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Sutter Health Announces Digital Health Collaboration With Biopharmaceutical Company

May 26, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The northern Calif.-based Sutter Health has announced a collaboration with the Ridgefield, Conn.-based biopharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim that will explore and test the value of digital health solutions, mobile technologies, and insights from advanced data analytics in the delivery of healthcare.

 The five-year research partnership will involve the organizations working on initiatives that bring together Boehringer Ingelheim's research and development knowledge in novel medications to address unmet therapeutic needs with Sutter Health's research and clinical experience from caring for a diverse population of more than 3 million patients in its network of hospitals and healthcare providers, the organizations said in a press release announcing the collaboration.

Specifically, the initial alliance between the two companies aims to achieve the following:

  • Develop a reliable, electronic (tablet or kiosk-based) data collection system to collect information directly from the patient, during every health encounter
  • Make it easier for healthcare professionals and patients to communicate about treatment options by developing technological means for integrating clinical and patient reported data in an engaging visual display
  • Empower shared decision making through the use of visual displays and other technologies that help connect patients and healthcare professionals and create more personal care

The first collaborative initiative will focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic lower respiratory diseases, which include COPD, rank third in leading causes of death in the U.S. Through this initial project, the team hopes to make it easier for doctors and patients to work together to personalize medical care to the patient’s unique needs and preferences.

“Ultimately, we all want to help patients reduce COPD symptoms and live healthier lives,” Walter “Buzz” Stewart, Ph.D., chief research officer for Sutter Health, said in a statement. “We believe that innovative technologies can help us develop a deeper understanding of patient needs, values, and care preferences—and create more time during office visits for doctors and patients to partner toward improved health outcomes.”

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