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How real-time data can make medicine smarter

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    Improving the lives of people with severe diseases is a goal UCB shares with physicians and patient groups, amongst others. But defining success with that goal can vary from person to person.

    Take movement disorders, for example. For one patient, controlled daytime tremor could be a priority. For another, getting a good night's sleep might trump everything else. Yet they both might be prescribed the same medicine regimen.

    Remembering that each patient is unique is essential to meeting their individual needs. This personal approach is starting to be made possible by new technologies which give real-time individual feedback on a patient's condition and how they are responding to medication. This allows doctors to make appropriate adjustments in order to optimise the patient's care.

    Last year UCB announced a new collaboration with MC-10, an innovative start-up that is creating wearable technologies.

    The objective for the collaboration is to harness the potential of the flexible electronics that MC-10 has developed to provide physicians and patients information on the effect a medicine has on the patient, and use that information to better tailor the medicine to the patient’s needs.

    In this video, recorded at the CES 2015 conference – a major consumer technology event with 160,000 attendees – Dr James Zackheim, UCB Vice President, and Dr Nirav Sheth of MC10, discuss the partnership between the two companies. James and Nirav participated in a panel discuss at the Digital Health Live event at CES, focusing on how collaboration between the technology sector and healthcare companies can drive advances in health.

    As James explains, patients and physicians are more likely to meet their goal if they can check in regularly and measure progress. "If you only check status every six months, you're less likely to reach your target."

    UCB's partnership with MC10 has the potential to deliver a more personal approach to care. MC10 is a university spin-out company that makes extremely thin and flexible wearable electronics – go to the 2-minute mark in the video to see what this technology looks like.

    James believes that the opportunities presented by these new technologies "will rewrite the textbooks".

    These gains will come in two ways. Not only will individual patients benefit from a more responsive and personal approach to treatment, population-level data will inform the decisions of payers and governments.

    Whatever way you look at it, healthcare is about to get a whole lot smarter – and that can only be good for patients.

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