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Transforming Oncology Outcomes Through Data & 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,1 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 optimizing 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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Canadian dollar edges higher as retail sales rebound

Canada retail sales climb 2% The Canadian dollar has posted losses on Friday. In the European session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3446, down 0.28%. Canada’s…



  • Canada retail sales climb 2%

The Canadian dollar has posted losses on Friday. In the European session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3446, down 0.28%.

Canada’s retail sales jump

Canada’s retail sales rebounded in impressive fashion on Friday. Retail sales in July jumped 2% y/y, following a -0.6% reading in June and beating the 0.5% consensus estimate. On a monthly basis, retail sales rose 0.3%, up from 0.1% in June but shy of the consensus estimate of 0.4%. The good news was tempered by the August estimate, which stands at -0.3% m/m and would be the first decline since March. The Canadian dollar showed little reaction to the retail sales release.

The Bank of Canada doesn’t meet again until October 25th and policy makers will have plenty of data to monitor in the meantime. The BoC has been walking a tightrope that will be familiar to most central banks, that of trying to balance the risks of over and under-tightening. The difficulty in finding the right balance was highlighted in the BoC summary of deliberations of the policy meeting earlier this month.

The BoC decided to hold the benchmark rate at 5.0% after concluding that earlier rate hikes were having an effect and slowing economic growth. The summary indicated that policy makers were concerned that a pause might send the wrong message that rate cuts might be on the way. With inflation still above the BOC’s target, the central bank is not looking at rate cuts and stressed at the September meeting that rate hikes were still on the table and that inflation remained too high.


USD/CAD Technical

  • USD/CAD is testing resistance at 1.3468. The next resistance line is 1.3553
  • 1.3408 and 1.3323 are the next support lines

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Quantitative Tightening Is Not Biggest Threat To Global Yields

Quantitative Tightening Is Not Biggest Threat To Global Yields

Authored by Simon White, Bloomberg macro strategist,

The Bank of England’s…



Quantitative Tightening Is Not Biggest Threat To Global Yields

Authored by Simon White, Bloomberg macro strategist,

The Bank of England’s quantitative tightening program shows that unwinding central-bank bond portfolios, even with outright sales, need not be disruptive for markets. The greater risk for US and global yields comes from positive stock-bond correlations driving risk premia wider.

The BOE has been a pioneer and a thought leader in QT. While the Fed and ECB have only allowed bonds to run off naturally to help achieve their balance-sheet contraction goals, the BOE has sold gilts outright in addition to allowing bonds to mature.

So far, it has not led to any significant market disruption. This enabled the BOE Thursday to increase the pace of reduction in the Asset Purchase Facility (APF) from £80 billion last year to £100 billion over the coming 12 months from October (while holding Bank Rate steady). As colleague Ven Ram also noted, the schedule of maturing bonds next year allowed the bank to keep gilts sales unchanged from last year while increasing the total amount of the APF’s decrease.

The QT watchwords from the bank are “gradual and predictable.” If gilt sales are conducted in such a way, then market disruption should be minimized. The chart below shows the BOE’s own assessment of the impact of bond sales on the market.

The BOE estimates that of the ~40 bps of term-premium increase since the MPC voted to begin QT in February 2022, about 10-15 bps comes from QT specifically – small in comparison to the overall rise in yields since that time.

QT or bond sales, though, are not the most critical risk facing bond prices in the current cycle. Rising and now positive stock-bond correlations threaten to lead to a structural rise in bond risk premium, and lower prices. The correlation is now positive in the US, Japan, and the UK.

In a positive stock-bond correlation world, bonds lose their portfolio-hedge and recession-hedge capabilities, and thus become less sought after. The penny has not fully dropped yet, but the negative term premium for bonds is increasing, and is prone to rising much higher as they become less desirable.

Yields of developed market countries are biased structurally higher, but QT is unlikely to be the culprit. Instead, it allows central banks to reload their capacity for a future time when they may need to restart quantitative easing, in order to stabilize the market from sharply rising term premia.

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/22/2023 - 09:10

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What happens if a university goes bust?

Universities face growing costs but no prospect of increased funding.





Governments face difficult choices when industries fail. They can stand by while private businesses collapse and see the resulting loss of jobs and revenue. Or they can step in and use public money to prop up these firms.

