Posts Tagged ‘personalized medicine’

Quantified Self: We Get the Data, But Where’s the Information?

February 19th, 2013
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Now that a few of the year’s first conferences with a “future of health” or “digital health” focus (e.g., the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference) have passed, I thought it would be a good time to consider whether consumer-oriented digital health products truly affect outcomes, as often promised.
CES featured an abundance of consumer-oriented devices to measure fitness and track physical activity. There are a growing number of companies – like Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike and Withings – that offer tracking devices, or are introducing new versions. They’re all fairly imprecise by some standards, and measure a variety of parameters, such as number of steps per day, body temperature, heart rate or galvanic skin response, that are then analyzed to measure fitness in a non-specific way.
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Does the Healthcare Industry Need to Revisit ‘Marketing 101’?

April 16th, 2012
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Healthcare practitioners and technology developers alike are experiencing new pressures to either reduce delivery costs or to consider cost-effectiveness when developing new products. As an illustration of this new pressure, nine medical societies recently listed 45 procedures that they believe need to be streamlined, or eliminated, to reduce costs associated with patient care.
We at Popper and Company believe that many of these recommendations are fairly obvious, such as not ordering a CT scan or antibiotics for someone with uncomplicated sinus inflammation, or forgoing routine annual electrocardiograms for low-risk, asymptomatic patients.
But these medical society recommendations addressing patient care point to an important issue for life science companies in the business of developing new health products—a need to get away from building revenue projections based on a population-based “screening” mode, and an urgency to shift to ensuring desired ROI based on a personalized one.
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Notes From Afield—#TEDMED, Day One

October 27th, 2011
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TEDMED, that health-focused meeting of the minds, is underway in San Diego, and I wanted to share some impressions of the ideas proposed at the conference. This week, there are a lot of very interesting exhibits, thoughtful presentations, and a bright, energetic audience here. And if there was a central theme to this year’s TEDMED, I’d say it was “redefinition;” rephrasing our questions to reflect what we’ve learned about how the natural, social, and physical worlds actually work.  I’d like you to chime in; share your thoughts with me on these ideas, or any others!
Here are some of my initial takeaways:


  1. Dr. David Agus of USC observed that the power of sophisticated diagnostics is needed to produce truly targeted personalized medicine, but wonders if we need to not only redefine diseases such as cancer, but also to find different, more useful definitions of health. In other words, should we focus on defining health, or instead focus on what is meant by disease?
  2. Ger Brophy of General Electric Healthcare focused on the theme of cancer on a personal basis, rather than on the geography of where the cancer is. As we’ve discussed via this blog, cancer’s traditional definitions based on anatomical location are not keeping up with what we know about the disease – and its many forms – today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Companion Diagnostics: More Targeted Medicine on the Horizon

September 12th, 2011
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It’s increasingly clear to anyone who deals with human health – from the bench biologist to the clinical oncologist – that humans are a heterogeneous species. As a result, a drug that works well in one individual may not work at all in another. Thus, the field of targeted (or personalized) medicine came about so doctors could optimize patient care through the use of genetic and biomarker testing. Such tests help identify patients who are (or who are not) most likely to respond to a given therapy. The field is often promoted as a way to get the “right drug to the right patient at the right dose.”
Correct dosing is critical because about 25 percent of all outpatient prescription drugs in the U.S. are taken by patients with genetic variations (specifically, polymorphisms) that affect absorption, metabolism or excretion of those drugs. Again, at risk of stating the obvious, human beings are heterogeneous.

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Why Should the Life Science Industry Care About Davos?

January 27th, 2011
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CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta went on air yesterday to explain why he, as a physician, is attending the World Economic Forum 2011 Annual Meeting taking place right now in Davos, Switzerland.
To paraphrase Dr. Gupta, health – and its impact on world economic development – is a big topic at the Davos meeting. He noted, “In terms of health care delivery, there is growing recognition by the forum that existing models simply aren’t sustainable in developed countries, and there simply isn’t enough access in the developing world. Some of that is old news, but the topics at Davos were chosen to address solutions in these areas. For example, I will be moderating panel discussions on topics ranging from personalized medicine to combating chronic disease.”
Because of the overarching health-related themes being discussed at Davos, the life science industry – particularly companies seeking to develop diagnostics and devices to address human illness – should focus on what’s taking place at Davos, as well. Following are a few of the critical themes being discussed that draw my attention:
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