One area that is always interesting to me is why some people and companies are able to drive change, and others cannot, even with equally good ideas. Sometimes it just takes one person or event to demonstrate that something is possible.
Take the 4-minute mile. People tried for over a thousand years to break the barrier. Many believed the human body was simply not capable of running a mile in 4 minutes or less. But once Roger Bannister accomplished the feat in 1954, two more runners were able to do the same only two months later. Now, the four-minute mile is the standard of all professional male middle distance runners.
Understanding Transformational Change
In a study on transformational change, Forbes’ Insights, with the help of Medidata, found that despite life-or-death stakes, only 50% of senior executives across industries say their companies understand transformation, or adapt well to new technologies or processes.
Transforming Clinical Trials
Medidata itself is focused on transforming how innovative, life-enhancing solutions are developed by the life sciences industry. The global company based in the U.S. has been a pioneer in big data and analytics for 15 years, and provides cloud-based solutions for clinical research. It has supported more than 9,000 clinical trials, and keeps track of more than 8 billion clinical records for more than 2 million patients.
Open Source Connector to ResearchKit
This month, Medidata announced the completion of an open source connector linking Apple’s ResearchKit to Medidata’s Clinical Cloud platform.
Medidata released the source code for the connector on GitHub to help research organizations gather more and better data on patients’ health status and response to therapeutic interventions.
According to Glen de Vries, Medidata’s president, “Apple is a key part of the ecosystem that defines the new era of mobile health. ResearchKit provides a terrific approach for dealing with the ‘last mile’ for in-life data.” He says that by linking ResearchKit-based apps to the Medidata Cloud, studies can now be planned and managed where virtually every possible source of clinical data can be automatically integrated—regardless of whether the source is a healthcare professional or a patient, and regardless of whether the data was gathered in a clinic or the patient’s home.”
Earlier this year, I had an opportunity to talk to several Medidata executives, among others, in a deep dive on Wearable Tech research. Medidata has already conducted studies for pharmaceutical clients in conjunction with Garmin, Fitbit, Vital Connect, and ActiGraph.
How is Medidata Able to Drive Change?
Adopting a platform or adopting a series of the solutions that are newer to the market, especially the ones that involve more complicated data analytics requires process change and it requires a different approach to driving value. – Tarek Sherif, Chairman and CEO, Medidata
In the Transformational Change report, Medidata says it has a Chief Value Officer on its team, but Sherif is quick to point out that you need the whole organization to make change happen, “There isn’t an employee here that doesn’t know the mission is to articulate, define, and deliver value.”
Will clinical trials innovation validate wearable tech?
“It’s still early days for mHealth, but interest from clients and prospects is really strong and we are continuing to start new studies and moreover, we are regularly completing studies using a variety of devices,” reports de Vries.
Ultimately, transformational change is linked to a leader’s own ideas for personal transformation. According to the Forbes/Medidata report:
On a more personal level, executives were very clear that they preferred the empowerment approach for changes in their own lives, such as habits or lifestyle, though differences in age among these leaders delivered up different results.
When it comes to personal health, for example, just under a quarter of the executives we surveyed are already digitally tracking their health habits, and another 20% plan to start. But there was a difference among age groups, with younger respondents (under 45) more likely to embrace digital tracking. – Forbes’ Insights, Transformational Change
Executives did support the belief that in order for change to be successful, the individual has to want to change. Six out of 10 agreed with the statement, “It doesn’t matter how much support or engagement I get, I won’t make a big change until I decide I’m ready.”
Dealing with Rejection and Failure
Making transformational changes in healthcare can be overwhelming. Even those ready for change will be challenged by the reality of rejection and failure.
In an article for his alma mater in Carnegie Mellon Today, de Vries tells an inspiring story about the early days of Medidata. A persistent salesman finally got a biotech giant to listen to its pitch. Day One of the presentation was flawless, and de Vries thinks, “This meeting is the best demo I will ever do in my entire life.” Day Two starts with the salesman spilling coffee on the Chief Information Officer, and goes downhill. Nothing works like it should. Now de Vries is thinking, “Our software is so cool, and this was our one chance to get a big client, and we completely screwed it up.”
The salesman pulls everyone together, “Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go back to New York and fix everything that was broken. Then we’re going to send it to the team we’ve just been meeting with, and they can go online and play with it on their own.”
They saw the level of effort that we put in, and that kind of tenacity to say, ‘OK, even though we blew it, we’re going to make it right.’ And they ended up selecting us. It was our first enterprise client. – Glen de Vries, President, Medidata
I want to leave you with an inspiring video by Jia Jiang on becoming “Rejection-Proof”. In this talk at Google, Jiang tells his story about actively seeking 100 rejections. The results were surprising, and provide many lessons in making changes to achieve your dreams.
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