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Transforming oncology outcomes through data and digital

The healthcare industry is evolving rapidly, with data and digital technologies transforming everyday communications as we know them.
The post Transforming…



The healthcare industry is evolving rapidly, with data and digital technologies transforming everyday communications as we know them. The last two years have brought about an online revolution. This disruption has changed the way doctors and cancer patients expect to experience services and products, and there is no going back now.

The digital age is here to stay

Why? Well, our field observations point to multiple driving factors: digital interactions are less time-consuming and offer flexibility in a world where doctors are increasingly under time pressures; they’re more convenient for patients, many of whom continue to lead busy lives; with modern capabilities, the same quality of information can be delivered regardless of channel; and while the value of in-person engagements isn’t to be ignored, content delivered online complements face-to-face delivery with hybrid models. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the number of people who are not only familiar with, but confident in using virtual tools, facilitating online connectivity further.

The customer experience will be driven by innovation in communications 

While many effects of technologies are overwhelmingly positive, we must remember there are downsides too. Communication is possible 24/7 in the digital world. We are bombarded with endless notifications, emails, alerts, and messages, and, coupled with unlimited access to a wealth of information, the volume of online noise is undeniable. In a recent report from Indegene, 62% of healthcare professionals surveyed said they are “overwhelmed” by product-related promotional content they received from pharmaceutical companies.

In an age of digital overload, it’s clear we need to be more innovative in the way we create the customer experience. In the same report, 63% of healthcare professionals said companies should only share relevant content with them to “make the interactions more insightful”. And according to McKinsey, pharmaceutical companies should consider using “rapidly personalised content” to engage healthcare professionals. As the number of different cancer specialists involved in optimising outcomes has increased, and patient populations themselves have become more stratified and smaller, a one-size-fits-all approach will no longer deliver the desired customer experience.

Personalisation sits at the heart of next-generation online engagements

Across the healthcare industry, steps are being taken to address the need for personalisation. For example, we have created a plug-in for our websites which gives oncologists access to a personal content library when they sign in, tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Takeda Connect provides oncologists with information about their Key Account Manager and Medical Science Liaison, alongside direct access at the click of a button.

Beyond personalising content, creating a tailored channel experience is also vitally important. We have developed a single registration that grants access to all our websites, making it easy for oncologists to use our resources. Known as the Takeda ID and live throughout Europe and Canada, the idea is that by using the same set of unique sign-in details, customers will have a seamless experience when engaging with Takeda online, and when coupled with Takeda Connect, will receive a customised environment every time. The focus on making it as easy as possible for customers to navigate the online world is a trend we’re seeing more and more in healthcare.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning-powered algorithms have the potential to create more impactful, personalised, and coordinated interactions with customers. These technologies allow us to understand stakeholder preferences, when an engagement is most relevant, and for what content. Delivering the right message at the right time declutters noise and increases the relevance of information exchange. While field force teams in areas of the world such as the U.S., including at Takeda, are already using cutting-edge AI and machine learning tools to help doctors accelerate treatment decision-making in a way that can improve patient outcomes, in Europe, regulations around access and use of prescription data make this reality more challenging to reach. Nonetheless, our ambition is to equip all employees with an AI companion, helping them to deliver smarter and more productive customer experiences.

The omnichannel approach opens up exciting new ways to engage with customers, but we know it is not a quick fix. We are overseeing a fundamental shift in how we orchestrate the delivery of content and services to meet the diverse needs of the cancer community. This requires a “test and learn” methodology and fostering a transformational mindset, which is something we’re taking very seriously at Takeda as we advance on our journey of becoming a digital leader in oncology.

From external to internal: boosting drug discovery and development

Beyond external engagement, the acceleration of data, digital, and AI are making business operations more effective and efficient, leading to greater innovation. In R&D, we are leveraging data in terms of proteomics and genomics and plan to utilise AI and machine learning to maximise our research opportunities. By mining data from related experiments and combining in-house knowledge with public domain data, companies can analyse massive amounts of information at speed to identify promising targets for exploration, such as important biomarkers.

