Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Welcome to the digital marketing roundup, which this week features Microsoft's Xbox Kinect in stroke rehabilitation, the expansion of the EU's public-facing adverse event reporting website and new online clinical trial tools from Parexel and IMS Health.
Tip of the week: Will HTML5 kill flash?
A UK university has scored a world-first, pioneering the use of Microsoft's Xbox Kinect to help stroke patients recover their manual agility at home. The University of Southampton and engineering firm University of Southampton used the Kinect's ability to monitor whole limb movements with the aim to of capturing movement data while patients follow exercises on a TV screen. The ultimate aim is to help patients recover faster and the team's next step will be to develop a series of adaptive, motivational games to make the rehabilitation process more interesting.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has expanded access to its new public adverse event reporting website by making it available in the remaining 22 official languages of the European Union. The site was first launched in English in May, 2012, to give the public access to information on suspected side effects for approved drugs. For now it only includes reports from medicines approved under the EMA's centralised procedure, but within a year the regulator aims to start including common drug substances used in nationally authorised medicines.
Contract research organisation (CRO) Parexel has launched an online platform that aims to simplify the clinical trials process. It says MyTrials will offer a unified solution, avoiding the compatibility problems that have dogged some other systems. “[Users] can expect to realise greater efficiency and conduct more effective trials by harnessing the power of this innovative platform technology and leveraging our integrated product suite, regardless the size, scope or the numbers of trials,” said Parexel's chief operating officer Dr Mark Goldberg.
Sticking with clinical trial launches, this week also saw IMS Health unveil a cloud-computing system to help pharmaceutical companies improve the effectiveness of their investment in clinical trials. At phase II, studies typically involve about 800 patients, across 50 sites and take nearly two years to complete. The consultants say their new SiteOptimizer tool will enable companies involved in clinical trials to better identify their top-performing, as well as their non-performing, trial sites.
The blog also looked at Pfizer's virtual clinical trial, whose patient recruitment failure won't signal the end of using social media in trials according to the pharma company.