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Sanofi and Google recently announced a partnership with the goal of improving diabetes care. With the combination of Sanofi’s knowledge in the diabetes space and Google’s expertise in technology and analytics, they hope to put an end to the type of disjointed care diabetes patients often receive by developing new devices and data analytics. This may include health indicators such as blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels, patient-reported information, medication regimens, and sensor devices. These hypothetical breakthroughs hold enormous potential for improving patients’ quality of life, especially with a disease state such as diabetes where daily monitoring is crucial. Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, the world’s largest diabetes research center, was also invited to be a partner. Joslin’s chief executive John L. Brooks III said that creating new technology, sensors, analytics and digital solutions aimed at diabetes care “will deliver improved quality of life, lowering the risk of complications and reducing the costs and barriers associated with diabetes care.”
“This partnership is certainly something to keep an eye on in the coming months. There is a lot of potential, especially with Google as an ally, for Sanofi to start churning out some breakthrough products that will really transform diabetes care and may set a precedent for other companies. With nearly everything else going digital, it seems an obvious step to integrate the different aspects of a patient’s health using cloud-based technology, which some sources say may be the focus of the partnership. This could definitely give Sanofi the leg up it needs in order to combat increasing competition for their insulin product Lantus, and could make them a big player in the blood glucose meters and devices space. However, this is not Google’s first time working within the diabetes space, as they already have partnerships with Novartis and Dexcom, so it will be interesting to see what new things they can bring to the table for Sanofi.”– Sarah Casey
“For the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced. “One in seven people on earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.” This unprecedented milestone has enormous implications, and exemplifies how fast the digital landscape has changed and will continue to change how we communicate. Social media outlets, such as Facebook, are now not only communication platforms but also news platforms delivering high-quality, high-speed information faster than radio or TV ever did. Profoundly reducing the distance between point A and point B in information sharing can affect public health for the better, the author notes. We can react to health crises faster, answer treatment questions faster, and alert people to impending disasters faster, saving more lives in the process. With Facebook’s status as a one-stop shop for information and communication cemented, we could see two billion a lot sooner than we think.
“Think about this for a second. One billion people, more than three times the population of the United States, on a single website in a single day. Crazy, right? Founded in 2004, Facebook’s original purpose was to connect students at Harvard University. In 2006, anyone over the age of 13 could register for an account. Nine years later, one-seventh of the world was on Facebook at the same time. This rapid, global exchange of information and communication can only benefit the world of digital health, as we have the ability to send treatment and symptom information at the touch of button – and the faster information is shared, the faster more lives could be saved or improved. It will be interesting to see how Facebook and other social media evolve over the next decade.”– Max Wollner
Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media and Hootsuite have teamed up to launch a web-based social media training program for physicians. The program is designed to educate physicians on the basics of social media and how it can be integrated into patient care delivery to improve the patient experience. Topics such as analytics and monitoring will be included to provide the big picture of how social capabilities can be leveraged to identify actionable insights.
“With the growth of precision medicine, enhanced personal care is required to support this new direction of health care. And with the pharma industry lagging behind other industries when it comes to social media, it’s a safe bet that many physicians, especially baby boomers, are not as social savvy as younger generation patients who are reliant on social and digital channels to gather news and information. As physicians become more familiar with social capabilities specific to health care, including analytics to draw patient-generated insights, continuously-evolving personal care will make patient’s lives easier and more informed.”– Christina Hanlon
Astellas Pharma has teamed up with USA Rugby and the Australian Rugby Union on a new social media campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer, reports PMLive. The firm’s #pass4prostate campaign, which also aims to raise funds for research into the disease, will run until the end of September, which is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
“With the Rugby World Cup kicking off soon, the timing of the campaign could not be better. But what will be interesting about the campaign will be its ability to emulate the success of the ALS ice bucket challenge. That also started in the sports industry – golf – then caught on among the broad public, raising considerable awareness and funds for ALS research. Of course, recreating that level of success is incredibly difficult but certainly worth a try.”– Ben Atkins