Archive for May, 2013



Small Strategic Partnering Steps Can Create Your Big Picture

May 21st, 2013
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For a new life sciences company seeking to partner early in its development process or even for an existing company in need of a partner to advance a product or technology, creating an overall strategy isn’t as easy as it sounds. After having worked with dozens of life science companies – of various sizes, stages of growth and points along the product development cycle – I’ve identified a series of “steps,” that provide a sense of strategic direction as you seek partners in the journey from the laboratory bench (or work room) to market. In this post, I outline the first step – knowing where you are in the strategic partnering process.
 
Step One: Know where you are in the strategic process
Many companies have a strategy developed already. In other cases, they don’t. Some life sciences companies are in very early stages where they have technologies or intellectual property that might be of commercial value, but haven’t formulated thoughts on where the innovation might have the most value, or where the easiest path to value might lie – particularly from a partnering perspective.
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In Healthcare, Reframing Ideas Can Yield Innovation

May 13th, 2013
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While the word “revolution” is used often during a period of rapid, intense innovation such as the one we are currently experiencing in healthcare, it can be helpful to step back to see what’s sparking the revolution. The answer may lie in the word, “frame.”
 
From a medical or scientific student’s traditional lessons in genetics (specifically, frame shift mutations), to changes in our perspective on a problem, frames make very significant impacts. Defined as a conceptual structure used in thinking, a frame helps us give an issue or problem borders, shape and structure.
 
This cognitive tool, while useful for our brains, also creates limitations. The linguist George Lakoff points out that every word in our language evokes a certain frame. And once evoked, other words reinforce that frame in our minds, until the image or concept is so strong that we can’t see through or around it.
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Medicare’s Data Release Places More Power in Hands of Informed Medical Consumers

May 8th, 2013
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Today, Medicare is releasing data on in-patient hospital costs across the country to provide consumers/patients with cost comparison information. Unsurprisingly, the data are interesting and price discrepancies staggering, but the release of the data itself is also fascinating as yet another example of big government opening its vaults, so to speak, as well as adding more momentum to the power shift in healthcare from physicians/providers toward consumers/patients.
 
This move clearly speaks to the idea that access to information can drive behavior/decision making and that access to cost information can harness the power of the medical consumer to drive costs down.
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Healthcare’s Next Big Innovation Could be Right in Our Hands

May 7th, 2013
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When seeking healthcare innovations, it’s traditional to look first at basic science, then clinical research, or at engineers tinkering with new devices. But this view might be a little too narrow, as advances with the greatest impact may come from industries that have nothing to do with healthcare.
 
Take Purell, for example. Ohio-based Gojo Industries designed the now-ubiquitous hand-sanitizing gel for auto mechanics. And it was almost a failure; mechanics and consumers alike first rejected the product as a little strange, and nobody, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, originally believed that alcohol-based cleaners provided more value than plain old soap and water.
 
But Purell started to take off when nurses who used it in hospitals started requesting more samples. The nurses had been looking for an antiseptic alternative to stringent, frequent washing with soap and water, which was very tough on hands. Now, not only has Purell (and other alcohol-based cleaners) been approved by the CDC, it is selling by the hundreds of millions of dollars each year; Gojo even has a test hospital lab to find more uses for the cleaning gel.
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From Huffington Post’s Health News – “The Long-Awaited Revolution: Digital Health Innovation”

May 1st, 2013
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On April 24, XPRIZE and Nokia announced that I was among the mobile health and sensing industry leaders named to the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE Judging Panel.
 
It’s a great honor for me to take on this role – and to work with the XPRIZE and Nokia teams in helping drive awareness of this important competition and the role of digital health innovation as part of the long-awaited revolution in healthcare.
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