​“Innovative Approaches to Insights & Discovery in Medical Affairs” is the key topic of this evening’s MAPS APAC summit. Some fascinating insights were shared by Colin Baughman, True North Solutions in 4 key areas:

1.      New approaches to Continuing Medical Education gap prediction.

2.      Next generation social media insights.

3.      Digital health and digital signatures.

4.      Patient landscaping.


Key points covered:

One of the fundamental activities in Medical Affairs is Continuing Medical Education (CME). CME serves a critical purpose to address key HCP educational gaps in order to ensure appropriate use of treatments.

Currently, HCP gaps are identified through surveys, advisory boards, internal discussions and subjective opinions.

A case study was presented (using Google Cloud AutoML and Natural Language Processing Tools) where the objective was to objectively predict HCP educational gaps, and to correlate these gaps to patient outcomes. 250,000 presentations were aggregated from 4 years in 13 languages.

Novel approaches to Social Media monitoring and search were discussed. It was highlighted that most organisations use Social Media monitoring to assess patient voice, determine gaps, influencers and track emerging research.

A case study was discussed using Google search data related to COVID. The model incorporated aggregated search activity by day from key

Over 400 symptoms were aggregated and tracked. The result was the ability to better predict disease spread, outbreaks, assess symptom co-morbidities, assess various conditions on local level, advance populations health research and accelerate government response with tailored tactics.

The emerging value of Digital Signatures for Disease Management was discussed.

Examples were:

1.       Keyboard signatures to track cognition, processing speed, working memory, mood, outcomes, disease progression and treatment efficacy.

2.      Use of facial recognition to measure facial action units and expressivity for diagnosis and depression reoccurrence.

3.      Use of voice biomarkers for disease reoccurrence monitoring, progression and diagnosis.

4.      Measurement of heart rate variability to create anxiety index.

5.      Geospacial analytical models to predict changes in behaviour, movement and social stability.

6.      Passive and active monitoring from sensors to track efficacy, real-time wellness and outcomes.

Patient landscaping using public health datasets were discussed.

Patient landscaping in Medical Affairs serves the following purposes:

1.      Predicts areas with the highest patient need (ie density)

2.      Predict locations with highest growth rate which will precede HCP activity.

3.      Support MSL resource deployment

4.      Support Clinical trial site selection

5.      Inform patient advocacy programs

Using many publicly available datasets combined with geospatial analytical tools, the development of dynamic maps is possible.


The above notes were taken from a presentation given by Colin Baughman, True North Solutions