Big Data’s big potential

As the ocean of data gathered from research studies, wearables and medtech continues to spiral, the pharma industry is faced with a conundrum: what data are actually relevant, how can we access them easily and how do we draw insights from them?

Since the widespread adoption of the internet, and the advent of various new methods of data collection, the world has been promised interconnectivity and revolution in and across all industries. Some 20 years later, that promise hasn’t quite come true – yet the amount of big data continues to rise.

Many in the industry are now realising the paradox and a few specialist data expert companies have trail-blazed the extensive data-mining procedures that extract commercially-vital information. One of those companies is Medmeme, a company focused on ‘transforming data into actionable knowledge’ through the use of algorithmic technologies that build sets of informed insights.

Making your message heard

Unlike other companies that may be focusing on insights specifically for the purposes of clinical research, Medmeme has piloted the concept of ‘share of scientific voice’ and the insights that can be derived from this analysis.

“For a long time, pharma has been focused on the generation and the dissemination of data, meaning that companies are very well versed in performing clinical trials, generating data, and then disseminating it,” comments Kathy Presto, chief scientific strategy officer at Medmeme. “With ever more powerful technology in recent years, a new opportunity has arisen to use new tools to analyse the quantity and quality of that scientific dissemination, i.e. a company’s, or product’s, or scientific statement’s ‘share of scientific voice’.”

The concept is an important one when considering whether a company’s voice is, in fact, being heard. Examining large conferences, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, for the number of abstracts mentioning a specific company’s drug allows data dissemination efforts to be quantified. But why should that matter?

“It’s important not only that you disseminate the information but that you disseminate it in the right places. From a pharma perspective, it helps companies know how well they’re doing versus their competitors, which can be particularly helpful in crowded therapeutic areas. An organisation wants to know that its target audiences – be they healthcare professionals or patients – are seeing its scientific information and the evidence associated with it,” Presto explains.

“It’s a powerful way to track for trends and shifts, so that you can understand what’s happening and adjust so that individuals can get the appropriate insights to make informed decisions.”

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