On this episode, Greg chats with SAS EMEA life sciences sales director Jonathan Riches about digital transformation in pharma. Jonathan argues that while buzzword technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning get a lot of attention, it’s really culture and change-management that determine an organization’s success with digital transformation. Why? The life sciences industry is highly regulated by necessity, and many pharmaceutical companies have been around for one hundred or more years. So, while change is challenging for any organization, it is especially challenging for pharma. According to Jonathan, life sciences organizations must back up their analytics evolution with ample training, empowerment around individual growth and C-level commitment to data-driven decision making. Greg points out that we see this in health care as well, where most medical providers don’t go to school to be data scientists, but they are evolving in their roles to use data and analytics more. And in pharma, Jonathan points out that we’re seeing more recruiting from other sectors such as retail, CPG and banking in order to leverage learned experiences from those industries. For the past decade or two, pharma has been using analytics and statistics to prove the efficacy and safety of drugs in order to obtain regulatory approval. There is now recognition that pharma can go much deeper by leveraging real world evidence in clinical development or forecasting analytics in demand planning. This kind of evolution requires changes and new skills to job roles within pharma. Greg and Jonathan also discuss the complexities of supply chains in pharma where specialty therapies often need to be produced near the patients they will treat. Jonathan offers his advice for pharmaceutical companies who want to accelerate digital transformation. The projects need to be led by the business and business challenge with collaboration and support from IT. Start slow and design data and analytics platforms to the business challenges they need to solve. Finally, Jonathan offers his predictions for the future of transformation in supply chain, digital engagement with health care providers and even patients, real world evidence, devices, personalized medicine, and collaboration and data sharing across the value chain.
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The Health Pulse S2E1: Improving Health Equity and Health Outcomes with Analytics
21:31On this episode host Greg Horne interviews David Rhew, M.D., Global Chief Medical Officer & VP of Healthcare for Microsoft, on the role of technology in health care. Dr. Rhew, who has a background in infectious disease management, observed early in his career that evidence-based practices often lead to better health outcomes, but they aren’t adhered to consistently. From there he set out on a digital transformation journey that quickly brought him into health tech and eventually Microsoft. Dr. Rhew and Greg discuss the role of technology in delivering the right information at the right time to improve patient experience and outcomes. For example, in one cardiac rehab program where patients were offered the option to participation digitally, completion rate jumped from 40 to 80 percent and 30-day hospital readmissions dropped from 12 percent to less than 1 percent. Quite simply, making things easier for patients improves care and reduces costs. According to Dr. Rhew, the next horizon in health care will be around making data more interoperable so that the industry can bring it into a common platform and analyze it to drive actionable insights that improve care. And, Dr. Rhew leaves us with his parting thoughts on technology’s capacity to improve health equity and access.A transcript of this episode can be found here.
The Health Pulse: Stacking the impact of clinical research to address unmet needs in health care.
23:15Jennifer Byrne, CEO of contract research organization Javara Research, has a lifelong passion for serving patient populations through clinical research. On this episode, Jennifer shares with Greg the concept of learning health systems that improve health care through research. Javara brings a lot of the traditional advantages that a CRO brings to pharma to health care systems through an integrated research organization approach. The organization's strategic vision and partnerships are centered around bringing clinical research opportunities to health care systems to meet unmet patient needs while simultaneously partnering with pharma to address the data and scientific needs to clinical trials. Jennifer explains how analytics and AI are used to deep dive into electronic health records and other health data sources to identify potential clinical trial participants and connect the right patient with the right trial and the right time. Greg asked Jennifer about the role of bias in clinical research, and she shares her experience around bias that patients and physicians aren’t as interested in participating in clinical research as they actually are. Technology can assist in physician and patient outreach and engagement, so that patients can come to clinical research with their trusted physician and keep their clinical trial participation in sync with their overall health care journey. They also discuss opportunities to use technology to deliver optimal and more patient-centric clinical trial participation.
