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Cool Vendors in Life Science

By Michael Shanler | April 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

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Allegra, Benadryl, Sudafed, Flonase, Claritin, Zyrtec, Tavist…. Why mention these drugs at this point in time?   Well…Spring is finally here.    Each season many of us spend some quality time with those little allergy pills…..  using them to try to squint through the annoying blurriness or reduce the itchiness.   We use them to attempt to gain relief from the incessant coughing, sneezing, wheezing, etc.  Most people  have tried several dozen allergy medications over the years.  Some seem more efficacious than others.  Hopefully all of them were  indeed safe for us…

Cool Vendor Season (Forgotten Meadows -
Cool Vendor Season (Forgotten Meadows –

Many of these drugs only seem to work for a short duration. Others have side effects or unintended consequences that make them less desirable.  Spending time to research the right drug is essential…but we all hate the blind trial and error process.  I wish there were better tools to help us breathing easier and get the proper sleep we need.    This is very similar to selecting the right strategic technologies to advance a constantly evolving business mission.  Cool Vendors can help.   Hopefully this year’s class of cool vendors will assist drug R&D and commercial groups to research and launch even better drugs over the next decade.    Cool vendors are examples of vendors that have put together novel applications, leverage a recombination of technologies, create new user experiences, and drive new business models to support the “digital pharma” conversation.

The vendors selected for 2016 for life science include:

  • AiCure  – has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) platform for mobile devices.  Pretty cool stuff for digital clinical strategies, remote data capture, medical adherence, etc.
  • Aktana  – created an analytics-driven suggestion and insight engine with algorithms to optimize engagement with life science customers.
  • InCrowd   – has built a combination of a mobile survey solution and a cloud-based platform to obtain physician insights with real-time market research.
  • Infinote  leverages text analytics and automation to update and analyze vast amounts of complex and unstructured regulatory content.  We think Infinote can take us a step closer to spending more time on science, and less time on those tedious authoring and manual document change control exercises.
  • Treato  has a social media analytics platform with algorithms, patient language dictionaries and medical ontologies.
  • (..and an update to a 2013 Cool Vendor,  Comprehend,  – for clinical operations, intelligence and quality monitoring.)

Much like allergy medications, there are a lot of vendors out there.  Narrowing down the field is no easy process.  The right vendor for one organization may not be the best for another.  There are lots of companies on our radar, but Stephen Davies and I  felt that this class best captured what was needed for organizations in 2016  (e.g. “digital” clinical support, self-service analytics  to go “beyond the pill”, tools for navigating regulatory-related paper work, mechanisms to better understand patients and doctors.   They are worth researching if they hit on process areas that are important to your business. The short descriptions above really do not do the companies justice.   Granted these are small and risky companies, but they have promise and have platforms that are ready to have an impact for the next few years.

See the full report here:

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