SAS + OPEN SOURCE
The Health Pulse
How can data, AI and advanced analytics accelerate innovation in health care? Which new technologies hold the most promise? What are the biggest roadblocks to progress? How can we solve endemic problems?
Join us for The Health Pulse podcast series as we explore fresh perspectives on digital transformation in health care and life sciences. With a special guest expert on each episode*, we’ll tackle the most pressing issues affecting the delivery of health care and therapies worldwide.
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Season 4: Episode 9 SAS opens up about open source in life sciences
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there are many benefits to a balanced diet.
That’s SAS’ philosophy in embracing and extending open source, according to life sciences leaders Mark Lambrecht and Matt Becker on this episode of the Health Pulse Podcast.
To keep up with the staggering pace of change, life sciences organizations need cutting-edge analytics and the flexibility to use different programming languages.
Tune in for a candid conversation on the pros and cons of open source and commercial software and the importance of the statistical computing environment (SCE) in clinical research.
MORE THAN A TEST
Season 4: Episode 8 The Impact of Diagnostics on Health Care
Bryan Vaughn is passionate about bending the cost curve in health care.
As Senior Vice President of Hospitals and Health Systems at Labcorp, he focuses on diagnostics in delivering better, more affordable care.
In this episode, Vaughn notes that impactful partnerships across the health care ecosystem help reduce the cost of critical diagnostics, creating a win for all stakeholders.
When it comes to analytics, he is excited to see Labcorp’s wealth of health data empowering and informing patients and their doctors today – as well as the potential for predictive analytics and AI to improve health outcomes in the future.
REAL WORLD HEALTH
Season 4: Episode 7 Real-World Data and the Bigger Picture of Health
Krishna Tangirala is an expert at uncovering insights about pharmaceutical products in the real world. He is Head of Data Analytics and Director of Field Outcomes Research at Organon Pharmaceuticals.
In the first part of this episode, Tangirala talks to Alex about how stakeholders use health economics and outcomes research throughout the pharmaceutical life cycle to better understand the value, potential and safety of drug products. He also discusses new and emerging applications for real-world data (RWD) in pharma, including external control arms and digital twins and the potential for technology to solve challenges around managing, analyzing and visualizing data insights from RWD.
Next, Sherrine Eid, Global Lead for Real-World Evidence and Epidemiologist at SAS, joins Alex. Eid is passionate about mathematically modeling disease patterns and finding ways to intervene and improve outcomes. For her, it’s all about using the best tools at her disposal to help people live their healthiest, best lives.
Eid discusses the role of RWD and connected devices to enable personalized medicine and shares her perspective on the value of personalized health information as a diabetes patient.
PUBLIC HEALTH MODERNIZATION
Season 4: Episode 6 Modernizing public health with population health analytics
Dr. Iulia Vann, Public Health Director in Guildford County, NC, is passionate about public health and data-driven decision making.
On this episode of the Health Pulse Podcast, Vann discusses the importance of prevention, the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, lessons learned about closing gaps in data and analytics and resiliency.
Vann explains that effective public health strategies include strong relationships with local partners, communication and planning for health equity measures, like putting 40% of vaccines aside for historically marginalized communities.
Data modernization is another crucial element for health organizations to serve their communities better. Requiring agencies to integrate data from different systems and ensuring the data is transparent and reliable is essential in making data-driven decisions as a public health agency.
She explains how Guilford County partnered with SAS to create dashboards and monitor program performance and public health areas of focus, such as chronic diseases, cancer and environmental health, to make the best possible decisions for their community.
THE AI ASSIST
Season 4: Episode 5 The promise of AI in pharmaceutical manufacturing
SAS’s Andy Bayliss works with life sciences manufacturers, applying AI and machine learning to improve their processes at scale.
On this episode of the Health Pulse Podcast, he tells Alex that pharmaceutical manufacturers are experts at reliably delivering high-quality products.
They must be because it’s a highly regulated industry with a patient at the end of every product.
The opportunity to utilize technology energizes Bayliss. Technology like sensors and computer vision allows continuous monitoring to spot trends and potential deviations earlier in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
It’s about giving the human expert additional insight to create meaningful action.
ETHICAL AI IN HEALTH CARE
Season 4: Episode 4 Is ethical AI the future of health care?
Dr. Michel van Genderen, physician, AI leader and founder of the Datahub at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, shares his passion for ethical AI in hospitals.
Could AI be a game-changer for the health care industry?
Genderen thinks so and explains the two biggest global health care challenges – the shortage of personnel and an increasing health care demand.
