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DMD Pharma Innovators Series: William King, Zephyr Health

William King is the founder and Executive Chairman of Zephyr Health, the Insights-as-a-Service leader harnessing the power of global health data to help Life Sciences companies engage the right physicians, accounts and institutions. He is passionate about creating innovative solutions to advance efficiency, strategy and tactical problem solving for healthcare companies. William holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver. He currently resides in the Bay Area with his wife and three children.

As part of DMD's Pharma Innovators Series, David Reim sat down with William King, founder and executive chairman of Zephyr Health, to discuss his opinions about actionable data, data integration, and data from digital channels. Read more about how companies are using technology to reshape business as usual.

David Reim: William, what trends do you see among your clients in managing and leveraging information?

William King: The established “go to market” approach that life sciences companies have used for many years is rapidly evolving (or needs to!) with the changes in the healthcare system. One of the most important changes is having more stakeholders involved in therapeutic decisions.

It’s not just the physician deciding if a company’s therapy or device will be used. Payors, patients, and integrated delivery networks are all playing an increasing and important role in determining the success of a life sciences company’s product.

In order for life sciences companies to engage with this expanded group of stakeholders, they need more data and insights regarding these players and the way in which they interact. This demands enhanced use of data-driven insights to influence the business.

In many instances the marketing and sales teams have each pursued increased use of data and technology independently, but these silos, and this disparate view of the customer and the marketplace, must change for companies to be competitive. It’s becoming more and more essential that they have a holistic view of their engagement with a customer (healthcare provider or healthcare organization), and data is the central connecting thread for this.

In fact, that’s one of the greatest benefits we bring to our customers. We use innovative technology to connect a large number of data sources across the entire organization to deliver a comprehensive view of a company’s engagement, activities, and stakeholder behavior, including that of physicians, institutions, and even patients. This allows us to provide actionable insights for all teams –medical affairs, marketing, and sales.

Reim: How interested are Zephyr’s clients in collecting, managing, and leveraging their digital marketing efforts? Where are the gaps?

King: They are very interested! In fact, more and more life sciences companies need to think about their customer outreach programs across all channels, digital and analog (i.e., field reps).

I imagine a world in 2020 where healthcare data is managed in a distributed fashion and then shared in a way that provides ease of access, with maximum security.

Digital marketing and technology advances have taken customer-centricity to an entirely new level and given marketers multiple terabytes of data—some user-generated, some market-generated—with which to customize and personalize these efforts.

Being able to capture prescribing trends, referrals, and relationships between healthcare providers and healthcare institutions is not just for the research and development teams. It’s equally important for those in strategic go-to-market roles and those working directly with healthcare professionals specialized in a disease or treatment area.

Pharma can learn from many other industries, where having real-time data helps you personalize and improve personal and non-personal marketing efforts.

Reim: Take me to 2020. What's the NEW new thing?

King: When I think about the future, I think about the true democratization of healthcare data. Data consistency and data access are common challenges facing healthcare systems today; data is siloed and no single company or healthcare system has a complete view of the data held on an individual, a provider, or an institutional level.

Digital marketing and technology advances have taken customer-centricity to an entirely new level and given marketers multiple terabytes of data with which to customize and personalize these efforts.

I imagine a world in 2020 where healthcare data is managed in a distributed fashion and then shared in a way that provides ease of access, with maximum security. This means a patient could update her healthcare record in real-time to report side effects or share her complete medical history with a new physician or when visiting a new hospital. Physicians and payers will similarly be able to update communication preferences, specialties, or prescribing histories in real-time and share this information with relevant stakeholders.

By having equal access to data, the conversation around big data and data insights shifts immediately from volume (the number of records) to value (what you can do with them). Such a move would add stability and relative ease to data storage as well.

Think of the internet: there is no single point of storage. Websites and files are stored and cached across hundreds, if not thousands, of sites around the world. With the right levels of security, the same approach to storage and ease of access could be taken with healthcare data

About Zephyr Health

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Zephyr Health helps Life Sciences companies – pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostics – engage the right physicians, accounts and institutions using insights from global health data. Zephyr Illuminate™ is a leading Insights-as-a-Service solution that integrates thousands of data sources to create precise and predictive insights. From pre-launch to product maturity, Life Sciences companies can make confident decisions faster with data-driven targeting and deep customer profiles. Zephyr Health's customers include several of the Top 10 Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medical Device companies.

Zephyr Health is a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco with offices in London, UK, and Pune, India. Zephyr Health is venture backed by Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Icon Ventures. For more information, please visit: www.zephyrhealth.com

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DMD, an IQVIA business, offers the only authenticated database available that can reach, report, and respond to the dynamic digital behavior of fully opted-in physicians and NP/PA prescribers. Through this database, pharmaceutical marketers, hospitals and health systems, medical societies, publishers, medical marketing agencies, and others have digital access to more than 90% of physicians with email addresses and real-time web activity data that unlocks precision targeting and engagement capabilities across the most influential healthcare audiences.