The Scottish government intervened in 2019 to rescue Ferguson Marine, the last shipbuilding firm on the river Clyde, but faces ongoing controversy on whether it broke state aid rules in doing so. And, of course, the global financial crisis of 2008 saw the UK government intervening to rescue banks such as RBS that were seen as “too big to fail”.

A similar financial crisis may be looming in higher education, a sector worth billions each year to the UK economy and a source of great national pride.

The UK boasts the second-largest collection of Nobel laureates and four of the world’s top-20 universities. But all is not well in higher education.

Financial woes

The most recent data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency for the financial year ending in 2022 shows that (excluding pension adjustments, which can skew accounts for particular years) 24% of UK universities reported a deficit.

The Russell Group, which represents an elite group of research-intensive universities, claims it faces an average shortfall of £2,500 on every home undergraduate taught, and that this could grow to £5,000 by 2029-2030.

The outgoing vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Sir Chris Husbands, recently suggested that calls to increase fee levels could be perceived as being tone deaf. Faced with their core undergraduate activities being unprofitable, universities have diversified their income by recruiting more international students, despite UK immigration policy limiting their ability to do so.

With no immediate prospect of increased funding either from government or through increased fee levels for domestic students, such restrictions on international recruitment together with damaging rhetoric from the government about so-called “rip-off degrees” means it is no longer unthinkable that a UK university might fail.

To consider what might happen if a university went out of business, we can look at what transpires when other businesses – such as banks – go bust.

Students in coffee shop
Universities play a significant role in local economies.

Of the brand names that collapsed during the 2008 global financial crisis, few will remember the Heritable Bank. It held 22,000 accounts, making it comparable to the number of students at a mid-size university.

The cost to UK taxpayers of rescuing the Heritable Bank was £500m. The government, via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, paid compensation to Heritable’s customers and, while some of these monies were recouped, the upfront costs were significant and the endgame did not see all of the cost recovered.

Part of the solution when Heritable failed was that another provider, ING, took on its customers. Were a university to become insolvent, thousands of students would find themselves marooned part-way through a degree programme, with no obvious route to complete it. There is no guarantee that another university would want to absorb a collection of “new” students, especially at fee levels that are already acknowledged to be below the break-even point.

Consequences for students

Even if a neighbouring university was given incentives to step in by the government, there would be practical issues to consider. Despite a potential merger under consideration in Australia, there is little history of mergers between universities in the UK.

The government could step in to avert a crisis. However, compared with the crisis in financial services in 2008, there is no equivalent compensation scheme in place and the public finances are in poorer health. In combination, this means there is no certainty of a government rescue package – and there may be a real reluctance to interfere in the market.

Almost inevitably, a series of messy class action lawsuits would result, with students seeking recompense for fees paid, perhaps over multiple years, that did not result in the qualification advertised. Worse, the shockwaves felt in one university could easily rock confidence in others. Future students might become more interested in the annual financial reports of a prospective university than its traditional prospectus.

Pulling down communities

Beyond the students, there would be significant economic consequences for the region, town or city concerned. Universities are typically large employers, sometimes the biggest in the area, and often refer to themselves as “anchor institutions” – central to the local economic ecosystem in the same way that a household-name retailer might be key to the viability of a shopping mall.

Yet anchors can also drag. In the case of a university failure, the potential for large numbers of high-skilled roles to disappear would be matched by a set of economic ripples that would be felt more widely.

This could range from housing, hospitality and retail being starved of income, to these and many other sectors suffering a shortage of a part-time, flexible workers. There are 142 members of Universities UK, and the 130 universities operating in England are estimated to contribute £95bn to the economy each year. Somewhere between £0.5bn and £1bn is a reasonable estimate of the amount attributable to any one university.

Finally, there would be political consequences. Electorates, of course, comprise many current, past and future students. Accusations would follow that jobs, qualifications and potential futures had been squandered.

The university sector is not immune to the kind of industrial or technological revolutions that have swept through other industries. But neither is it a purely commercial sector. Some of our policymakers and regulators might regard a university failure as an indication that the market is working. If so, they should be careful what they wish for.

Robert MacIntosh does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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