He believes trustworthy AI could alleviate these pressures and solve clinical challenges faster. For example, Erasmus Medical Center developed an AI model used in the intensive care unit that decreases the administrative workload for nurses.
Using AI in a responsible, ethical and sustainable manner is crucial to its adoption in clinical settings so that health care professionals trust AI when they use it at the bedside.
To develop and deploy AI models in clinical settings, a group of multidisciplinary teams comes together, including data scientists, data engineers, physicians, nurses, patients and more, which is the remit of the Datahub at Erasmus Medical Center.
Adhering to ethical guidelines is crucial when teams develop models, monitor their performance and adopt them in clinical or operational settings. Genderen is optimistic that all industries will be able to benefit from AI if decisions made with analytics and AI are ethical, trustworthy, explainable and fair.
DATA ELASTICITY FOR THE WIN
Season 4: Episode 3 Balancing data, analysis and speed in business decision making
Steven Lehmann is passionate about the impact of data science in business.
He is Head of Data Science and Analytics Strategy for Johnson & Johnson in EMEA.
He also wrote the book Digital Jackpot on what it really takes to make data-driven decisions that matter. Hint, the answer often isn’t more data.
In this episode of the Health Pulse Podcast, Lehmann talks with Alex about the importance of telling the right story with data so people will listen.
He introduces the concept of data elasticity in finding the balance between enough data and the speed you need to make business decisions to solve real-world problems.
Data elasticity lets data scientists and business leaders make strong recommendations with imperfect data, knowing their recommendations would still be within a reasonable margin of error.
He reminds us that these are excellent tools when it comes to the explosion of data, AI and advanced analytics.
Still, the individuals and organizations who can make the best use of them to drive impact will ultimately succeed.
BIRD FLU: THE NEXT PANDEMIC?
Season 4: Episode 2 Bird flu: The next pandemic?
Dr. Meg Schaeffer, an Epidemiologist and Public Health Advisor at SAS and an elite athlete and champion for health equity, is a perfect example of what passion for public health looks like.
In this episode, Schaeffer considers the evolution of bird flu and explains that North America, Europe, Asia and some African countries are in the midst of the largest bird flu outbreak, with millions of birds culled.
Monitoring outbreaks is crucial to predict the future of health care and to prevent a human pandemic.
She also talks about health equity and the importance of combining quantitative with qualitative data to understand population needs and challenges. This helps design effective programs that reduce inequities. There is currently a lack of qualitative data, leading to resource misalignments, Schaeffer explains.
Combining interviews, focus groups and text data with advanced analytics could be the key to currently overlooked insights. Despite challenges the health care industry is facing, being an elite, world-ranked triathlete has taught Schaeffer there is always a way – that temporary discomfort leads to success.
She is optimistic about the future of health care with the dedication of the public health workforce and cutting-edge software, supporting decision making processes.
STATS AGAINST CANCER
Season 4: Episode 1 The right tools for the right questions to fight cancer
As Vice President and Head of Oncology Statistics and Data Management at Bayer, Dr. Richardus Vonk wants to see cancer become a manageable disease in his lifetime.
With as many as one in two people getting cancer at some point, the goal to better treat and eventually prevent and cure cancer is incredibly impactful.
On this episode of the Health Pulse Podcast, Vonk sits down with host Alex Maiersperger to discuss data, analytics, AI and automation in advancing cancer research and drug development.
Vonk explains that AI plays an essential role in early cancer detection but has yet to find widespread adoption in drug development.
Automation is critical because it frees time at the end of clinical trials to explore the science and uncover valuable insights to inform care. Regarding analytics software, he thinks the future is a mix of commercial and open source.
What’s more important, according to Vonk, is expanding access and data sharing while protecting patient privacy and using the right tools to answer the right questions.
BAYESIAN CLINICAL TRIALS
Season 3: Episode 12 From radical to routine: The use of Bayesian statistics in clinical trials
More than a decade ago, Bruno Boulanger made a big bet on applying Bayesian statistics in clinical trials. At the time, very few in the industry thought the method, which applies probabilities to statistical problems, had a place in clinical development.
Boulanger saw an opportunity, founding a company that quickly grew and was acquired by CRO PharmaLex in 2018, where he now serves as global head of statistics and data science.
In this episode, Boulanger explains how Bayesian statistics uses probability and prediction to solve challenges in the increasingly complex world of clinical research and clinical trial design. Bayesian statistics allows researchers to expand decision making for clinical trials beyond its participants, which is imperative for trials targeting rare diseases.
