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.”

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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.”

 

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Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
Credit: iStock

 

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

Where do you visit a physician? Are you open to a walk-in clinic?

As patients, there are various ways for us to interact with physicians. Many of us even use multiple ways. Where do YOU fit?

According to Jessica Rudman, research director for financial services and health care at market research firm Maru/Matchbox:

Recently we asked 1,500 Americans about their knowledge of and experience with various settings for medical appointments and probed their interest in using retail walk-in clinics. Currently, retail walk-in clinics are used by a small minority. And the same is true for online video conferencing. Most just sit and wait in a traditional office, where research has shown that almost everyone waits between 10 and 30 minutes.”

“Health care is on the cusp of significant change. The old sit-in-the-waiting-room and hope to eventually be seen by a doctor is not sustainable. People are used to smoother transactions. It used to be that to pay a bill you had to send a check or pay at the bank. Nowadays everything is electronic and even tappable. Booking travel used to be visiting a travel agent. Today it is all online. Shopping used to involve fighting the crowds at the mall. Now it is answering the door with delivery from Amazon Prime. Times change.”

“The old paradigm of waiting to be seen is ripe for revolution. Virtual visits and retail walk-ins seem to be the wave of the future.”

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

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.”

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Doing Publicly Disseminated Health-Related Research Properly
 

Interesting Cancer Facts

Let’s look at lesser-known cancer facts.

There’s still a lot that we do not know about cancer. Today, we look at several “surprising” cancer facts. As 24/7 Wall St. notes:

“No place is immune to cancer. And nearly everyone is familiar with the disease in one form or another. We have learned much about cancer. Yet there is much more still to learn.”

“To identify the most surprising facts about cancer, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed recent reports released by the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Atlas, and World Health Organization. We opted for generally less well-known facts.”

These are among the 20 facts cited:

  • “What many may not know is that there are more than 100 different kinds of cancer, many of which the typical American has never heard of. The name of each type of cancer typically includes the organ or tissues where the cancer developed. In some cases, the cancer is named for the type of cell that forms it.”
  • “Age is the largest risk factor for cancer. According to the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program, the median age of cancer diagnosis is 66 years. The American Cancer Society reports that 87% of cancer cases in the United States are diagnosed in people 50 years and over.”
  • “According to the NCI, about 38.4% of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. The most commonly diagnosed cancers so far in 2018 have been breast, lung and bronchus, prostate, colon and rectum, and melanoma of the skin cancers.”
  • “The World Health Organization estimates that 447,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Most of the new cancer cases will occur in Western countries, the country with the highest cancer rate is Australia. In Australia, an estimated 468 people out of every 100,000 people will get cancer. New Zealand has the second highest cancer rate at roughly 438 new cases annually per 100,000 people.” 
  • “Scientists believe cancer is not caused by just one single cause but by the interaction of many factors. Still, there are several factors known to significantly increase the risk of cancer. According to the ACS Cancer Atlas, between one-third and one-half of all cancer cases worldwide are preventable. Lifestyle factors such as smoking regularly, eating a high-fat diet, and working with toxic chemicals are top risk factors. Other factors include obesity, vaccine-preventable infections, and pollution.

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Interesting Cancer Facts
Source: Motortion / iStock

 

International Health Efficiency Scores

Click the image to learn more about the health-efficiency index and to see the latest index rankings. The United States is tied for 54th!

The United States annually spends more than $9,500 per person for health care. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of this spending lags far behind many other nations (that spend a lot less).

According to a recent Bloomberg report:

“Want medical care without quickly draining your fortune? Try Singapore or Hong Kong as your healthy havens. The U.S. will cost you the most for treatment, both in absolute terms and relative to average incomes. Yet, the life expectancy of Americans — about 79 years — was exceeded by more than 25 countries and territories, according to an annual Bloomberg analysis in almost 200 economies.” 

“A health-efficiency index was then created to rank those with average lifespans of at least 70 years, GDP per-capita exceeding $5,000 and a minimum population of 5 million. And Americans aren’t getting their medical money’s worth, according to each of the categories.” 

“The U.S. had the second-highest per-capita spending on health care at $9,536. Switzerland’s average based on gross domestic product was $9,818. But that $282 supplement helped deliver an extra 4.2 years of life — with the average Swiss lifespan of almost 83.”

Click the image to learn more about the health-efficiency index and to see the latest index rankings. The United States is tied for 54th!

International Health Efficiency Scores

Clinical Cancer Advances 2018

Each year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) publishes a report on cancer research advances. The FREE 2018 edition of the report is now available. See below.

Each year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) publishes a report on cancer research advances. The FREE 2018 edition of the report is now available. See below.

As ASCO notes:

“Cancer is one of the world’s most pressing health care challenges, with more than 14 million people receiving a cancer diagnosis each year. Thanks to investment and progress in cancer research, people today are living longer with this disease than ever before. Clinical Cancer Advances 2018 highlights the most impactful research advances and policy developments of the past year and previews where cancer science is headed. The report was developed under the direction a 20-person editorial board of experts in different oncology sub-specialties, as well as cancer prevention, quality of care, health disparities, and tumor biology.”

Clinical Cancer Advances 2018 was supported, in part, by funds from Conquer Cancer’s Mission Endowment. This report is also published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

Click the image to access the full 60-page report.

Clinical Cancer Advances 2018