Improving our ways of working

As well as informing the direction of our science, technology can solve more trivial and mundane jobs too. Cloud-based automation can be used to complete rule-based and repetitive tasks. As an example, over 200 of our clinical trial supply chains use automated ordering, distribution and inventory updates, which in turn make sure our investigational cancer therapies are available, arrive on time, and keep our studies moving forwards.

We are all on a learning curve about the ways in which technologies can boost how we work and what we accomplish. As an industry with a tsunami of information at our disposal, we need to be smart about how we translate data into actionable insights to truly unleash its power. Greater personalisation, at scale, tailored content development, and streamlined operations will set the foundations for improved outcomes. The future of our workplace and workforce will be online, and it’s where we must be so we can best deliver innovative ideas, stronger customer services, and life-transforming medicines for cancer patients.

About the author

Stefanie Granado is head of oncology for Europe and Canada, Takeda. Prior to this role, she served as general manager, Iberia (Spain & Portugal), and was responsible for the Spanish and Portuguese country organisation, overseeing 240 people and more than 50 products, and drove the region’s integration of the Shire team and portfolio. Stefanie has extensive pharmaceutical, healthcare, and management consulting experience and has a proven track record in emerging and developed markets, ranging from rare disease to vaccines and generics, and has lived and worked in Latin America, Spain, Switzerland, West Africa, and the US.

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Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook…



Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook clouded by uncertainties have led to a decline in real wages around the world, a new report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found.

As Statista's Felix Richter reports, according to the 2022-23 Global Wage Report, global real monthly wages fell 0.9 percent this year on average, marking the first decline in real earnings at a global scale in the 21st century.

You will find more infographics at Statista

The multiple global crises we are facing have led to a decline in real wages.

"It has placed tens of millions of workers in a dire situation as they face increasing uncertainties,” ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo said in a statement, adding that “income inequality and poverty will rise if the purchasing power of the lowest paid is not maintained.”

While inflation rose faster in high-income countries, leading to above-average real wage declines in North America (minus 3.2 percent) and the European Union (minus 2.4 percent), the ILO finds that low-income earners are disproportionately affected by rising inflation. As lower-wage earners spend a larger share of their disposable income on essential goods and services, which generally see greater price increases than non-essential items, those who can least afford it suffer the biggest cost-of-living impact of rising prices.

“We must place particular attention to workers at the middle and lower end of the pay scale,” Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, one of the report’s authors said.

“Fighting against the deterioration of real wages can help maintain economic growth, which in turn can help to recover the employment levels observed before the pandemic. This can be an effective way to lessen the probability or depth of recessions in all countries and regions,” she said.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 20:00

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Unprecedented Liquidations Lead To Historic Collapse In Investors’ Oil Exposure

Unprecedented Liquidations Lead To Historic Collapse In Investors’ Oil Exposure

By John Kemp, senior market analyst

Portfolio investors sold…



Unprecedented Liquidations Lead To Historic Collapse In Investors' Oil Exposure

By John Kemp, senior market analyst

Portfolio investors sold petroleum heavily for the third week running as fears about disruption to crude oil flows from the price cap on Russia’s exports receded.

Hedge funds and other money managers sold the equivalent of 42 million barrels in the six most important oil-related futures and options contracts over the seven days ending on Nov. 29.

Sales over the three most recent weeks totalled 190 million barrels, more than reversing the 169 million barrels purchased over the previous six weeks in October and early November. As Bloomberg adds, money managers have trimmed positioning in Nymex crude for three weeks in a row. A breakdown of the data show the drop in positions is mostly from money managers cutting long exposure, rather than an abrupt short-covering.

In the latest week, sales were again concentrated in crude (-40 million barrels), especially Brent (-39 million), with only insignificant changes in other contracts.

Brent is the contract with the most direct exposure to the crude exports from Russia subject to the price cap announced by the United States, the European Union and their allies on Dec. 2.

