Precision Medicine Still Waits for the “Aha” Moment

personalized_medicineThe precision medicine market is growing fast. But for some leading doctors, not fast enough. That’s the view of Dr. Eric Topol, one of the premier thought leaders in medicine and a true believer in the potential of precision medicine to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

In a recent article in MedCity News, Dr. Topol expresses his frustration that recent advances in genomics and precision medicine have not been embraced by the medical community as quickly as they should. According to Dr. Topol, one of the main reasons for this is the fact that “when physicians were trained, modern-day genomics was not part of the curriculum.” “I’m sad to say, it’s still not part of the curriculum – but it’s starting to pick up.”

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The mHealth Market: 43% Growth Through 2019

mhealthThe mobile health market is hot. Consumer driven healthcare, an aging population, the proliferation of smart devices and greater connectivity than ever before have created the “perfect storm” where mhealth and technology driven diagnostic services are experiencing explosive growth.

The global mhealth and diagnostic medical device market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 43.3% between 2013 and 2019. That’s not just hot, that’s muy caliente.

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Is This the Most Powerful Clinical Research Tool Ever Invented?

iPhoneMuch has been written over the past few months about Apple ResearchKit and its potential to completely revolutionize R&D in the life sciences industry. The idea is simple. And it got me thinking; is the iPhone the most powerful clinical research tool ever invented?

Apple’s ResearchKit uses an open source technology framework to allow research institutions running clinical trials to design apps that tap into the iPhone’s many sensors to collect and send data. With ResearchKit, the iPhone becomes a clincial research tool that can measure vital signs, share patient-reported outcomes, and harvest information. The technology will enable people to opt in to clinical trials from anywhere in the world. The iPhone also then becomes a powerful diagnostic tool that will enable vital information to be shared with physicians, hospitals, health centers, and more. This is, in my opinion, a new frontier for mHealth; one that is both exciting and thought provoking at the same time. Apple ResearchKit has the potential to transform entire industries including outsourced clinical research, diagnostics and drug development. But it is very early days.

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Personalized Medicine and a Cure for Cancer

Doctor_and_needle

This week we had a double dose of news about the fight against cancer. And there is more to come, as two major medical conferences take place almost simultaneously. Leading cancer doctors, researchers and members of the life sciences community are excited about the possibilities of immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer. Immunotherapy, where the body’s own immune system is enlisted to fight cancer, is an example of the kinds of advances being made in personalized medicine.

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Personalized Medicine: Reimbursement and Marketing Challenges

personalized_medicineWe are undoubtedly in the midst of major change in how healthcare is delivered, measured and paid for. As with all periods of great change, there are going to be winners and losers. One area I’ve been bullish about for a few years now is diagnostics and personalized medicine. As the US healthcare system moves from a volume based model to a value and outcomes based model, the ability to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time means that personalized medicine, and the diagnostic products and services that make it possible, has an opportunity to be a real winner. The growth statistics and forecasts for this dynamic market sector make for interesting reading.

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Labcorp Adds Diagnostics and Drug Development Services

MA_fishAt a time of ongoing M&A activity in the life sciences industry, LabCorp, a leader in diagnostics and laboratory services, has been making some moves on its own. Just yesterday the company announced plans to acquire Covance, a leading global contract research organization (CRO), for an estimated $6 billion. Just a little over a month ago, LabCorp also acquired LipoScience, a company focused on diagnostic technologies for managing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. LabCorp offered an all cash deal for LipoScience valued at approximately $85 million. Continue reading