Looking forward, Boulanger is optimistic about the expansion of therapeutic innovation combined with digitalization and data science to meet the unmet needs of patients.
IS VALUE-BASED CARE FAILING?
Season 3: Episode 11 Is Value-Based Care Failing?
What is needed to make value-based care work? Bryony Winn shares her views on key enablers, implementation challenges and how they can be overcome.
Winn is President of Health Solutions at Elevance Health. Being born and raised in Zimbabwe, educated in the UK, having worked in Europe as a consultant and moved to the United Stated, Winn has a truly international career path and a wealth of knowledge of different health care systems.
On this episode, host Alex Maiersperger and Winn talk about the role technology plays in integrating care systems. Winn explains a big challenge is that patients are often treated for conditions in isolation, without taking a whole-person approach.
Data integration and deep partnerships across different health and social care providers are crucial requirements to gain full transparency and insights into a person’s whole health, enabling key stakeholders to make value-based care work and tailor care more effectively.
At the same time, Winn addresses some of the criticisms of value-based care models, as many don’t believe the concept is working. Winn explains that the industry had a narrow view at the beginning, believing the shift to value-based care is only a change of payment models, but she emphasizes data integration and infrastructure around payment models are also needed. Despite some of the challenges and criticism, Winn remains optimistic about value-based care models and their role in driving affordability, quality of care and high experience scores.
GENOMICS = FASTER DRUG DEVELOPMENT
Season 3: Episode 10 Are Genomics the Key to Placebo-Free Clinical Trials?
Are placebo-free clinical trials the next normal? Nino da Silva thinks so. In this episode, he shares his views on trends in drug development and clinical research, including the integration of genetic data into drug development with synthetic control arms and the importance of data protection.
Da Silva is an international leader in medical informatics, health care and business strategy. He is currently Deputy Managing Director at BC Platforms, a global data science solutions leader in personalized health, drug discovery and life sciences research.
Guest host Antonio De Castro talks with da Silva about advancements in drug discovery and development by combining genetic data with phenotypic data. For example, synthetic control arms incorporate external health data into clinical trials to speed up drug development, reduce trial costs and address ethical concerns. Improved access to data from many research fields and the real world make the adoption of synthetic control arms possible.
Da Silva explains the importance of trusted research environments (TRE) and trusted collaboration environments (TCE) in enabling highly dynamic research with analytics, while protecting citizens’ data privacy. Also critical to this work is the ability to harmonize and make comparable data from multiple sources and geographies. Da Silva, who is based in Singapore, leaves us with his thoughts on the importance of diversity and representation in clinical trials and the role of the Asia Pacific region as a growing R&D hub for life sciences.
DIVERSITY IN GENOMICS
Season 3: Episode 9 Using Genetic Information to Improve Patient and Population Health
Levana Sani is co-founder and CEO of NalaGenetics, a company bringing individual genetic information to patients and health care settings in Southeast Asia.
On this episode, Sani talks with SAS’ Antonio De Castro about the importance of ethnic diversity in genetic research.
She explains that polygenetic risk scores, which calculate a single score for many variants in the human genome, are greatly improved when genetic samples from multiple ethnic groups are included.
Sani and De Castro also discuss a range of considerations around making individual genetic information available to patients, providers and payers, including health data privacy, delivering practical recommendations to patients based on their genetics, and delivering the right information at the right time to improve health outcomes for individuals and the population.
REBUILDING PUBLIC HEALTH
Season 3: Episode 8 Is the great pandemic yet to come?
Could the bird flu cause the next pandemic? Dr. Robert Redfield thinks so, and shares his views on the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons to prepare for new infectious diseases. Redfield is a virologist and former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Advisor to the Governor of Maryland and Senior Medical Advisor at PERSOWN.
Redfield joins host Alex Maiersperger to speak about public health measures against the COVID-19 pandemic and shares insights into what has worked, what hasn’t, and what takeaways decision makers could apply in the future. The main challenge in the United States, he explains, is that the public health infrastructure is extremely underfunded, leading to a lack of resources, including the workforce, equipment and funding for a modern data infrastructure.
Building public health resilience – an approach that ensures public health systems have enough equipment and trained staff to respond to a pandemic – while maintaining the quality of routine health services is a major need Redfield speaks about. He suggests that redundant resources can be diverted to diagnostics for chronic diseases when there is no pandemic. Redfield believes the great pandemic is yet to come, which will likely be a bird flu pandemic with significant mortality rates. Having the mRNA technology in place to produce effective vaccines is key a scientific advancement Redfield speaks about. He also highlights manufacturing and scalability issues that can slow down a fast response.
