2014 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Looking forward to 2015…..



Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 490 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 8 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Reset 2014

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It has been several month’s since I written a blog post. Primarily due to work and seeking new topics to discuss.

Happy New Year's 2014
Happy New Year’s 2014

Since publishing my first blog site in December 2009 I’ve decided to refresh my blog site using WordPress themes. If you have not looked in WordPress you should. As a content management system (CMS) it is easy to use and does not need a lot of learning to generate a nice looking website.

Throughout the year I will post interesting topics that compliment what I like to do in helping my clients solve their business problems with IT solutions and services. Along the way I will share new experiences on the use of technology to help organizations meet their goals.

A view of technology
A view of technology

Looking forward to great 2014…



Gearing up IT for future growth…

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This blog post is a look back at topics I’ve written about this year with a look towards 2012. At the start of this year I had set a goal to cover some areas. In my current job I have been able to work with clients to help solve problems across these areas.

The table below summarizes the topics I’ve written about in my blog.

This is the time of the year when predictions are made and the trends that I see for Life Sciences and Healthcare are as follows:

  • Social Media – the industry has to come to grips with how to leverage these tools to create and effective means of communications to patients and doctors. I expect to see a move from one-off projects around Twitter and Facebook to a more ‘integrated’ approach to the use of social media (a more popular term being used is ‘social enterprise’).
  • Cloud Computing – given the tight IT budgets this offers the best avenue to quickly change existing business processes to meet the needs of the organization.
  • Mobility – the explosion in smart phones and tablets will drive the need for IT to give access to analytics and the data to help accelerate decision-making. Companies are making rapid strides in this area and are looking for ‘productivity’ improvements in the Sales and Marketing areas (impacting traditional CRM solutions).
  • Business process improvements – I’ve discussed supply chain management yet there are opportunities to further integrate existing customer relationship management (CRM) and product life-cycle management (PLM) solutions. Now that Life Sciences and Healthcare companies have implemented their IT solutions there is still a need to find more productivity savings.
  • R&D and Clinical Development – there is a huge shift in the way drug development and clinical trials will be performed. The traditional models have not worked and you can expect to see smaller investments and reduced team sizes with the focus on ‘rapid’ drug discovery and development. WE started to see how this is impacting the IT solutions necessary to do these processes.

There is economic uncertainty as we end this year. I am looking to focus on these topics to help IT organizations improve the chance for ‘growth’ in the new year.

So in 2012 I hope to also focus on these topics since they are important to me:

  • Diabetes – this has affected both family and friends. Managing this disease continues to be a challenge for a lot of folks so how can IT solutions improve the lives of those touched by this disease.
  • Personal Health – I have brother who continues to do well as a kidney transplant survivor and partners that are aging. What systems are being developed to help patients gather, watch and keep up their ‘personal’ data? I’ve recently started using “fitbit ultra” a device that helps check my health and log personal data. I’ll update you on the use of this device at some point in 2012.
  • Sponsor a child – we live in a great country and I have searched for a way to help others. Earlier this year I sponsored a child through “food for the hungry” organization based in Phoenix, AZ. A great organization. They connected me with a boy from Nicaragua and my sponsorship pays to help improve the education of this child. I’ve done a lot investigation and would recommend this organization based on their commitment to making this a better world and the way they use these funds. You can find more information on: www.fh.org/sponsor .

On a personal note I really appreciate my LinkedIn and Twitter network. I would also like to thank my colleagues and partners who have helped make 2011 both a successful and interesting year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have Happy New Year.


Integration for RandD

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The purpose of this blog post is to summarize a model for ‘integrating’ clinical operations. I’ll summarize the goals for this model and describe the background and next steps around such an offering. Over the past few months I’ve been engaged with several clients in discussing how our IT Services Company could create such a platform. This new platform should meet the following:

  • Lower Operating Costs
  • Increase Productivity
  • While maintaining Quality and Compliance

There are several very good software solutions yet we know that there is a lack of an ‘integrated’ process that can ‘unify’ the R&D clinical data landscape of IT solutions. The key here is a focus on ‘transformation’ rather than ‘yet another technology implementation.’

