FierceBiotech IT lands in Philly for DIA

It's time for the DIA 2012 Annual Meeting. For the next couple days, I'll be in historic Philadelphia to attend a slew of meetings with purveyors of life sciences software and panels on hot topics such as patient recruitment for clinical trials and integration of electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic data capture (EDC) systems. (I've got Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" playing to get me pumped, but I'm finding it too sentimental for the job.)

I won't be alone. There are at least half a dozen folks from Fierce here for the DIA meeting, which the association expects to draw more than 7,000 professionals and exhibitors this week. The meeting provides a convenient checkup for the state of the biopharma industry at roughly midyear. For example, the industry is closing in on reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), with pols from both sides of the aisle rallying around legislation for the vital program. 

The industry suffers from a lack of speed and efficiency in drug development. The PDUFA-V promises to provide new tools to help speed up the advance of breakthrough treatments onto the U.S. market, and many of the vendors registered for the annual DIA conference will be showing off products and services designed to support some of the same goals found in the updated act. In addition, I've already talked with a handful of companies here with new applications that target some of the bugaboos in clinical development such as slow patient recruitment, poor visibility of clinical data across multiple IT systems and bottlenecks to transforming discoveries into personalized treatments.

Checking in with FierceBiotech IT readers is also a big reason for us to attend the DIA meeting. I'll be taking stock of how well the publication is serving the information needs of folks here, and hopefully grabbing a bunch of good ideas for improving our product. Based on my past experience at Fierce, I've tried this year to bring readers up close to key people in the bio IT sphere, with content such as the Top 10 Biotech Techies report in March, a live Twitter chat with Glen de Vries, co-founder and president of Medidata Solutions ($MDSO), in May, and more original reporting and interviews.

Even if you're not here at DIA, please feel free to send me email with your thoughts about how we're doing so far this year. For those of you here in Philly for the DIA summit, have a great meeting and please say hello to me and other members of the Fierce team this week. And stay tuned for updates from the conference on our website. -- Ryan McBride, Editor (Email | Twitter)