Despite some of the challenges public health agencies are facing, Redfield remains optimistic about the future, as he shares his confidence in science and the power of modern medicine.
DIGITALIZATION DRIVES DIVERSITY
Season 3: Episode 7 The future of clinical trial recruitment is digital, and patients are the biggest winners.
Tobias Kruse never dreamed of being an entrepreneur. He recognized a problem he knew he could solve and founded the clinical trial recruitment company Trials24, where he is now CEO.
On this episode, Kruse shares his company’s inception story with Alex. As a young scientist working on a clinical trial, Kruse realized that dated, print-based patient recruitment tactics weren’t working. He had learned a thing or two about online marketing from one of his side hustles and decided to take a leap. He launched Trials24 to digitalize patient recruitment and to speed up drug development timelines. The company’s digital-first approach helps address the lack of diversity in clinical research by targeting awareness campaigns to underserved communities and recruiting more diverse populations for clinical trials.
Kruse knows digitalization is the future of patient recruitment, bringing better patient experiences and more representative clinical trials.
DIAGNOSTICS SAVE LIVES
Season 3: Episode 6 Saving Lives With Better, Faster, Affordable Diagnostics
Eric Doherty is President of PERSOWN, the company striving to make a lifesaving impact by delivering accurate, rapid and affordable diagnostics to the point of care anywhere in the world.
In this episode of The Health Pulse, Doherty joins host Alex Maiersperger to discuss disparities in global health care and how access to high-quality, low-cost diagnostics can help close the gap. Doherty shares the shocking statistic that there are 0.23 doctors per 10,000 people in the world’s poorest countries. What’s more, diagnostic errors account for the deaths of 7 million children per year worldwide.
PERSOWN addresses devastating global health care access disparities with high-quality, affordable diagnostics with results in under two minutes. The company is working on assays for various applications, including COVID-19, tuberculosis, sepsis, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and concussions. Doherty shares an inspiring vision of the role of technology in health care innovation and the importance of personal ownership of health care data.
PATIENTS ARE CONSUMERS, TOO
Season 3: Episode 5 The Role of Patient-Centricity in Improving Health Worldwide
SAS’ Antonio De Castro is a truly global citizen. Having lived in Southeast Asia and Europe, now working for a US company, he joined Alex from a studio in Singapore to talk global and local trends in the wake of COVID-19 and his passion for data and analytics in health care. Later in this season of the Health Pulse podcast, he’ll be jumping into the conversation as guest host for Asia Pacific.
De Castro loves mathematics and problem solving and has a background in nutritional research. These passions shape his perspective on consumerism in health care and life sciences, where patient-centricity is contributing to significant advances, including decentralized clinical trials and more informed and engaged patient populations.
De Castro is infectiously optimistic that today’s global health care challenges will drive innovation that leads to a healthier tomorrow.
SUPPLY CHAIN REVOLUTION
Season 3: Episode 4 The End of Global Supply Chains?
What has disruption taught us about global supply chains? Robert Handfield shares his vision on what agile and resilient supply chain models look like in the future.
Handfield is the Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at NC State University and Founder/Executive Director of The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative. On this episode, he joins host Alex Maiersperger to talk about the impact of the pandemic on global supply chains and provide insight into what has worked, what hasn’t and what lessons we can apply in the future.
Handfield addresses the dependency on global supply chains for urgent medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic and inadequate national stock due to a “just-in-time” inventory management system. Strategic national stockpiles have become a major governmental and industry focus, as well as increasing domestic sourcing of certain medical and pharmaceutical products.
Handfield speaks about a shift toward nearshoring, where a company transfers work to suppliers nearby in the region where possible, despite remaining dependent on certain products from global supply chains. Finally, he emphasizes that the right technology, training and workforce will be key to resilient and agile supply chain systems in the future.
AGILE IS THE NEW ACCURATE
Season 3: Episode 3 Why Forecast Agility Is King in the New World of Supply Chain Disruption
For Felipe Sotelo, it’s all about priorities. That’s why Dad & Husband are the titles on his LinkedIn profile. It’s also why he now believes demand forecast agility is more important than accuracy in the post-pandemic world of supply chain disruptions.
On this episode of The Health Pulse, positive thinker, business reinvention leader and writer Sotelo joins host Alex Maiersperger to share his insights as a supply chain leader for organizations including Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals and PepsiCo.