The Health Pulse: Modern Consumers Want to Know: How The Pharmaceutical Industry is Influencing Supply Chain Traceability
19:28Grainne Lynch, Senior Manager and Traceability Lead for Accenture, helps pharmaceutical companies be compliant with supply chain legislation around preventing counterfeit medicines from entering the supply chain. Her expertise is around helping pharmaceutical manufacturers implement common capabilities and coding to allow tracking and tracing of products at the unit level. On this episode, Grainne explains to Greg that the pharmaceutical industry is on the forefront of a consumer-led trend demanding the ability to track and trace products end-to-end throughout the supply chain. Now more than ever, consumers want to know a product’s entire history—where it came from, how materials were sourced, where and when it was manufactured, and the process by which it was approved. And, consumers expect companies to be responsible for making good decisions throughout the supply chain. This trend toward greater tracking and tracing is being seen in many industries, and as Grainne explains, life sciences is a natural leader because the industry already has GxP requirements in place. Data and analytics of course play a critical role. For example, most pharmaceutical products require refrigeration, and devices are used to monitor and measure refrigeration throughout the supply chain to ensure the proper temperature level is maintained. Grianne leaves us with her thoughts on the importance of pharmaceutical traceability to the future growth of the industry as a whole.
The Health Pulse: Follow the Money to Predict the Future of Health Care
23:48Jessica DaMassa is the Executive Producer and Host of video series, What’s the Future, Health?, where she interviews key stakeholders in health tech to uncover unique perspectives on where the industry is headed. On this episode of The Health Pulse, Jessica briefly switches from her usual role as interviewer to share her observations on the trends to watch right now in health care. She shares with Greg several clues on the future based on the unprecedented funding pouring into the health tech space since the early months of the pandemic. Start ups focused on improving analysis of data from electronic health records (EHRs), particularly those focused on gleaning predictive value from EHR data, are hot. Jessica also identified trends around funding for later-stage start ups, which indicates these companies are gaining traction, and an expansion in private equity money in the health tech space. So, where is all this new funding going? Jessica identified three key focus areas – mental health; technology that helps navigate patients into and through the health care system (also know as digital front doors); and AI implementation specifically in the areas of clinical trials and automation of health care administration. Greg and Jessica also discuss key considerations around identifying and controlling for bias in AI. Looking ahead to delivery of care, Jessica sees the home as a place of care will be a key pandemic trend that is here to stay. Her advice for start ups? Make sure you understand the payment model!
The Health Pulse: Removing Logistical Barriers to Health Care with Uber Health
20:11Caitlin Donovan is the Global Head of Uber Health. In this role, she’s responsible for figuring out how to fix logistical issues in health care. Caitlin begins by sharing why she’s so inspired by her role at Uber Health. Coming from a variety of health care executive roles, Caitlin observed that all too often what goes wrong in patient care isn’t clinical—it’s what happens when they aren’t in front of their provider. Maybe they don’t have transportation to an appointment, their prescription didn’t arrive or they don’t have access to the food they need. At Uber Health, Caitlin focuses on connecting the dots through data and analytics to solve these challenges. Much of what she does is aimed at helping population health experts address social determinants of health. Uber Health started in 2018 with a focus on providing a HIPPA-secure delivery platform to improve access to care and benefit patient populations. The platform uses data and predictive analytics to intervene earlier to ensure that patients get the care they need by allowing population health case managers to securely order services for patients. This approach improves compliance to patient care plans by solving logistical problems before they derail care. Finally, Caitlin shares her thoughts on the biggest health care challenges that Uber Health will tackle next.
