Matters of Trust

Let’s face it. The wealth of patient information available today, from biometrics, to medication adherence, refill prescriptions rates, exercise, and sensitive information such as age and demographics, is shared among a number of healthcare stakeholders from physicians and HCPs, to payers, researchers, institutions, hospitals, clinicians, and others. All of this can improve patient care, aid in the discovery of new drugs, especially for rare diseases, and is collected via many means, from patient monitor apps, to smartphones, to genetic testing.

But with so much information available, biotech, biomed, pharma, and others faced the questions about how to collect that information—and how to transmit it from one place to another safely. Blockchain technology is one answer as it provides “a time stamped series of immutable records of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any entity” and uses cryptographic principles to secure and bound blocks of data to each other, according to author Ken Winell. For example: A patient can select which information is transmitted to another doctor, pharmacy, etc.—and this selection becomes something like a contract with the HCP EHR record system, providing that sense of security patients demand. It is a great advance, but not infallible.

BioHackers lurk. And author John Nye’s The Reality of Connected Medical Devices also foresees the danger as healthcare facilities have quickly added large numbers of connected medical devices containing sensitive information to their internal networks, and sometimes the internet. Essentially, these systems are vulnerable because they are not considered endpoints that BioHackers access—yet they are. Read about the hazards and how they might be avoided.

Trust is the issue. And in our column, “Own It.” How to Build Trust in the Digital Age, author Amelia Eanes notes that biopharma brands can re-instill trust by leveraging owned media channels that educate about disease categories with concise, clear, and relevant content. While some companies are still loathe to enter the social media space, Eanes says that’s a missed opportunity. Because once you become knowledgeable, empathetic, and forthright in your communications, that is what builds patient trust.

Now get ready! The December Innovation Issue will wow you with the incredible innovative strides made by pharma in Companies, Startups, Products, Service, Strategies, and Divisions—a great inspiration for 2020!

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