Apple watch study is moot

  • The Apple Heart Study, conducted by Stanford University researchers and sponsored by Apple, evaluated the ability of the Apple Watch to detect atrial fibrillation, a common heart disorder also known as A-fib, in an astonishing 400,000 participants.
  • The study was not a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard of medical research.
  • It’s a purely observational study designed to see whether the Apple Watch’s heart pulse monitor can identify people who have a-fib. 
  • A leading cardiologist told me “the study is really moot and doesn’t change my views on the Apple watch for patients”
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Why pharma companies continue to feel the heat over pricing

  • Pharma continues to be portrayed as the villain in pricing but there are other villains who are escaping scrutiny.
  • The 5 largest conglomerates combining health insurance and pharmacy benefits are on track this year to be bigger than the 5 preeminent tech companies.
  • Half of people in fair to poor health are uninsured or struggle with affordability.
  • Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose five percent to an average $19,616 this year, extending a seven-year run of moderate increases.
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Survey on digital health doesn’t make sense

  • According to Rock Health adoption of health continues to rise while consumers leverage digital health tools to address concrete health needs.
  • Most doctors say they have not recommended any general health and wellness apps or wearables to their patients. (Source: Kantar)
  • For medical-grade devices, the results are similar, with 70% of doctors saying they have not recommended medical-grade web-connected devices to their patients. (Source: Kantar).
  • Millennials, who usually have a high adoption rate of digital health, is failing as they are the most obese generation.
  • Most Americans are concerned about their weight and understand the connection between weight and cardiovascular health, but a substantial proportion of them are not doing much to lose excess weight, according to a Cleveland Clinic survey.
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The healthcare debate the media refuses to acknowledge

  • Drug prices continue to fuel media stories and drive politicians to action but, for the most part, the real driver of high healthcare costs is being ignored.
  • The total percentage of non-elderly people with insurance and affordability problems to 26.2%.
  • The number of US adults with diabetes increased from 21.2 million in 2003-2004 to 30.2 million in 2013-2014, while the prevalence of obesity rose from 31.7% to 37.5% over the same period.
  • Millennials are on track to be the most obese generation.
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Pharma is obsessed with dominating

  • Companies that live in such a zero-sum world don’t “earn market share” from a competitor, they “conquer the market.” 
  • They don’t just serve their customers, they “capture” them and they don’t treat them like customers.
  • It’s easier to buy competitors than invest in R&D now.
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While CPG brands move digital in-house, pharma continues to rely on agencies

  •  91% of brands have moved at least a part of their digital marketing operations in-house. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • Cost efficiency, greater control, and increased transparency are amongst the biggest reasons for in-housing.
  •  56% of respondents say a lack of existing talent and skills to build a competent in-house team in the biggest obstacle.
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How is Pfizer employee morale?

  • 41 of Pfizer’s drugs have been picked for a price hike on January 15, averaging 5%.
  • Pfizer noted Friday that the increases will be offset by higher rebates and discounts offered to insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers.
  • Pfizer had the highest profit total ($4.1 billion) of any publicly traded health care company in the third quarter.

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