Biotech Firm Deploys a Healthy Patient Platform

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print
Intelligent Patient Platform

Shire implemented a sophisticated IT infrastructure to help patients learn about their condition, locate care providers and get reimbursed for their therapies.

As data-driven medicine evolves, a growing number of health care organizations are looking to build out more advanced IT platforms capable of delivering real-time, actionable insights on patient care. One of these companies is Shire PLC, a global biotechnology company that develops and delivers products for conditions ranging from ADHD to Hunter syndrome.

"We're seeking to make a positive impact on people with rare diseases and specialty conditions," observes Ed Kloskowski, vice president and head of commercial IT.

The company has adopted a sophisticated patient services platform in the United States to help patients learn about their condition, locate care providers and facilities, and get reimbursed for therapies. However, in order to achieve the best possible outcomes, Shire requires advanced digital systems and sophisticated data tools.

"These systems must be extremely robust and have a high degree of uptime, while also delivering strong security, Kloskowski explains. "They must be easy to use, and must simplify transactions and interactions with health care professionals, partners and patients."

What's more, much of the data must be linked to the enterprise applications and data analysis tools that internal staff and analysts use to make decisions.

Building an Intelligent Patient Platform

Shire recently turned to Accenture to build out a new Intelligent Patient Platform that taps cloud computing and ties together a diverse array of enterprise applications and services. These include Veeva Systems CRM for sales representatives, Salesforce.com for patient services, and Hadoop and QlikView to provide an analytics layer.

All of this allows the company to pull together data from a diverse and disparate array of sources—including an internal transaction system—and process the data so that it provides "actionable insights that help us help the patient in the best possible way," Kloskowski says.

The ultimate goal, he adds, is to "proactively introduce improvements to the systems" and build a more efficient digital business model. Within the IT framework, "The cloud becomes the great equalizer," he points out. "It's the way we achieve speed and agility."

A major advantage of migrating to the cloud is richer functionality with lower administrative overhead. "We no longer have to worry about updating software," Kloskowski explains. "Everything takes place automatically and organically."

Moreover, the approach has reduced the need to write, debug and test code. "We're able to offload routine tasks and instead focus on initiatives that add value," he says.

The end result: Patients can potentially start a therapy faster and more easily obtain the help they need to understand and manage their condition. Also, care providers have the opportunity to receive increased support for managing patient care goals of quality, affordability and engagement.

In addition, payers may obtain the information they need for faster reimbursement. Plus, pharmacies have access to accurate information to fill prescriptions, which may save everyone time and expense.

Over the coming months, Shire is looking to further digitize operations by adopting collaboration tools that allow business users to share information faster and better. It's also focusing on developing tools and technologies that streamline nomenclatures and vocabularies.

"This initiative has helped the company achieve a far greater level of data integration and service delivery," Kloskowski reports.

This article was originally published on 2015-12-14
Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).
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