:

“A recent case at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital [has] raised some eyebrows. Apparently, an asthma specialist was so dependent on drug company money, that he chose to quit the hospital [rather than give up extra income]. According to the Boston Globe, “Out of thousands of US doctors hired by drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline to talk about its products, [this physician] was the highest paid during a three-month period last year, the company recently disclosed: He made $99,375 for giving 40 talks to other physicians last April, May, and June, almost one every other day.

When it comes to hosptials like Brigham and Women’s, which have the kind of resources and reputation many others would kill for, it’s not likely there will be any lasting damage to the organization.

But what about community hospitals?  Can they afford the hit?  What if a single invasive cardiologist took their patients with them to a rival hospital next door?

After all, according to a study done earlier this year by Merritt Hawkins, that invasive cardiologist typically generates $2.2 million per year, a sum few hospitals can let go lightly.  And if you really want to cringe, look at the other top specialties and what they bring in each year. For a smallish hospital this is a VERY scary game.

Looking a chess move ahead, does this mean that pharmas can play hospitals against one another, or even hospital systems, if they  play the right incentive games?  Not sure where it all ends, but it’s not pretty.

Video: The future, pharma-style

Posted on August 6, 2010 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

OK, you’ve got me — this video is TOO slick.  It makes your average YouTube video look like it was drawn in crayon by a five-year-old.  Of course, it was created by Novartis, and the pharmas are the kings of slick media production.

I’m sharing this with you not because it says anything novel, though it does bring together some very compelling statistics on the impact of preventable health conditions.

No, I’m passing it along because  marketers and strategists out there might find its (comparatively) soft-sell approach to the value of pharma R&D to be rather interesting.  With social media demanding a new approach to reaching audiences — a voice that suggests and guides, rather than pitches — expect to see pharmas do a lot more indirect selling.

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