Push for Personalized Medicine Makes Big Data the New Drug

Every drug that reaches the market does so with reams of data backing it up. Clinical trials generate mountains of information, and while much of that data used to be collected on paper, databases are now the norm for collecting and analyzing how a drug affects a patient. But soon, collecting drug data will also be the norm for already marketed drugs. This application of big data in medicine comes as improved diagnostic and data crunching capabilities collide with the drive toward personalized medicine.

Some pharmaceutical companies work with medical device developers on companion diagnostics — medical tests that assess whether a particular medication will work with a particular patient. Michelle Longmire, a physician and entrepreneur, notes that many pharma companies are also working on large-scale apps. Just as companion diagnostics gathers and analyzes data to inform prescribing decisions, these new medical apps will analyze data after medication is administered.

These apps will mine the data they collect, using algorithms to make recommendations to both patients and clinicians. In the case of a heart failure patient, for example, the mobile app, over time, “will learn the patient’s patterns and be able to detect when the patient has missed a medication or is suffering from worsening disease,” Longmire writes in Recode.

The coming medical data revolution will usher in new companies aiming to manage and analyze the information produced by new medical apps. Longmire likens the shift to the emergence of IT companies populating the Internet in the early days of the Web. But now, medical data is the new source of digital innovation.

“Just as the Web created sub-industries based on search, health-data companies will emerge that use health data in a myriad of ways,” Longmire says. “The algorithms will become as valuable as the chemistry.”

Whether we like it or not, digital applications will become take on a greater role in providing standard medical care. Analyzing medical data, in ways that we’re just starting to realize, will soon become just as important in treating patients as prescribing a drug.

To hear more about how you can can utilize data to enhance your customer’s experience, attend the 2nd Pharma Digital & Multichannel Marketing Boot Camp, taking place February 7-8, 2017 in Burlingame, CA at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront. This intensive two-day program not only teaches you strategic processes, it also gives you the tools and skills you need to gather insights and develop your own digital and multichannel programs. To learn more about this event please download the brochure or visit the website. Click here to register and be sure to mention Priority Code C649BLOG.

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