The Health Pulse: From basketball to mental health data, Dr. Dawnté Early drives a community-centric approach
25:08Dr. Dawnté Early (she/her) is the Chief of Research and Evaluation for the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission in California. Dr. Early joined Greg for a chat about whole person care, and she shared that her love of sports (she played college basketball and coached her children’s teams) instilled a desire to give back to her community. In her current role, Dr. Early supports the Commission’s mission is to transform the mental health system so that everyone who needs care in California receives high-quality and culturally competent care. A big part of her job is bringing together mental health data at the individual level with data from different agencies, such as criminal justice, education, quarterly wage, and death and birth data, to identify social determinants of health and uncover disparities. The commission also plays a key role in engaging with other agencies and systems to help support early intervention and care. Greg asks about the challenge of overcoming stigma in mental health, and Dr. Early shares that having conversations that normalize and contextualize mental health needs is critical, as is using humanizing language around mental health. The Commission plays role in ensuring these conversations are taking place and that the community is engaged throughout the process—in determining what questions to ask the data and by giving input on how data-driven insights can impact effective policy. Lastly, Dr. Early shares her vision for the Commission’s role in connecting data to policy to community to outcomes in order to drive more early intervention and prevention in mental health for the betterment of individuals, families and communities.
The Health Pulse: A Pharma CIO’s Prescription for Building a Data-Driven Culture
13:16On this episode, Greg is joined by Herman De Prins, Global CIO of UCB. UCB is a mid-sized global biopharma company focusing on immunology and neurology. Herman describes UCB’s journey into artificial intelligence (AI) projects aimed at treatments for epilepsy. Herman also shares how UCB promoted data literacy and AI among its staff of more than 8,000 people. The programs UCB has put in place have been very effective in driving enthusiasm for data-driven decision making throughout the company. In fact, Herman shares that their challenge isn’t around internal resistance to AI, it’s prioritizing the many potential projects brought forth by the team. UCB also has a process for evaluating projects based on the strength of the business cases behind them. Herman emphasized that there is value in AI across the pharmaceutical value chain, particularly in R&D and commercial. For example, last year UCB teamed up with Microsoft on the Moonshot Initiative where they used AI to conduct research on potential treatments for COVID-19 and reduced the time typically required for that research from six months to three days. Greg and Herman conclude their chat by discussing the future of AI and Herman’s thoughts on the potential opportunities and pitfalls in a world where AI will increasingly be embedded in technology products all around us.
Electrifying AI: Building tomorrow today
31:06Peter Muhoro has a front row seat for the ongoing energy transition, so the VP of strategy and technology at Rappahannock Electric Cooperative is the perfect guest to talk with host Sal Gill about what it will require for utilities to start building tomorrow today. On the Season 2 finale of Electrifying AI, Peter and Sal discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the expectations of electricity consumers, how the business model for electric utilities could be in for a massive change, and how data and analytics are primed to help utilities shape the future of energy — if those utilities can overcome entrenched cultures and legacy systems. At the end of their conversation, Peter makes his pick for our Electrifying AI playlist on Spotify and throws in a bonus viral video to be on the lookout for! Listen to his suggestion here, then make your recommendations for a song by tweeting @TheElectricSal. We just might include your selection and send you some Electrifying AI swag to say thanks. Learn more at sas.com/utilities and check out additional episodes of Electrifying AI at sas.transistor.fm or on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you for a stellar second season of Electrifying AI! We’ll be back with Season 3 after a summer break. Here are some of the resources we mentioned during the episode: Connect with Peter on: Twitter | LinkedIn Connect with Sal on: Twitter | LinkedIn Learn about Sal’s expertise Visit Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s website Electrifying AI Spotify playlist SAS Energy & Utilities on the web Our new Electrifying AI landing page Check out additional episodes of the Electrifying AI podcast series at sas.transistor.fm. Subscribe to the Electrifying AI podcast so you never miss a future episode. Did you know that you can watch Electrifying AI too? Find our episodes on YouTube here. If you’d like to be a guest on a future episode, have an idea for a future topic or would like to share feedback about our Electrifying AI podcast, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. About our guest: Peter Muhoro is the vice president for strategy and technology at Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, a member-owned utility that provides electric service to almost 170,000 connections in portions of 22 Virginia counties. Peter has more than 15 years of experience in the energy industry, including roles at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and leadership positions at co-ops in Texas and Virginia. He’s a board member for the Smart Electric Power Alliance and has earned a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.About our host: Sal Gill heads digital strategy and market innovation for SAS Energy & Utilities. He has worked for major energy companies and seen firsthand how electricity transforms lives, from bringing power to remote communities to pioneering innovations that will accelerate renewable technologies. As the global community continues to seek alternatives to satisfy its appetite for energy, Sal is constantly searching for new ideas that take advantage of both the electric grid, known as the largest machine humans have ever built, and the greatest enabler of our time, data analytics.
