Wendy Mayer, VP of World Wide Innovation for Pfizer, joined me for a conversation about Pfizer and mHealth at the mHealth Summit in Washington DC. Wendy has a dream job (at least in my dreams), traveling the world looking for digital health innovations.
In response to my question about exactly what Pfizer is doing in the arena of mHealth, Wendy responded that there is a lot going on including:
- Mobile and digital health solutions to help engage consumers and providers and optimize care for patients, including, but not certainly not limited to, medication adherence.
- Utilizing big data to optimize research so they can bring drugs to market for specific patient populations that can most benefit from them.
Pfizer develops some of their digital health solutions internally, but they also reach out to external innovators. They have a big open innovation initiative and seek out expert networks, primarily via Wendy’s Worldwide Innovation group, that exist outside of Pfizer in order to tap into the technology advances that are happening beyond the organization.
They are also honing in on specific areas where they know there is a lot of development in technology. Israel, in particular, is an area of interest to them and they have recently become engaged in identifying Israeli companies that could provide beneficial solutions for them. They are also doing the experimentation there because, Wendy says, it is easier to get projects off the ground in terms of doing proof of concept and having an understanding of the value that different solutions could bring.
Wendy provided some examples of technologies that are coming out of her group, such as technology to enhance consumer communication including technologies to do the following:
- Better convey how patients should take their meds.
- Understand what the medications are being used for.
- Learn more about their treatment.
But, she stressed, “We are looking at some consumer engagement platforms that are critically important, beyond just medication management. These platforms are more holistic around care of the condition. They help connect consumers with providers and family members and do it all off a common digital platform.”
When I asked how are they measuring success (are they measuring utilization or clinical outcomes?), Wendy responded that, currently, they are tracking the number of patients using the app.