In a earlier blog post titled “Improving the Business of RandD” (31Mar2011) the focus was on cloud computing and how this technology could lead to an ‘integrated’ business process. Since companies would be relying on IT Service providers to host these applications. In another blog post “Is It Time for “ERP for RandD?”” (30Apr2011) I spoke to the need for integrated business processes. Now I’ll look to pull these to thoughts together for a more complete view across clinical operations.

Let’s start with the Users

This integrated approach would address users that include Pharmaceutical companies, Clinical Research Organizations (CROs), and any Healthcare entity. We would leverage cloud computing solutions to offer the users with a portal that supports:

  • Single point of information capture
  • With access to data by role, study and function
  • Single sign-on

Content Layer

Here there is a dedicated source of content by pharmaceutical company. Various databases would be organized with content ranging from electronic data capture (EDC) to clinical and scientific data warehouse (CSDW).
Key to the content layer:

  • Standards
  • Dedicated source by pharmaceutical company
  • Providing flexibility to support variety of data sources

Business Shared Services

Supporting the users and the content is layer of business services ranging from:

  • Component user support
  • Compliance
  • Change management
  • Staging and data migrations services
  • Data reconciliation

Our team will be presenting this approach at the upcoming Oracle OpenWorld conference in October. In addition to this we will also be presenting on the topic I wrote about last month – Serialization. I am very appreciative of my colleagues – specialists in a variety of topics. What I find satisfying is in ‘stitching’ all this together. We now have several interested clients and the possible next steps are to deploy this solution and that will take some time. I would be interested in hearing from you – and your comments on “Integration for RandD.”



Fresh start in 2011

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By now everyone has gotten past their New Year’s resolutions and is picking up where they left off last year. So thinking about my

Fast start...

 first blog post for 2011 I would like to cover the following areas:

  • A look back at 2010
  • Maintaining momentum in 2011
  • The focus for the year

Reviewing 2010

The nice thing about blogging is that you can go back and see how you’ve progressed throughout the year. In last year’s blog post: Upgrading for 2010 I had worked on a business plan to startup a new Life Sciences practice for an IT services company. I covered the five focus areas last year by writing about the following topics:

  • Social Media – from the use of these tools to deriving ‘value’
  • Cloud Computing – producing a white paper for my employer
  • Drug Development
  • A three-part series on Aligning Life Sciences and IT – covering how to leverage information technology; Mobility and Innovation and the Business Process
  • Innovation and Outsourcing
  • A book review on ‘selling’
  • Patent Expiry

Unfortunately the business plan was not approved, and I moved to another opportunity to do business development for an IT services company. This challenging role now has me advising clients on the best use of IT within Life Sciences and Healthcare. This opportunity came by way of my network, and for that I can thank Robert.

Maintaining Momentum in 2011

I continue to focus on the use of social media tools. So I am thankful for my LinkedIn network and my followers on Twitter. I have come across lots of folks with the same interests and challenges for the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry. There are tons of creative people with new ideas for solving today’s business problems. In 2011 I want to carry the momentum started in 2010.

Karl Rove and Jim, 14Dec2010


I am also very grateful for my co-workers, coaches and mentors who have helped me transition into my new business development role. Towards the end of 2010 I started to see success in driving new opportunities for my company by aligning IT to improve businesses. Along the way I’ve met many interesting people. I had the chance to attend an industry meeting for Medical Devices and speak to Karl Rove the former aide to President Bush. Politics and Healthcare are very intertwined and for 2011 there continues to be changes.


The Focus for this year

I plan to enter 2011 by expanding on last year’s topics. How do I combine my interests with the tasks of being a business development executive? Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. Leveraging Twitter to cover the following areas:
    #pharma – how is clinical development, social media, and regulations impacting this segment of Life Sciences?
    #mHealth and #mobility – the use of mobile devices will impact healthcare throughout the world.
    #hcsm – how to best leverage healthcare social media?
    #healthit and #it – what is the impact of IT on the organization?
    #personalizedmedicine and #genomics – will genomics have an impact on healthcare in our lifetime? (I’m currently waiting on results of my own genomics that has to do with ancestry.)
  2. Business process improvements in the areas of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM); Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM).
  3. Clinical Development and Analytics
  4. Cloud computing
  5. Mobility
  6. Mergers & Acquisitions
  7. Globalization

In case I forget to add Marketing and the use of Social Media to further drive IT services opportunities. I will be more involved in our website and the use of the social media tools.

