CVS Taps Into IBM’s Watson For Smart Health Monitoring

What Happened
CVS Health has announced a new partnership with IBM to tap into its Watson computing system to help analyze and interpret health data from patient’s health records, pharmacy information and other resources. The goal is said to be leveraging Watson’s cognitive computing power to aid CVS Health nurses and pharmacists, as well as improving healthcare management and prevention for patients with chronic diseases.

What Brands Should Do
For heathcare and pharmaceutical brands, it has become increasingly crucial to keep up with the new opportunities that technologies, especially advances in mobile devices and biometric sensors, presents. Apple recently gave the go ahead to for-profit use of its ResearchKit, which can be utilized to scale data acquisition and facilitate medical trials. For brands of all types, it’d be smart to look into the cognitive capability of Watson and other machine learning services, which can provide new solutions in analyzing and understanding customer data.


Source: TechCrunch

Fast Forward: How You Can Use Apple’s ResearchKit For Better Clinical Data

Your guide to tech-driven changes in the media landscape by IPG Media Lab. A fast read for you and a forward for your clients and team.

  • Apple gives the go ahead to for-profit use of ResearchKit
  • Increase study population sizes by multiple orders of magnitude
  • Create an iOS app that taps into iPhone and Apple Watch sensors like step counts, calorie use, and heart rates to get started

What Happened
Apple’s ResearchKit is a new open-source software framework that helps the medical community gather research data from iPhone users. Although it was initially intended for, and has been widely used in universities and other non-profit medical institutions, now two pharmaceutical companies – GlaxoSmithKline and Purdue Pharma – are starting to integrate ResearchKit in a for-profit endeavor, according to Buzzfeed.

What This Means For Pharma Brands
In order to use ResearchKit, the first step is to develop an iOS app that taps into the biometric data that will help you understand people’s lives and drug efficacy. Surveying users with questions at least daily is encouraged. The data available continuously include daily step counts, calorie use, and heart rates. Future hardware generations are likely to add to these. The requirements to tap into the data are:

  • oversight by an independent ethics review board,
  • explicit disclosure of the data being gathered, and
  • getting a participant signature of informed consent.

Market Impact
Since Apple unveiled ResearchKit back in March, medical researchers have been using the tools to create apps to aid studies on treating various common diseases such as diabetes and asthma. A Stanford University cardiovascular study, one of the first uses of the program, had more than 11,000 participants sign up in less than 24 hours, a population size that the director of the study said would normally take a year and coordination across 50 facilities around the country.

As far as opening the platform to for-profit ventures, Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, told Buzzfeed, “We’re open to working with anybody that is going to make an impact on people’s health. So we’ve made ResearchKit open-source so Apple won’t even control who uses it. We will control what we put on our App Store, but we won’t control who uses it.” This opportunity doesn’t replace anything comparable. It opens a new world of possibility for the types of information and health data that can be learned with the sensors that hundreds of millions of people around the world carry with them in the waking lives. Its scale and usefulness will only expand as more and more sensors are added to Apple’s ecosystem.

For More Information
Please contact Engagement Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) at the IPG Media Lab if you would like more detail or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

For previous editions of Fast Forward, please visit Please reply with any constructive criticism or feedback. We want these to be as useful as possible for you and your clients, and your feedback will help us immensely.

Header image courtesy of Apple’s ResearchKit Page


Your Next Medical Trial Could Be Carried Out On iPhones

St. Jude Medical announced earlier this week that its new wireless spinal cord stimulation trial system has been approved by the FDA. The system uses Bluetooth and pairs with iOS devices to provide control to the patient and doctor. The St. Paul, Minnesota-based hospital is among the first to incorporate mobile technology into medical treatments, and with Apple making a push into medical and healthcare field with HealthKit and ResearchKit, we expect mobile devices to be further integrated into medical practices.

Source: 9to5Mac

Event Recap: WeWork Labs Med-Tech Demo Day

The past month has been a busy one for the IPG Media Lab. Despite the behind-the-scene activities, the Lab managed to attend Tuesday’s WeWork Labs Med-Tech Demo Day. The demo day was a Shark Tank-style event led by Merck’s own Jaime Melendez along with leaders from Sharecare, Sherpaa, and Milestone Venture Partners. The event also featured six of New York’s most exciting medical-tech startups:

  • Develop Link: is a data-driven platform providing healthcare infrastructure to developing worlds.
  • Healogram: is simplifying healthcare monitoring through more efficient recovery tracking and analytics.  
  • Motesque: is tracking daily movement to better prevent and diagnose injuries. 
  • DICOM Grid: is a diagnostic imaging management and exchange.
  • Healthify: is building healthcare infrastructure for vulnerable populations.
  • Voyager Med: is connecting patients to medical providers around the US.

Each presenter only had three minutes to pitch their business, followed by a four-minute Q&A. In classic fashion the judges were relentless, firing questions to learn more about their growth strategy, business model, defensibility, current challenges, etc. When the dust settled, both Develop Link and Healogram emerged as winners by the judges’ votes.

At the end of the day, The WeWork Labs Med-Tech Demo Day was an extremely successful event. The presenters had opportunity to pitch to thought leaders within the Med-Tech community, and the audience learned about exciting advancements in the medical industry and how it’s reshaping the paradigm of traditional medical care.