Forecast accuracy can never be perfect, and in a scenario full of disruptions, Sotelo argues it’s more important to focus on agility and speed so organizations can respond to disruptions more effectively. In his opinion, prioritization plays a big role, and successful organizations have both a strong leadership strategy and investment in technology and analytics to create insights that keep the strategy on track.
Sotelo predicts we won’t see a light at the end of the tunnel for pandemic-related disruption before 2024. But that doesn’t keep him from being optimistic about the role of supply chain leaders in shaping a better, more sustainable future.
HEALTH CARE DELIGHT
Season 3: Episode 2 Meet your digital health twin of the future
Is it too much to expect health care to deliver delightful experiences? Dr. Koen Kas doesn’t think so, and his vision includes digital twins, personal data stores and preventive medicine. He is a health care visionary, digital health and biomarker expert, health-tech entrepreneur, Professor of Molecular Oncology and Digital Health at the University of Ghent, international keynote speaker and author of Sick No More and Your Guide to Delight.
Host Alex Maiersperger and Kas talk about the concept of delight thinking, an approach that requires stakeholders to think outside the box – creating new health care delivery models, never imagined. Delight thinking has the patient at its core, rewarding health care systems for keeping patients healthy. Kas also speaks about the role of a digital twin for the future of health care. The twin is a full representation of the holistic health of a human, combining all health data from different sources into an avatar. Testing preventive or clinical measures on the avatar will enable a visualization of health outcomes, before implementing them on the human. Finally, he emphasizes the key to prevention and personalized medicine is data integration and encourages health care systems to reward providers and citizens for preventing, predicting and reversing diseases.
DATA > CANCER
Season 3: Episode 1 The (Not So) Secret to Making Cancer Care more Equitable and Effective
Dr. Sean Khozin is on a mission to break down silos and improve access to quality cancer care for all. Khozin is a board-certified oncologist, physician scientist, data scientist and the CEO of ASCO’s CancerLinQ®, a non-profit health technology company focused on improving health outcomes for all patients with cancer. On this episode of The Health Pulse, Khozin joins host Alex Maiersperger to talk about how his organization is democratizing access to the best cancer care by bringing real-world evidence (RWE)-based decision support tools to the point of care. As Khozin explains, only about 5 percent of cancer patients have access to clinical trials. This means oncology clinical trial data often lacks external validity because it represents highly selective patient populations. CancerLinQ® is helping to close the gap using real-world data (RWD) to develop algorithmic support tools to inform personalized, multi-modal patient care in near real time. From deriving insights from complex data to tackling treatment artifacts that we need to unlearn, Khozin shares his vision for improving precision and why data convergence at the point of care leaves him optimistic about a major inflection point for cancer treatment in the next 10 years
Season 2: Episode 6 Improving Maternal Health through AI and Biomedical Science
In this episode, Greg speaks with Professor Patricia Maguire, Biomedical Scientist and Director of University College Dublin’s Institute for Discovery. Maguire’s research focuses on platelets, an interest that began 25 years ago when her father suffered his first heart attack and she recognized the need for better diagnostics in the clinic.
Maguire explains that platelets are a ready source of biomarkers. In one project, her team works closely with three large maternity hospitals in Dublin, Ireland, on a study that has found new diagnostic markers for preeclampsia. Their goal on the project is to bring diagnostic data from blood platelets together with all other available data on a mother during pregnancy and apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to extract insights. Those insights can be delivered to a clinician to inform critical care decisions, such as when a baby should be born. Maguire says the ultimate dream of the team is to partner with government and industry to bring the preeclampsia diagnostic to every woman who needs it, saving lives. She also shares her thoughts on the importance of democratizing AI and analytics to improve knowledge sharing and collaboration from academia into the real world.
Season 2: Episode 5 Creating a Healthier World with Ethical AI
Greg catches up with colleague Reggie Townsend, Director of the Data Ethics Practice at SAS. Recognizing the increasing need for data ethics, SAS formed the practice to create principles and processes for governing artificial intelligence (AI). It applies a human-centric approach to uphold principles like transparency, accountability and inclusivity in data science.
Townsend challenges his team to consider the impact of technology on the most vulnerable populations. Understanding bias is imperative in AI ethics. For example, Black neighborhoods in the US, like the one where Townsend grew up in Chicago, are more likely to be food deserts. The people in those communities lack access to healthy food and have poorer health outcomes. When evaluating health data, it’s critical to understand facts and historical context to deliver effective decisions and solutions free of bias. Townsend is hopeful that the ethical development of AI-related technology can lead to brighter futures for all.