I continue to have a personal interest in the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry. Last year I saw the impact of ‘personal health records’ for my brother who is a kidney transplant survivor. I’ve have friends succumb to diabetes, and parents who are aging. How will technology help to improve the lives of these people? Will this be something I will see in my lifetime?


January Snowstorm for Newtown, Pennsylvania, USA

So like the snow storms on the East coast of the US. As of January 2011 there are more storms this year than last year. We are starting 2011 with a lot of momentum.



Happy Holidays….

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To my followers on Twitter and LinkedIn,

I want to wish you and your families a happy holidays, and have a great New Years’s. Thank you for all your support and collaboration. Looking forward to a great 2011!

 Warm regards,


5 Steps for IT to meet the Challenges of Patent Expiry

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We have heard a lot about the ‘patent expiry’ problem within the industry. Here are 5 +1 steps your IT team can take to help improve a company’s position to meet this challenge. As revenues decline as a result of ‘patent expiry’ there is an associated ‘cost reduction’ that is taking place. This is not a surprise – especially from a financial perspective. This ‘cause and effect’ is now challenging IT to see how well they are supporting their organization.

Domino effect 

The problem

The current IT landscape within Life Sciences can be described as being ‘best-of-breed.’ There are many reasons why these systems have evolved into ‘silos’ of technology. Today there is an acute interest in the high cost of healthcare that is now ‘pushing’ the industry to act like other industry segments, and what comes to mind is the Consumer Products and High Tech segments. How products are consumed and delivered?

Over the past few years as significant dollars continue to be spent in R&D we have little in terms of new products being introduced into the market. These are products with significant revenue to help cushion the blow of patent expiry. This is why you will continue to see consolidation take place as companies are buying each other for their pipeline. As the industry prepares for the ‘patent expiry’ problem costs are being addressed in many ways :

What else can be done?

Here are 5 possible solutions that IT can take to help organizations cope with the effects of patent expiry:

  • Moving to low-cost options for your OS and database. – Many of today’s applications can also run on the Linux OS platform. You should also consider the maintenance cost of your database. Cost versus performance can help save some money in this area.
  • Virtualization – An elegant solution that can help you run your applications on today’s servers. Push your hardware vendors to help give you a roadmap to leverage virtualization for all your applications. If not you may want to find another vendor. You can also seek help from your Infrastructure IT service providers.
  • Cloud computing – There are just a few companies within the industry really leveraging this technology. There are lots of vendors who do offer these services. We are aware of the cost savings so I won’t go into that point. The issues of ‘validation’ and FDA compliance will need to be re-evaluated. It can be done ask if your IT service provider has this ability.
  • Rationalize you software investments – I mentioned earlier that the current IT landscape is ‘inherited’ based on M&A. Take time to re-evaluate the dollars spent on applications that are seldom used.
  • Outsourcing – Aside from the call center, application support; and infrastructure support how much has outsourcing provided in terms of real ‘value’ to the organization. IDC reports that…….

Let’s say you’ve done all these things (here’s the +1).

Then re-evaluate the business process you now support and ask if this really does make a difference to the organization. I’ve been focused on leveraging IT within the industry. With a background in software development and now as an IT service provider. There is no one software solution (transaction system) that can solve these problems. Rather it will take a combination of software applications ‘integrated’ into a business process to support the organization.

Some examples:

  • Supply chain versus the value chain – rather than ‘push’ products into the market (now the highest cost savings area) where inventory justifications are based on never ‘running out of product.’ Consider how the Consumer Electronics industry approached their supply chain during the holiday season. Does your supply chain have a focus on the consumer – and the needs of your products?
  • Change the way R&D creates new products – too many times I’ve heard that this is how we do things and that the FDA forces us to do it this way. The problem can be solved by combining IT applications into a business process. Re-think how you do portfolio management and clinical trials from a financial perspective.
  • What is the value of your IP to your organization – IT service providers should be helping you to check how data is managed within your organization.

A comment on Twitter: a great thing about this social media tool is that it allows you the ability to store important comments made by others across a range of topics. This has helped me do a lot of ‘right-brain’ thinking about how best to push IT service providers to come up with the next advances for the industry. I also see the need to help companies ‘improve’ their processes and help impact the creation of new medicines and treatments for the market.