The Health Pulse: Linking data sources to see the bigger picture in public health.
22:11On this episode, Greg talks with Dana Bernson, epidemiologist and Director of Special Analytic Projects at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, about her work to use data and analytics to guide public health planning and crisis response. Dana shares insights from the department’s initial effort to link data sources across state government to get more contextual information to help address the opioid epidemic. Not surprisingly, one data set often gives us a piece of the puzzle, but linking multiple data sources at the individual level tells a bigger story. For example, the department discovered that the risk of overdose following a release from incarceration is 120 times higher than the risk for the general population. Data linkage is critical to understanding social determinants of health to inform effective policy and intervention. This is also true of the COVID-19 pandemic, where Dana’s team is exploring the impact of the pandemic on underserved populations including communities of color, the homeless, people who have been incarcerated, people with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, and pregnant and postpartum women. Finally, Dana shares an update on what has become known as the Public Health Data Warehouse project, which is a research tool that enables analysis of public health priorities and trends, including substance abuse, and maternal and child health. The warehouse establishes the infrastructure to link 24 data systems, covering 98% of the state population. Dana is hopeful that following the coronavirus crisis, public health will receive more consistent and sustainable funding for projects like hers that ultimately support a more complete and proactive approach to health.
Electrifying AI: An even greater grid
32:30Ahad Esmaeilian is helping drive us toward the electricity system of the future. The director of business development for Avangrid, Ahad has earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M and holds master’s degrees from universities in both the U.S. and his home country of Iran. And while Ahad’s daily focus is to work across the industry to advance clean energy through the interconnection of wind, solar and other utility-scale renewable energy resources, his academic and professional careers have largely focused on digital grids. That means he and host Sal Gill have plenty to talk about in this technical chat around how utilities can build an even greater grid. Join them for a discussion about the business of clean energy, the importance of peeking behind the meter and how to harness the power of analytics, AI and machine learning to prepare the platform of the future. At the end of their conversation, Ahad gives us some insight into the songs he sings while driving around in his car through his suggestion for our Electrifying AI playlist on Spotify! Listen to his pick here, then make your recommendations for a song by tweeting @TheElectricSal. We just might include your selection and send you some Electrifying AI swag to say thanks. Learn more at sas.com/utilities and check out additional episodes of Electrifying AI at sas.transistor.fm or on your favorite podcast platform. Here are some of the resources we mentioned during the episode: Connect with Ahad on: LinkedIn Connect with Sal on: Twitter | LinkedIn Learn about Sal’s expertise Electrifying AI Spotify playlist SAS Energy & Utilities on the web Our new Electrifying AI landing page Check out additional episodes of the Electrifying AI podcast series at sas.transistor.fm. Subscribe to the Electrifying AI podcast so you never miss a future episode. Did you know that you can watch Electrifying AI too? Find our episodes on YouTube here. If you’d like to be a guest on a future episode, have an idea for a future topic or would like to share feedback about our Electrifying AI podcast, send us an email to email@example.com. About our guest: Ahad Esmaeilian is the director or business development for Avangrid, a diversified energy and utility company that boasts $30 billion in assets, and operations in 25 U.S. states and dozens of countries. Ahad earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran, a Master of Business Administration from Clarkson University and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. His resume includes prior roles at the Smart Grid Center (TEES) and the New York Power Authority.About our host: Sal Gill heads digital strategy and market innovation for SAS Energy & Utilities. He has worked for major energy companies and seen firsthand how electricity transforms lives, from bringing power to remote communities to pioneering innovations that will accelerate renewable technologies. As the global community continues to seek alternatives to satisfy its appetite for energy, Sal is constantly searching for new ideas that take advantage of both the electric grid, known as the largest machine humans have ever built, and the greatest enabler of our time, data analytics.