Season 2: Episode 4 Healthier Living Through Epigenetics Analysis
On this episode, Greg is joined by Dr. Melissa Strong, founder and lead data scientist for IndiOmics. Her background is in molecular biology and epigenetics, or how our environment can affect our gene expression. IndiOmics’ mission is to educate the public about common chemicals that can affect us on a cellular level and what we can do to prevent exposure. Much of its work focuses on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
By completing IndiOmics’ home-based kit, participants get a personalized look at their exposure, it’s effects on a molecular level and simple steps to prevent additional exposure. Strong explains that our gene expression is not set in stone, and our environment and behaviors play a significant role in determining our health. Particularly with EDCs, science has demonstrated the toxicity of even very low levels of chemical exposure. Looking to the future, Strong is encouraged by younger generations’ awareness and believes consumer demands will create action from manufacturers and regulators to reduce harmful chemicals in consumer products.
Season 2: Episode 3 Fighting Cancer with Social Determinants of Health Data
On this episode, Greg Horne talks with Dr. Robert Winn, Director at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Dr. Winn focuses on two goals – eradicating cancer and the disparities in access to quality health care. He believes that people who have access to quality treatment receive it –, it’s that simple –, with trust and affordability playing a critical role.
As Winn explains, to earn people’s trust in science, the scientific and medical community must be trustworthy. That’s why Massey Cancer Center is working on a trustworthiness scale to measure how they are doing with their patients.
Dr. Winn also shares his perspective on the role of health data convergence in improving health outcomes and the importance of using data from the community to improve scientific questions and address social determinants of health. Finally, he leaves us with his sentiments on the power and limitations of science in fighting cancer, the importance of robust palliative care and his vision for the cancer center of the future.
Season 2: Episode 2 The Next Evolution of Decentralized Clinical Trials
On this episode, Greg Horne interviews Craig Lipset, advisor, advocate and educator for decentralized clinical trials and former Head of Clinical Innovation at Pfizer.
At Pfizer, Lipset helped design and lead the first fully remote, decentralized trial more than a decade ago. He explains that methods, investment and regulatory readiness around decentralized clinical trials have long existed in the industry. The pandemic-related disruptions of early 2020 drove meaningful adoption.
Lipset and Greg discuss the potential for decentralized trials to improve patient-centricity by making participation more convenient and inclusive. Lipset also outlines the support needed to achieve this. Finally, he leaves us with his perspective on the role of decentralized trials in helping health care deliver clinical research as a care option..
Season 2: Episode 1 Microsoft’s Dr. David Rhew on the Role of Data and Analytics in Improving Health Equity and Health Outcomes
On this episode, host Greg Horne interviews David Rhew, MD, Global Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Healthcare for Microsoft, on the role of technology in health care. Rhew observed early in his career that evidence-based practices often lead to better health outcomes, but they aren’t adhered to consistently. From there he set out on a digital transformation journey that quickly brought him into health tech and eventually Microsoft. Rhew and Greg discuss the role of technology in delivering the right information at the right time to improve patient experience, health outcomes and health equity. According to Rhew, the next horizon in health care will be around making data more interoperable so that the industry can more effectively and consistently drive actionable insights that improve care. Finally, Rhew leaves us with his parting thoughts on technology’s capacity to improve health equity and access.
Season1: Episode 16 Stacking the Impact of Clinical Research to Address Unmet Needs in Health Care
Jennifer Byrne is CEO of contract research organization Javara Research and helps patient populations through clinical research. On this episode, Byrne shares how learning health systems can improve health care through research with Greg. Javara has many traditional advantages a CRO brings to pharma and health care systems through an integrated research organization.
The organization’s strategy and partnerships center on bringing clinical research opportunities to health care systems. This research helps meet patient needs while partnering with pharma to address data and scientific needs of clinical trials. This approach, combined with technology and analytics, results in more patient-centric clinical trials that create healthier outcomes for everyone.
Season1: Episode 15 Modern Consumers Want to Know: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Is Influencing Supply Chain Traceability
On this episode, Greg is joined by Grainne Lynch, Senior Manager and Traceability Lead for Accenture.
Lynch helps pharmaceutical companies be compliant with supply chain legislation. She explains to Greg that the pharmaceutical industry is at the forefront of a consumer-led trend, demanding end-to-end tracking and tracing of products throughout the supply chain. More than ever, consumers want a product’s entire history: Where it came from, how materials were sourced, where and when it was manufactured, and the process by which it was approved. Consumers expect companies to make good decisions throughout the supply chain. This trend toward greater tracking and tracing is seen in many industries and, as Lynch explains, life sciences is a natural leader because the industry already has GxP requirements in place.
