New Cancer Drug Approved

Those of us battling with cancer often feel research is not moving fast enough.

Yet, researchers are working quite hard. And billions of dollars are being spent.

Quite recently, the FDA approved a new and VERY expensive cancer drug. As CNN reports:

“Vitrakvi is the first medication developed specifically to target tumors based on gene mutations, not their location in the body.”

 

Apple and Stanford Partner on Smart Watch Study

For the past year, Apple and Stanford have partnered on a health research study using the Apple Watch.

This important study is huge.

As Nicky Lineaweaver reports for Business Insider:

“Apple and Stanford Medicine enrolled more than 400,000 participants in the Apple Heart Study since its launch in November of 2017 — making it the largest study on atrial fibrillation (AFib) ever conducted. The study will help Apple explore how its Watch can be used to identify AFib, a common type of irregular heartbeat that heightens the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.”

“AFib costs the U.S. around $6 billion annually, and is responsible for about 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations in the US every year, the CDC reports. And AFib detection has been one of Apple’s strategic focuses in healthcare thus far — the tech giant released the Watch Series 4 with an FDA-cleared AFib detection feature in September, for example.”

The Stanford Medicine site notes:

“The Apple Heart Study app uses data from Apple Watch to identify irregular heart rhythms, including those from potentially serious heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation. Apple is conducting this research study in collaboration with Stanford Medicine to improve the technology used to detect and analyze irregular heart rhythms, like atrial fibrillation – a leading cause of stroke.”

Click the image to learn more about the study.

Apple and Stanford Partner on Smart Watch Study
 

AI Aids Drug Operations

We know that technology has had a tremendous on the medical field. And artificial intelligence (AI) is coming on strong. Today, we look at how AI aids drug operations.

As William SolimanPresident, Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs, notes: 

“Recently, two AI drug design companies, Insilico Medicine and A2A Pharmaceuticals joined forces to bring to market a possible treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other rare orphan diseases. Using AI to more rapidly discover optimal pre-clinical candidates may revolutionize the drug development process in the life sciences.”

“What AI can bring to the table is the ability to rapidly and accurately sort through massive amounts of data. This may very well revolutionize how competitive intelligence, drug discovery and stakeholder engagement take place as we know it. Among many functions that medical affairs is tasked with, an important one is stakeholder engagement with External Experts (EE) (formerly known as KOLs or Key Opinion Leaders). For Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), who are the primary function engaging external stakeholders, there will likely be several changes.”

Click the image to read a lot more.

AI Aids Drug Operations
Medical Affairs and Artificial Intelligence in the Life Sciences

 

Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Safety Concerns

University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising patient safety concerns.

Too often, patient safety concerns about their care in medical facilities has gone unreported or under-reported. In response, there is new research about how to fix this.

As Johns Hopkins reports:

“In a case study published online last week in Academic Medicine, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising concerns. The study identifies measures to help health care organizations encourage their employees to speak up and recommends a systematic approach to promoting employee voice that appears to have already made a positive impact at Johns Hopkins.”

“It’s not enough just to say you’re committed to employee voice. Health care staff must genuinely feel comfortable speaking up if organizations are going to provide safe, high-quality care,” says Mary Dixon-Woods, D.Phil., M.Sc., a professor at the University of Cambridge, director of THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) and the study’s lead author. “Even when reporting mechanisms are in place, employees may not report disruptive behaviors if they don’t feel safe in doing so and don’t think their concerns will be addressed.”

“Because health-care workers often are reluctant to raise concerns about co-workers and unsafe behaviors, leadership at Johns Hopkins Medicine sought to encourage employee voice in the organization by first identifying barriers. To address the issues raised in these interviews, Johns Hopkins leaders developed, implemented, and in some cases expanded a series of interventions from fall 2014 through summer 2016. These interventions included clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, well-coordinated reporting mechanisms, leadership training on having difficult conversations, and consistent consequences for disruptive behaviors.”

 

Click the image to read more.
Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
Credit: iStock

 

Doing Publicly Disseminated Health-Related Research Properly

Sometimes, the results of health-related research are kept private. In many other instances, the results are made public. Today’s post looks at doing publicly disseminated health-related research properly.

Rebecca Hahn, writing for Quirk’s Media, offers this advice:  “Six questions to ask when you’re considering conducting a health care marketing research study for public release.”

1. “What are the key strategies to help make your project a success? Your study should be newsworthy and the topic should be fresh. It doesn’t need to be a new idea but could be a new way of looking at an issue, such as identifying gaps in perceptions about living with a condition among patients and health care providers not previously explored. Do your homework to avoid redundancy and identify information not addressed in currently available research.”

2. “Who should I involve from my organization?  When research is done for public release it needs to be carefully designed and aligned with your key business objectives. Thus, it is essential you give all relevant stakeholders a seat at the table.”

3. “Who are you trying to influence with your research to make your product launch successful?  Are these consumers or patients? Or are you trying to reach health care professionals (HCPs)or payers? This information can help guide the content of the survey and the choice of channel for distributing the information.”

4. “Who is your survey audience? Determine the best source of this information – patients, family members/caregivers, HCPs, payers, hospital administrators, policy makers, employers, etc.”

5. “How do I develop a study that yields robust results? Bigger samples are generally better for general population consumer research. Larger, stratified sample sizes help ensure generalizability and allow for subgroup analysis. Keep in mind three key areas when designing your survey: Awareness can test knowledge and bust long-standing myths. Attitudes include feelings, emotions, and opinions. Actions are behaviors, experiences and intentions. Ask the survey questions in an unbiased and straight-forward manner.”

6. What is the best way to disseminate this information?  Your choice  is typically driven by the audience you are trying to influence. Press releases can be very effective for consumers as they are intended to generate media attention and be distributed to a general audience.”

Click the image to read more.

Doing Publicly Disseminated Health-Related Research Properly