What’s New

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Carolyn Gretton

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New healthcare-related products, services, and companies

By Carolyn Gretton

New Alliance Promotes Trust in Online Physician Research Trend: Market research organizations, which base many critical decisions on insights from online ­physician panels, are taking collective action to ensure the integrity of the respondents and data ­collected. The Trust Alliance is a new nonprofit organization that seeks to advance industry standards, develop and promote best practices, and foster trust in online physician research. The Trust Alliance was founded by three online healthcare market research fieldwork providers: All Global, M3 USA, and Medefield. The goal of the alliance is to elevate the standard of quality of physician review panels and create consistencies across the industry for the formation of such panels. The alliance plans to address inherent challenges in online research through a number of discrete programs and initiatives that ensure authenticity through proactive monitoring and protecting against potentially fraudulent responders, as well as ensuring transparency in the data collection process and integrity of data collected. The alliance has appointed pharmaceutical market research industry expert, Allan Bowditch, as industry liaison. Mr. Bowditch is a former CEO and chairman of GfK Martin Hamblin’s healthcare division and current owner of a healthcare market research consultancy business. “This is an unprecedented initiative born out of the realization that many of the challenges facing the sector can be best tackled through collaboration,” Mr. Bowditch says. “I’m convinced that the measures under discussion will help to boost confidence in online physician research as a cost-effective means of supporting sound decision-making by pharmaceutical companies.” As part of its authentication efforts, the Trust Alliance is creating a universal blacklist of survey respondents. Leveraging individual member’s expertise in fraud detection, each member will contribute email addresses to create the Universal Trust Alliance Blacklist to be used exclusively by its members. “Historically, individual companies have kept their own registers, but openly sharing this information will make it much easier for companies to identify and exclude fraudulent research participants,” Mr. Bowditch explains. { For more information, visit thetrustalliance.org. Life Sciences Companies ­Collaborate with IBM on Public Chemical Database IBM is contributing a database of chemical data extracted from millions of patents and scientific literature to the National Institutes of Health, allowing researchers to quickly access data and more easily visualize important relationships among chemical compounds to aid in drug discovery and support advanced cancer research. IBM is providing the database in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, DuPont, and Pfizer. The publicly available chemical data can be used by researchers worldwide to gain new insights and enable new areas of research. Access to this data also allows researchers to analyze far larger sets of documents than the traditional manual process. The data was extracted using the IBM business analytics and optimization strategic IP insight platform (SIIP), a combination of data and analytics delivered via the IBM SmartCloud and developed by IBM Research in collaboration with several major life-sciences organizations. “Information overload continues to be a challenge in drug discovery and other areas of scientific research,” observes Steve Heller, project director for the InChI Trust, a nonprofit organization that supports the InChI international standard to represent chemical structures. “Rich data and content is often buried in patents, drawings, figures, and scholarly articles.” { For more information, visit ibm.com/lifesciences. In other news… Medex-Media, a KnowledgePoint360 division specializing in healthcare exhibit booths and live events, has launched the Physical Digital suite of products to change exhibits from a passive communications form into a vital, closed-loop, personalized component of the learning experience for healthcare professionals. “Imagine, if you will, an environment where the canvas is totally blank, and the end user employs digital tools such as iPads, smartphone or tablet devices, and touchscreens to access fully customized content in real time,” says Gerry Montgomery, director of business development for Medex-Media. “This isn’t a vision of the future, but a reality that we are delivering now.” { For more information, visit knowledgepoint360.com.

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