Lynch then leaves us with her thoughts on the importance of pharmaceutical traceability to the future growth of the industry.
Season1: Episode 14 Follow the Money to Predict the Future of Health Care
Jessica DaMassa is the Executive Producer and Host of video series, What’s the Future, Health?, where she interviews key stakeholders in health tech to uncover unique perspectives on where the industry is headed. On this episode of The Health Pulse, Jessica briefly switches from her usual role as interviewer to guest to share her observations on the trends to watch in health care. The health tech space has seen an unprecedented influx of funding since the early months of the pandemic in 2020. So, where is all this new funding going? Jessica identified three key focus areas – mental health; technology that helps navigate patients into and through the health care system (also know as digital front doors); and AI implementation specifically in the areas of clinical trials and automation of health care administration. On this episode Jessica also shares observations on shifts in the delivery of health care and her best advice for health tech start ups.
Season1: Episode 13 Removing Logistical Barriers to Health Care With Uber Health
Caitlin Donovan is the Global Head of Uber Health. She’s responsible for figuring out how to fix logistical issues in health care. Coming from a variety of health care executive roles before joining Uber Health, she observed that too often, what goes wrong in health care isn’t clinical – it’s what happens when patients aren’t in front of their provider. Maybe they don’t have transportation to an appointment. Maybe their prescription didn’t arrive or they don’t have access to the food they need.
At Uber Health, Donovan focuses on connecting the dots through data and predictive analytics to solve these challenges. Greg and Donovan discuss the role of platforms like Uber Health in addressing social determinants and improving population health. Finally, Donovan shares her thoughts on the biggest health care challenges Uber Health will tackle next.
Season1: Episode 12 From basketball to mental health data, Dr. Dawnté Early drives a community-centric approach
Dr. Dawnté Early (she/her) is the Chief of Research and Evaluation for the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission in California. She supports the commission’s mission to transform the mental health system so everyone who needs care in California receives high-quality and culturally competent care. She brings together mental health data at the individual level with data from different agencies, including criminal justice, education, quarterly wage, and death and birth data, to identify social determinants of health and uncover disparities.
Greg asks about overcoming stigma in mental health. Early emphasizes the importance of normalizing conversations and contextualizing mental health needs while humanizing language around mental health. The commission helps ensure that these conversations take place and the community is engaged throughout the process.
Lastly, Early shares her vision for the commission’s role in connecting data to policy, policy to community and community to outcomes for more early intervention and prevention in mental health. These outcomes help individuals, families and communities.
Season1: Episode 11 A Pharma CIO’s Prescription for Building a Data-Driven Culture
On this episode, Greg is joined by Herman De Prins, Global CIO of biopharma company UCB. De Prins describes UCB’s journey into AI, beginning with projects for epilepsy treatment. He shares how UCB promoted data literacy and AI among its global staff of more than 8,000 people. He also describes how the company prioritizes projects brought forward by its team of AI enthusiasts.
De Prins emphasizes that there is value in AI across the pharmaceutical field, particularly in R&D and commercial. Last year UCB used AI to research potential treatments for COVID-19 and reduced the time typically required for that research from six months to three days.
Greg and De Prins conclude by discussing the future of AI and De Prins’ thoughts on the potential opportunities and pitfalls in a world where AI will increasingly be embedded in all technology products.
Season1: Episode 10 Rethinking public health: A new approach fueled by data
On this episode, Greg talks with Dana Bernson, epidemiologist and Director of Special Analytic Projects at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, about her work with data and analytics to guide public health planning and crisis response. She shares insight from the department’s initial effort to link data sources across state government to get more contextual information to address the opioid epidemic.
Not surprisingly, one data set often reveals a piece of the puzzle, but linking multiple data sources tells a bigger story. Data linkage is critical to understanding social determinants of health, which inform effective policy and intervention. This is also true of the COVID-19 pandemic, where Bernson’s team explores the impact of the pandemic on underserved populations.
Finally, Bernson shares an update on what has become known as the Public Health Data Warehouse project: A research tool that enables analysis of public health priorities and trends, including substance abuse and maternal and child health. She hopes following the coronavirus crisis, public health will receive more consistent and sustainable funding for projects like hers supporting a more complete and proactive approach to health.
Season1: Episode 9 In life sciences, change is hard but worthwhile for digital transformation.
