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Florence Healthcare provides electronic document workflow management tools for clinical trials
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen speak with Ryan Jones, the CEO of Florence Healthcare, a remote connectivity and electronic document workflow management for clinical trials.
Our overall goal is to understand how technology is radically changing healthcare: the way we screentreat and measure progress and outcomes. How we’re empowering the consumer. Whether we’re creating productivity that drives economic costs down? And how tech advancements change the role of the doctor.
Highlights from the interview:
- The pharma industry spends $120 billion every year running clinical drug trials. They hire people to go out and meet with doctors and set up trials where the doctor hands out the experimental drug, then they pay that doctor to staff up the site with nurses and other doctors and to enroll patients. However, the physicians and their teams and nurses that are actually doing the work and seeing the patients make do with spreadsheets and three ring binders. The idea behind Florence was to build an application that was as easy to use as Facebook or Instagram for managing all the document and data collection from those physician teams.
- Running a clinical trial is a little bit like shooting a movie, or a TV show: the pharma company has to give them technology, they give them resources, and give them the pills or the devices they're testing to help them run the trial. When the trial ends, they take all that back, just dismantling a sound stage; nothing is left behind for the trial sites to keep for those doctors to keep and use again. Of the $125 billion spent every year, about $20 billion is spent on that sound stage stuff that has to be set up again.
- A trial set used to be in an academic medical center like Stanford or UNC Chapel Hill or Harvard, but that limited the number of patients those studies could access. If you have good software, you can change the definition of what a trial site is: it could be a CVS MinuteClinic or a Walmart clinic or a community clinic or a library, which makes trials more inclusive.
- By removing all of the hassle around documenting and data collection and the lag time and communication between the pharma sponsor and the trial sites, Florence can knock weeks off the duration of a study, which can be 5% to 10% of the cost, potentially saving tens of millions of dollars.
- As studies become more complex, the pharma companies can't rely on waiting to check up on how they're doing and they can't rely on the expertise of those running the trial. They need to have technology that can put expertise anywhere by allowing a remote exchange of ideas or remote exchange of data. The real benefit is continuous connection, an always on digital connection, to where the drug is being tested in the market.
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