Fund managers cut their net position in Brent to just 99 million barrels (6th percentile for all weeks since 2013) last week from 238 million barrels (50th percentile) on Nov. 8.

Bullish long positions outnumbered bearish short ones in Brent by a ratio of just 2.17:1 (11th percentile), down from 6.74:1 in late October (76th percentile).

The long-short ratio is the lowest for two years since November 2020, before the first successful coronavirus vaccines were announced a few weeks later.

Fears the price cap would reduce global crude supplies appear to have prompted a wave of buying in both physical and paper markets throughout late September and early October.

Precautionary buying drove front-month Brent futures up to a high of almost $99 per barrel on Nov. 4 from just $84 on Sept. 26. It also helped keep the futures market in a steep six-month backwardation.

But as it became clear the cap would be set at a relatively high level, with a relaxed approach to enforcement, this buying has reversed, causing prices and spreads to fall sharply.

With the risk from the price cap removed, for now investors’ attention has returned to the weak outlook for the economy and oil consumption in 2023.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 14:21

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The Gall Of Lockdowners Who Support China’s Anti-Lockdown Protests

The Gall Of Lockdowners Who Support China’s Anti-Lockdown Protests

Authored by Michael Senger via ‘The New Normal’ Substack,

If the intent…



The Gall Of Lockdowners Who Support China's Anti-Lockdown Protests

Authored by Michael Senger via 'The New Normal' Substack,

If the intent was to get western elites to simultaneously support totalitarianism in their own countries while pretending to oppose it in China, then Xi Jinping has certainly made his point...

Across the political spectrum, voices have risen up in support of the Chinese people who’ve launched protests of unprecedented scale against the Chinese Communist Party’s indefinite Covid lockdown measures.

As well they should. Even by Chinese standards, the lockdowns that Xi Jinping pioneered with the onset of Covid are horrific in terms of their scale, their duration, their depravity, and the new totalitarian surveillance measures to which they’ve led. Anyone who participates in a protest in China runs a risk of being subject to cruel and arbitrary punishment. For ordinary Chinese people to brave that risk in defiance of this new form of inhuman medical tyranny is an act of courage worthy of admiration.

There are notable exceptions to the otherwise widespread support the protesters have received. Apple has been silent about the protests, and had the gall to limit the protesters’ use of a communication service called AirDrop in compliance with the CCP’s demands, even as it threatens to remove Twitter from its app store over Elon Musk’s free speech policy. This comes even after Apple has long ignored requests by FCC officials to remove the Chinese-owned app TikTok from its app store over unprecedented national security concerns. So Apple complies with requests by the Chinese government, but not the United States government. Let that sink in…

Apple is, unfortunately, far from alone in its CCP apologism. Anthony Fauci told CNN that China’s totalitarian lockdowns would be fully justified so long as the purpose was to “get all the people vaccinated.”

This kind of apologism for the CCP’s grisly bastardization of “public health” is horrific, especially coming from the man most widely seen as the leader of America’s response to Covid.

But what may be even more galling than this apologism is the widespread support China’s anti-lockdown protesters have received even among those who demonized anti-lockdown protesters in their home countries and wished their lockdowns were more like China’s.

In 2020, the New York Times denounced anti-lockdown protesters as “Anti-Vaxxers, Anticapitalists, Neo-Nazis” and urged the United States to be more like China.

But in 2022, the New York Times admired the bravery of China’s anti-lockdown protesters fighting Xi Jinping’s “unbending approach to the pandemic” that has “hurt businesses and strangled growth.”

In 2020, CNN published an open letter from “over 1,000 health professionals” denouncing anti-lockdown protests as “rooted in white nationalism” while admiring “China’s Covid success compared to Europe.”

But in 2022, CNN admired China’s anti-lockdown protesters as “young people” who “cry for freedom”

In 2020, the Washington Post denounced anti-lockdown protesters as “angry” populists who “deeply distrust elites,” and wished the United States was more like China.

But in 2022, the Washington Post celebrated global “demonstrations of solidarity” with China’s anti-lockdown protests.

