Friday, August 29, 2008

Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators

The Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators (APPI) now has a website. You can visit them here:

This organization used to be called the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians (AAPP) and they had a website at

In 2005, The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and the Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators (APPI) - formerly known as the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians (AAPP) - signed a definitive agreement signifying a formal affiliation between the two groups and their related Education Foundation activities.

The academy also offers certification as a Certified Physician Investigator (CPI). If you're heavily involved in clinical research, this may be something worth pursuing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Growing Network of Non-Clinical Healthcare Professionals

The Ning group I started several months ago has now grown to over 130 members! If you have any interest in non-clinical opportunities/careers, then I encourage you to join this FREE group by signing up here:

Job Post: Director, Scientific Communications/Oncology

It looks like Otsuka Pharmaceuticals is looking for a: Director, Scientific Communications/Oncology

Otsuka is seeking a Director, Scientific Communications/Oncology to identify and implement strategic objectives for the publication of medical research data and educational materials, which support the Global Brand initiatives and research goals in oncology. This individual works with the international medical community through the development and implementation of scientific publication plans.

Find the full job description here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

e-learning for clinicians

e-learning is a very hot topic in the world of CME/CE for healthcare professionals. Some may confuse e-learning with e-marketing, but they are not the same.

Well-designed e-learning programs should embrace proper adult learning principles to help clinicians absorb and retain information that will influence their practice behavior. Although there are many different types of adult instructional design models, one of the more popular ones is the "ADDIE" model, which stands for: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner? How have you been learning recently? Clinicians have the responsibility of keeping up with new information. Guidelines are constantly changing. Medical science advances and new drugs get developed. Paradigms shift. Many years ago, we used to think that smoking cigarettes improves asthma. We've certainly come a long way.

Are you seeking information, or do you receive information as it gets pushed to you through different sources? How do you stay up-to-date with medical information?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


MedicalPlexus is a restricted-access network in which doctors and life science researchers can connect, interact, and share their work. Is this another Sermo?

MedicalPlexus is different because it may foster research collaboration among scientists and researchers. Web 2.0 at work yet again! Social networking communities that are bringing clinicians and scientists together.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Medpedia: Another Medical Wiki?

Is the Medpedia project yet another medical wiki? Or will this be something different? There are already several medical wikis out there.

Medpedia is being developed in association with four major medical universities: Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan.

Will this be Web 2.0 at its best? Will medical wikis serve as the primary source of medical information for healthcare professionals and consumers? Since anyone can contribue to wikis, how will the immense volume of information be monitored and controlled?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

ProZyme is Looking for a Director/VP of R&D

ProZyme in San Francisco is Looking for a Director/VP of R&D. If you're interested in the job listing, take a look here.

RESPONSIBILITIES: • Drive the innovation of research and processes within ProZyme’s IP space. • Interface with senior management to establish R&D business objectives and milestones. • Knowledge and experience using the latest techniques in project management. • Translate corporate business objectives into effective long and short-term IP strategies. • Guide the department in prioritizing business and research goals and ultimately, achieving results. • Drive improvements to ProZyme’s R&D systems, including: Design Control, Engineering Studies, Engineering Builds, and Life Cycle Management. • Represent ProZyme’s technology in public forums, publications, and technical presentations. • Function as a hands-on leader guiding project teams, establishing high-level timelines, and facilitating project management. • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to establish product specifications, resource planning, manufacturing scale-up, process adherence and improvement, and the development of IP strategies. • Represent R&D in developing the corporate budget, as well as process controls. • Promote communication within the department and represent R&D in executive level decision-making. • Assist the efforts of Sales and Marketing by providing R&D support and guidance. • Promote efficient, compliant, and effective documentation within the department. • Facilitate career development, hiring, performance management, and recruiting for R&D. • Ensure compliance and promote a high-level of integrity within the department. • This position reports directly to the President. QUALIFICATIONS: • Track record of developing innovative ideas and innovative processes for achieving R&D success. • Outstanding track record of success in delivering products on schedule and within budget. • Ability to translate research goals into a business plan that targets corporate objectives. • Experience developing successful IP strategies and R&D teams. • Organizational savvy and the ability to work with multiple departments within the company. • Management style that is results-driven and team focused. • Excellent understanding of risk management, resource planning, design control, product development, and life cycle management. • Excellent management skills with the ability to guide teams and promote career development. • Possess the ability to work with scientists, and at the same time communicate effectively with the executive team on business objectives. • Must be able to earn the respect of the R&D team through sound scientific knowledge of the field. • Prior experience working in FDA regulated environments. • Candidates with experience in industry, who have developed and transferred products to a manufacturing setting, are strongly preferred. • Experience in GxP/QSR Quality Systems is a plus. • Doctoral degree in related field is strongly preferred. • 10 years R&D experience in the life sciences or healthcare industries.

