Director, Digital Health
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Creating Digital Health Solutions
By now, it’s likely you heard the term “beyond the pill” more than a few times. Well, Larry Brooks and his team at Boehringer Ingelheim are aiming to go even beyond that.
“We follow a lean, iterative approach to solution design and development such that we really account for how people live their lives and challenges associated with the chronic conditions,” Larry says. “For us it’s not just about piloting innovation technology or solving for an internal [Boehringer Ingelheim] need, but it’s all about our commitment to improving people’s lives. We succeed by understanding customer needs, and meeting those needs with innovative medicines and best-in-class engagements, programs, and services.”
Larry explains, “I think the industry will move away from digital health being just a marketing initiative to it being more about how we redefine the underlying products we develop and commercialize and the associated capabilities we apply to innovate broadly around the customer experience.”
The most mature offering Larry and his team have developed is a first-of-its-kind commercial partnership with Propeller Health that uses digital health tools and services to help people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) better manage their disease. As part of the program, Propeller’s health technology platform—including inhaler sensors, apps, analytics, personal feedback, and education—is used in association with Boehringer’s Respimat inhaler to passively track how and when each patient uses their inhaler as well as send alerts to patients and their caregivers. They are currently enrolling patients through health systems into the program.
“We want to be a company that provides innovative medicines,” Larry explains, “but that also is focused on the customer experience, and digital health has a big role to play.”