On this episode, Greg chats with Jonathan Riches, SAS’ Director of Sales for Life Sciences in Europe, Middle East and Africa, about digital transformation in pharmaceuticals. Riches argues that while buzzword technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning garner attention, culture determines an organization’s digital transformation success. Why? The life sciences industry is highly regulated by necessity, and many pharmaceutical companies have existed for a century or more. So, while change is challenging for any organization, it is especially challenging for pharma.
According to Riches, life sciences organizations must back up their analytics evolution with ample training, empowerment around individual growth, and C-level commitment to data-driven decision making. For more than 20 years, pharma has used analytics and statistics to prove the efficacy and safety of drugs to obtain regulatory approval. We now recognize that analytics can glean much deeper insights. This evolution requires significant change management. Riches advises pharmaceutical companies to design data and analytics platforms for their business challenges.
Season1: Episode 8 What can public and private sector health care learn from military medicine?
On this episode, retired US Army Maj. Gen. Elder Granger, MD, joins Greg to discuss how lessons learned from military health agencies inspire new innovations in public and private health care. For example, how can the private sector adapt the military's proactive screening and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to help employees or patients struggling with trauma related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis or other events.
Granger emphasizes removing mental health stigma and improving access to mental health services. Data and enabling technology like AI will be pivotal in the next big health care innovations. These technologies will help create a future where Granger predicts we’ll be able to address social determinants of health head-on to improve health and health care for all
Season1: Episode 7 Is ‘The customer is always right’ the key to commercial breakthroughs in pharma?
Greg chats with SAS customer intelligence (CI) guru Mike Turner about the use of CI in life sciences. While pharma’s customers may look a bit different, it turns out life sciences has a lot to learn about customer engagement from industries like retail, consumer packaged goods and hospitality. Mike and Greg talk about the road ahead for life sciences companies as they shift their sales and marketing programs toward a more strategic approach to customer insights and engagement. Finally, Mike shares his predictions for the future of CI in pharma.
Season1: Episode 6 Exploring the evolution and future of clinical trial data sharing
Greg sits down with data sharing and disclosure expert Andrew Freeman to discuss his experience at the forefront of the industry initiative to make patient-level data from clinical trials available for research. Andrew shares his views on the availability of results from clinical trials and why it’s important for that data to be available for third-party research. They’ll explore successes of the clinical data transparency movement to date and the challenges and opportunities ahead..
Season1: Episode 5 The race for return on investment in commercial pharma
Greg and guest Patrick Homer, SAS commercial pharma industry consultant, discuss the role of analytics in commercialization of pharmaceutical products. From predictive modeling techniques to identify the best prescribers for sales to target, to engagement analytics to improve the quality of online marketing efforts, there are a wealth of opportunities to employ analytics to drive value during the commercial phase. Patrick and Greg will chat about several examples from Patrick’s work, including how analytics helped a major global pharma company transform its COVID-19 webinar campaign into a big success using insights from engagement analytics.
Season1: Episode 4 A healthy dose of vaccine reality
Host Greg Horne and SAS Medical Director Steve Kearney, PharmD, discuss access, attitudes and equity in the global race to administer COVID-19 vaccines. They’ll examine what the early data is telling us about who is getting vaccines. They’ll also look at whether there are disparities in some communities and, if so, what’s driving those disparities. Are all policy and procedural decisions around vaccination data-driven? We wish, but as with any effort this massive, there are gaps in the data. Steve and Greg will discuss where they are and how they influence who gets vaccinated first.
Season1: Episode 3 AI and Bias in Health Care
Data scientist Hiwot Tesfaye joins Greg Horne for a conversation about the use of algorithms in health care and how models can introduce bias. They’ll discuss current examples of health care bias, who should be held responsible and how we can do better as an industry in the future.
Season1: Episode 2 The Role of Telemedicine in Advancing Whole Person Care
Behavioral care expert and psychologist Josh Morgan, PsyD chats with Greg Horne about the role of virtual care in delivery of more equitable and patient-centric health care. They’ll explore the potential for telemedicine to help break down barriers, maximize resources, advance holistic outcomes and empower patients.
Season1: Episode 1 Welcome to The Health Pulse Podcast
In this first episode, industry experts Mark Lambrecht, PhD and host Greg Horne will dive into some of the most interesting and challenging issues facing the health care and life sciences industries today. They’ll explore the role of data and analytics in driving patient-centricity and innovation in the delivery of health care worldwide.
*All presentations represent the opinions of the presenter and do not represent the position or the opinion of SAS.