In 2020, the New Yorker denounced anti-lockdown protesters as “militias against masks” while marveling at how “China controlled the coronavirus.”

But in 2022, the New Yorker admired the protesters standing up to Xi Jinping.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International issued a statement of concern about Canada’s anti-lockdown Freedom Convoy protests being affiliated with “overtly racist, white supremacist groups,” even as Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to crush the protests.

But now, Amnesty International has issued a statement urging the Chinese government not to detain peaceful protesters.

These headlines are, of course, in addition to the hundreds of other commentators, influencers, and health officials, such as NYT journalist Zeynep Tufekci, who used their platforms in 2020 to urge for lockdowns that were even stricter than those their governments imposed, but now join in support for those in China protesting the same policies they were urging their own countries to emulate.

Etymologically, Zeynep’s latter comment makes no sense. Lockdowns had no history in western public health policy and weren’t part of any democratic country’s pandemic plan prior to Xi Jinping’s lockdown of Wuhan in 2020. Though some countries, such as Italy, imposed lockdowns shortly before the United States, their officials too had simply taken the policy from China. Thus, because no other precedent existed, any call for a “real lockdown” or a “full lockdown” in spring 2020 was inherently a call for a Chinese-style lockdown.

Though by “full lockdown” Zeynep may have intended somewhere in between the strictness of lockdowns in the United States and China, there was no way for any reader to know what that medium was; it existed only in her own head. Thus, the reader is left only with a call for a “full lockdown,” and the only example of a “successful” “full lockdown” that then existed was a full Chinese lockdown.

Zeynep’s latter comment further illustrates the efficacy of what was arguably some of the CCP’s most effective lockdown propaganda in early 2020: The ridiculous viral videos of CCP cadres “welding doors shut” so poor Wuhan residents couldn’t escape.

CCP apologists have argued that these videos prove the CCP was not trying to influence the international response to Covid, because they make the CCP look so bad. But on the contrary, the over-the-top inhumanity of the idea of welding residents’ doors shut was precisely the purpose of this propaganda campaign. The idea had to be so absurd that no decent government would ever actually try it. It thus gave the CCP and its apologists an infinite excuse for why lockdowns “worked” in China and nowhere else—because only China had ever had a “real lockdown” in which residents were welded into their homes.

When those with a decent knowledge of geopolitics or a bit of common sense see a graph like this, which looks nothing like that of any other country in the world, from a regime with a long history of faking its data on virtually every topic, the conclusion is obvious: China’s results are fraudulent. But to simple minds, a weld is a strong, durable bond capable of incredible feats, from supporting skyscrapers to spaceships. Surely, if a weld can do all that, then it must be able to stop a ubiquitous respiratory virus?

The entire concept is, of course, utterly asinine. You cannot stop a respiratory virus by indefinitely suspending everyone’s rights. But this idea that lockdowns had worked in China because the CCP had gone so far as to weld people into their homes was invoked over and over again during Covid, creating a limitless “No-True-Scotsman” out for lockdown apologists as to why lockdowns weren’t “working” anywhere except China. Whether COVID-19 cases went up, down, or sideways, the solution would always be the same: “Be more like China.”

The use of this darkly humorous propaganda campaign of welding residents into their homes speaks to two key points as to how Xi Jinping and CCP hawks like him view China’s relationship with the west. The first is that westerners will never respect the CCP; thus, you can make westerners believe anything so long as it confirms westerners’ prior belief that the CCP is barbaric.

Second, Xi Jinping sees the concepts of democracy and human rights as mere propaganda that western elites use to further their own self-interest. So long as they approve of a policy, then it’s not a human rights violation, but if they oppose it, then it is. It remains to be seen whether the response to Covid will, in the long run, ultimately advance Xi’s goal of making the world China. But insofar as the intent was to get western elites to simultaneously support totalitarianism in their own countries while pretending to oppose it in China, then he’s certainly made his point.

*  *  *

Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. Want to support my work? Get the book

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 15:53

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