Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Formula for Creating Patient-Centric Mobile Health Apps

In a previous Pharma Marketing Blog post, I explained Why I Will Be Attending Digital Pharma East. Now, I have an even better reason for being there:

On Mobile Day (October 21, 2014), I will present a "formula" for creating "patient-centric" mobile health (mHealth) apps.

My presentation will focus on what I learned from comments made by REAL patients in a recent poll I hosted in conjunction with Truvio and WEGO Health (see "Patient Activists Demand Higher Quality Mobile Health Apps").

The "formula" (see below) was inspired by a recent #mHealthPharma Tweet Chat that I moderated on October 9, 2014, at the request of the Mobile Health Competence Centre in Barcelona (find a StoryLine summary here).

So what is the "formula?"

Friday, October 10, 2014

#mHealtMobile Chat Takeaway: Pharma Must Involve Patients Early on When Developing Mobile Health Apps

Yesterday's hour-long #mHealthPharma TweetChat on how pharma can develop high quality mobile health apps was a great success. The following Storyline summary was prepared by Teresa Bau (@tbau_uoc), a freelance journalist from Barcelona & Mobile Health Global Editor. You can read my key takeaways below.


There were several "key takeaways" from this conversation that involved 45 participants from around the world. Keep reading to get my summary of the conversation.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"Play by the Rules": Analysis of Ground Rules for 4HER Patient Connect App by Genentech

Genentech's 4HER iPhone App for women with HER2 breast cancer includes pages and pages and page of policies and terms and conditions that users are required to read (or at least agree to) before using the advanced features of the app. Yesterday, I reviewed the Privacy Policy (about 6 screens worth of text; see here). Today, I review the "Ground Rules" for the Patient Connect feature of the app.

Patient Connect allows users of the app to send email to other 4HER registered users located within a certain radius (e.g., 10 miles). You can select users you'd like to connect with based on a number of criteria that users enter when registering. Here's a view of those criteria:


As I mentioned yesterday, this app gives Genentech potential access to very, very sensitive personal health information coupled with location services, which raises a number of privacy and data security issues. I decided, therefore, not to reveal my dates of diagnoses nor my age group when I registered as "pharmagal." Unfortunately, Genentech doesn't know that I do not have HER2 breast cancer.

OK, so what are the "Ground Rules" for using the Patient Connect feature?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

An Analysis of Genentech's 4HER Mobile Health App Privacy Policy

Genentech's 4HER iPhone App for women with HER2 breast cancer is interesting and perhaps unique in a Mobile Health App developed by a pharma company. The app allows users to send email to other registered users of the app and even notifies them of other users close by.

Here's the iTunes profile of the app:
As I mention in the above profile, there are privacy issues. So, I downloaded the app to read and analyze the privacy policy. My analysis reveals many interesting insights into how the personal information collected from this app will be used by Genentech.

#mHealthPharma TweetChat: What's Needed for Pharma to Develop Quality mHealth Apps?

Join me tomorrow, October 9, 2014, 12 noon Eastern U.S., for an hour-long TweetChat on how pharma can develop high quality mobile health apps. This is a followup to the debate I've been moderating on the LinkedIn Mobile Health Group (here) sponsored by the mHealth Competence Centre in Barcelona, Spain.

Whereas the LinkedIn debate frames this in a negative fashion ("what stands in the way..."), I prefer to frame the TweetChat more positively ("what's needed...") to have a more productive discussion.


The LInkedIn debate brought out more questions than answers. That debate helped me formulate the following questions/topics I hope to cover in the chat.

Monday, October 06, 2014

"Sixty Minutes" -- Sponsored by Sanofi -- Exposes the "Financial Toxicity" & "Turkish Bazaar" Pricing of Cancer Drugs

Here's something you don't see every day: a Sixty Minutes report that slams the extraordinarily high prices charged for cancer drugs -- e.g., $100,000 per patient per year -- sponsored by a pharmaceutical company (Sanofi), which markets at least one high-priced cancer drug (Zaltrap) that has been deemed not more effective than a cheaper drug on the market (see here). The ad, however, is for Fluzone High-Dose and is focused on older folk -- don't get started on that (see "Does the Flu Vaccine Work? What 62% "Effective" Really Means")!

Here's what the video ad, which interrupts the news segment, looks like on the Sixty Minutes site, which also includes a banner ad for the vaccine. You can view the video here.

Fluzone High-Dose ad interrupts Sixty Minutes video about High-Cost Cancer Drugs (click to enlarge).
The interesting point is that the oncologist interviewed by Sixty Minutes -- Dr. Leonard Saltz, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and a leading expert on colon cancer -- "compared the clinical trial results of [Sanofi's] Zaltrap to those of another drug already on the market, Avastin. He says both target the same patient population, work essentially in the same way. And, when given as part of chemotherapy, deliver the identical result: extending median survival by 1.4 months, or 42 days." The cost of Zaltrap, according to Saltz, is $11,000 per month, more than twice that of Avastin and may have "little more toxicity."

Saltz described the situation this way: "We're in a situation where a cancer diagnosis is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy. We're starting to see the term 'financial toxicity' being used in the literature."

What was PhRMA's response to this? Their response piqued my interest as I am sure it will yours.

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