Conference by and for professionals emphasizes patient-centered approach for industry
Digital transformation is sweeping the health sciences industry, enabling companies to accelerate the pace of innovation. At the fifth annual Oracle Industry Connect conference, held in April 2018 in New York, attendees from all over the globe had an unprecedented opportunity to learn from experts – and one another – about the latest innovations driving that transformation in key areas including clinical trials.
As a customer-driven conference, OIC delivered attendees insights from their industry peers facing the same challenges through presentations, panel discussions and while networking with hundreds of fellow professionals. Input from customers led to the creation of a streamlined, two-track format for 2018. That, in turn, attracted 20 percent more attendees than last year for a more focused program from which three strong themes emerged.
Presenters discussed how data access via the cloud, combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, is delivering faster, better and more actionable insights for researchers and investigators developing and managing clinical trials. A second strong focus was around how mobile technologies and the integration of their data are becoming a vital component of clinical trial modernization. Finally, speakers examined how technologies of today and those on the horizon will enable companies to fulfill their promise to take a truly patient-centered approach – one that extends from research into new treatments through more efficient clinical trials, all the way to care delivery.
The patient-centric approach and experience is vital to this healthcare future, as noted by keynote speaker Jessica Melore. As someone who has experienced more serious medical challenges than most people experience in a lifetime – and survived in part thanks to becoming involved in a key clinical trial – Melore communicated her fierce advocacy for patients as the focal point for the industry. To her, it is vital that the industry significantly increase clinical trial awareness and participation among patients.
As attendees heard during the program, the cloud is vital to realizing that patient-focused approach to clinical trials and the process of creating innovative treatments. As precision medicine and gene-based therapies for serious diseases and chronic conditions come to dominate R&D, they create a much more challenging clinical trial environment. The ability to collect and analyze information from the broadest range of data sources enables companies to gain insights and make increasingly intelligent decisions about the design and operation of clinical trials.
The same cloud-based tools are key to finding and recruiting participants where there are increasingly specialized patient population needs – as well as making it easier for patients to participate, regardless of their location. That, in turn, can dramatically decrease time to market, helping patients sooner and reducing business risk.
Mobile technology is a major component of this change. Wearable devices from specialized sensors to smart watches are becoming commonplace, providing a wealth of information. Patients can use that data to help manage their care, while providers and payers can use and analyze individual data to make better diagnoses, prescribe more effective treatments and help ensure compliance and better outcomes. In the clinical trial setting, mobile devices can provide a crucial link between participants and researchers and offer new and more flexible ways to design trials. Mobile devices also represent another enormous source of data to be added to the cloud’s intelligence and analyzed in aggregate for insights before, during and after approval.
Technologies on the horizon also could play a huge role in health sciences in the near future. Blockchain, for example, offers an entirely different approach to security and validation of data. It could make it possible for clinical trial data to be shared more efficiently and much sooner, with partners and regulators alike, offering the potential to reduce the time needed to process and evaluate trial results. That could shave months or even years off the time it takes a new treatment to reach patients. The same technology has the potential to change the business model in the industry as well, by making it possible for the patient to maintain ownership and control of their data.
Forward thinking companies – and ones who understand the importance of being patient-centric – are already starting to think about how all these technologies will drive their digital transformations and deliver business value as well. Future OIC conferences will continue to be important meeting places for the sharing of innovative ideas and networking among global peers who are advancing the industry for the benefit of patients.