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Drug for Huntington's Disease Chorea Approved by the FDA

Xenazine (tetrabenazine) is the first agent approved by the FDA for chorea in Huntington's Disease (HD). A highly selective and reversible centrally-acting dopamine depleting drug, tetrabenazine works by inhibiting a molecule known as VMAT2 (vesicular monoamine transporter 2).

Genetic testing is available for Huntington's Disease, however this gets into many ethical issues because some people don't want to get tested for HD. Well, it's great to see an agent actually approved by the FDA for this neurodegenerative disease.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cisco Connected Health

is a huge player in the healthcare technology sector. A key industry solution provided by Cisco is called "Cisco Connected Health." Want to stay connected all the time? Improvements in the healthcare system will only occur by leveraging certain pieces of information technology so that patients and clinicians can improve inefficiencies and streamline data flow. Patients are more than consumers and they need to have access to vital information during critical times.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Advances in Telemedicine

Technology continues to advance medicine in many ways. High-speed internet connections are making telemedicine options more feasible in many rural areas.

The Lancet Neurology has an article about a telemedicine study called the STRokE DOC trial. In this study, telemedicine consults led to improved use of thrombolytic agents for strokes. Although there were no differences in mortality or functional outcomes, the authors conclude that telemedicine may be an effective option to assist in strike care.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Video Game Improves Behavioral Outcomes in Patients With Cancer

A Video Game Improves Behavioral Outcomes in Patients With Cancer. Researchers at Stanford University published a recent article in Pediatrics.

OBJECTIVE. Suboptimal adherence to self-administered medications is a common problem. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a video-game intervention for improving adherence and other behavioral outcomes for adolescents and young adults with malignancies including acute leukemia, lymphoma, and soft-tissue sarcoma.

CONCLUSIONS. The video-game intervention significantly improved treatment adherence and indicators of cancer-related self-efficacy and knowledge in adolescents and young adults who were undergoing cancer therapy. The findings support current efforts to develop effective video-game interventions for education and training in health care.

PEDIATRICS Vol. 122 No. 2 August 2008, pp. e305-e317

Friday, August 8, 2008

Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony: 2008

Wow! What an incredible opening ceremony! What a performance? That huge LCD screen/floor was just amazing and I was very impressed with the spectacular show. Technology has revolutionized live entertainment capabilities in such a tremendous way.

The last time I was in China was ten years ago. So much has changed in Beijing and I often wonder how the healthcare system is doing.

One World One Dream

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Has anyone tried visiting InfoMedMD? Looks like a very interesting site that offers to provide immediate medical information for your symptoms. This site appears to be unique compared to other consumer health sites by tailoring information.

Will this company gain traction? According to, this site has been getting a respectable amount of traffic over the last few months.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blogs by Medical Students and Residents

I truly admire how some medical students and residents spend their time blogging. I hope they're able to keep up with their studies and clinical responsibilities. It's great to see students and clinicians leveraging Web 2.0 technologies. Think about how this will all evolve as these rising physicians enter the workforce. Communication, data collection, problem solving, networking - all these will be closely integrated with Web 2.0 for healthcare professionals. This is a glimpse of the future.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rivaroxaban submitted for FDA approval

What will happen to all those patients on coumadin (warfarin) if we get a new pill that requires no INR monitoring? Well, rivaroxaban (Xarelto®) may be that first pill in the USA. Rivaroxaban has been submitted for FDA approval. It acts by inhibiting factor Xa, so there is no INR to check since it does not work like warfarin (that inhibits vitamin K-dependent clotting factors).

What will happen to all those Coumadin clinics out there? What about all those fingerstick INR machines? Labs processing those weekely INR checks?

There was a lot of excitement several years ago with the development of Ximelagatran (Exanta). Live toxicity ended the development of that drug in the USA.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Next generation capsule endoscopy

The future of capsule endoscopy may be in miniature robotic arms that can take biopsies and perform therapeutic functions. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed this capsule that has robotic arms that open to "hold" the capsule in-place in the gut. Essentially, these arms open to get this capsule stuck. Then, when the arms retract and close, the capsule is free to continue its course through the GI tract.

Want to read more? Then take a look at Technology Review.

The future of free EHR solutions

Will the future of EMR and EHR be open source and/or free advertisement-supported platforms? Marketing and advertising are so important to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, so there shouldn't be any problem funding EHR solutions that are ad-based. Will that be the future model for success?

So many physicians are unable to afford paying for standard EHR solutions. They can't afford the software + hardware + support that is needed to effectively run EHR in their practice. However, if the software cost = $0, then uptake could rise tremendously. Furtheremore, if support could also be FREE, then we'd have a winning solution.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) is using the term EHR over EMR, so I think that will become standard terminology. Free or open source EHR solutions should be CCHIT certified if they want to be competitive.
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