A Chat With Tom Krohn 9

Tom Krohn is the Business Lead for the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation Team. Tom’s career began as a practicing pharmacist.

His experiences in building and eventually serving as GM of the largest healthcare organization in Madagascar shaped his frame of reference, as he realized that healthcare was not only about delivering much-needed treatment and medicine, but also about logistics, business models, and the accessibility of information.

In this interview, Tom tells us the story of how his “personal passion and commitment to use my talents to serve the marginalized of society” was shaped over time – and how this passion can be realized through his work in clinical open innovation.

You have a varied and interesting background: You’ve been a pharmacist, a CFO then GM for the largest healthcare organization in Madagascar, you have experience in an IT organization… How did that evolution happen?

The experience in Madagascar showed me a lot about what information systems and appropriate uses of technology could do for healthcare – both to help get things done and, especially, to empower the people doing the work.

How Do You Make A Clinical Collection? 4

The Lilly Clinical Open Innovation team is made up of scientists and technologists who apply open innovation principles to the world of clinical research.  We’re folks with computers in one hand and lab coats in the other.

Our mission includes making publicly-available clinical data more consumable for a mass audience, in ways that are easy to view and put to good use. To demonstrate, we’re excited to make available our first tool  – Clinical Collections

The Clinical Collections tool takes data published by the NIH on ClinicalTrials.gov and makes it more consumable.  The data on ClinicalTrials.gov is very useful, but not so easy to sift through and work with. Clinical Collections “webifies” clinical trials data so you can search, filter and visualize the data in a number of different views.

In addition, you can save your collections and views.  Just bookmark the URL and you can reuse and share your collections with others.  Soon there will be more options to add trials to your collection, and we’ll introduce a way to follow them. Imagine a kind of  Pinterest for clinical trial data.

For now, check out the video and give Clinical Collections a try at ClinicalCollections.org.  It’s free and available for anyone to use.

How might you use Clinical Collections in your work?  Are there any features you’d like us add?  Please leave a comment below.

World TB Day 1

March 24 is World TB Day. Tuberculosis is a disease that we only hear about occasionally, yet according to the Bill & Gates Foundation, every 20 seconds someone dies from TB. And, it’s getting worse. Resistance to standard treatments is growing and is spreading globally. Its impact on patients and communities is devastating, as powerfully captured by photojournalist James Nachtwey available on XDRTB.org.

But there is hope.

Join us in saluting the efforts of international collaboration to accelerate new regimens of TB medicine and vaccines. The new drug pipeline looks promising and collaborative efforts such as Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens are leading the way for new combination research. More…

Introducing Clinical Open Innovation 6

There’s plenty of evidence that drug development is broken. The estimated efficacy rate of drugs for many common illnesses comes in at 50% or below, and a recent Forbes article by Matt Herper suggests the cost of bringing a new drug to patients is twice the already-big-number commonly used – over $4 billion per drug.

Patients need better.

The Lilly Clinical Open Innovation team exists to make it better. We believe that Open Innovation models – focused on clinical drug development – can result in transformational gains in value-to-patients and efficiency.

We also believe that open data, linked, crowdsourced, consumed and curated by experts outside (as well as inside) the walls of pharma will bring innovative insights and wisdom. And that open communities will set and meet objectives to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

We’ll explore challenge driven innovation and gamification to tap into expertise which might otherwise be missed. We embrace open source development to maximize technical contribution and benefit, and will Work Out Loud to assure transparency on our projects. To manage rights in a distributed digital age we leverage Creative Commons licensing.  In the open, with no strings attached.

That’s a lot of buzzwords, and even more to actually try to do. Too much for the smallish Lilly COI group for sure – but that’s kind of the point. Open Innovation promises that we can all play bigger than we are, and enables greater innovation than any individual or organization can accomplish on it’s own.

To start, Clinical Collections is a tool to make personal collections of clinical trials. More…