Cite competitive plus to justify informatics

Greg Nelson ponders whether clinical informatics provides a competitive advantage for drug developers. The CEO of business intelligence company ThotWave Technologies says the answer is yes, if drugmakers can optimize the process of acquiring, processing, analyzing and reporting on clinical results.

Those inclined toward informatics-oriented enterprise solutions need to justify their cost against investments for such other functions as sales and marketing, drug discovery, and even portfolio optimization. That's where to make the case for informatics as a competitive advantage.

Though some informatics trappings are operational (electronic data collection, trial management), they contain "rich repositories of information that could and should be used across the biopharma life cycle," he says on BeyeNetwork. That includes clinical, economic and operational decisions.

Such solutions today "are in early-stage development, experiencing complete rewrites, or have limited installations," says Nelson. But vendors are advancing the solutions, he adds, citing SAS Drug Development, Phase Forward's Waban offerings, Oracle's Life Sciences Hub, and open-source offerings like the National Institutes of Health's i2b2 platform (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside).

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