SAP Enters the Precision Medicine Space

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Favorable brand recognition via audio ‘signatures‘ coupled with catchy video and bite sized tag-line narrative is the marketeer’s holy grail. Many try, though few achieve this ‘mindshare‘ associated brand fusion, let alone corporate, enterprise or organizational goodwill standing. Yet how many of us do not connect with Intel’s audio ‘D flat, G flat, D flat and A flat‘ signature coupled with the ‘Intel Inside‘ moniker developed by Walter Werzowa, see: The Man Who Created Intel’s Audio ‘Signature’ – I bet you can hear it echoing in your head right now, and if not click here!

When Dell acquired Perot Systems in a services play in 2009 (Dell to Acquire Perot Systems for $3.9 Billion, Creating Comprehensive, Customer-Focused IT-Solutions Company) it included a huge book of business in the healthcare transactional (principally claims processing) vertical, yet years later (circa 2012-ish) Dell was still investing in vertical awareness building since many still did not get their leadership and presence in the IT services industry let alone the healthcare vertical. To affirm and expand that footprint Dell initiated a ‘Think Tank‘ series of sorts, assembled via key HealthIT thought leaders and social media personalities (including yours truly for two invites) tagging the livestream video and associated tweets with #DoMoreHIT. During the sessions I participated in some Dell executives opined that their presence in HealthIT was one of the ‘best kept secrets‘ in the space.

In 2015 another industry dominant player, SAP who most will associate with software solutions in the ERP, CRM, e-commerce and real time analytics space stepped up and into the emerging Precision (or in the case of SAP ‘Personalized‘) Medicine space. This domain expansion (SAP does have a modular solutions presence in healthcare) was in part fueled by President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), but also likely to have been influenced by the labored encounter of this global behemoth’s CEO Bill McDermott (@BillRMcDermott), who told his story at SAP’s Personalized Medicine Symposium in Palo Alto, California late last year (digital dashboard here).

NOTE: for two of those featured faculty interviews see: ‘The Future is Bright for ‘Computational Biology’ via @StanfordMed Prof Carlos Bustamante PhD and ‘Population Health v. Precision Medicine: Stanford Professor Euan Ashley Weighs In‘.IMAG2293

McDermott’s story unfolds following a serious facial trauma accident which led this CEO to experience first hand the failure of healthcare delivery team principals to ‘own his care‘ via a series of hand-offs from one specialist to another, in the end forcing him to become his own advocate. I suspect some of this accountability failure was associated with silo-ed healthcare information, but more likely the absence of a quarterback or advocate on his behalf as he cycled through the various point solutions afforded by several consultants on his case. When considering he likely had the best health plan or health benefits money could by, his experience becomes even more poignant, particularly as you descend down the health benefits food chain. Regardless of the exact details of his experience, SAP has entered the healthcare space via SAP Connected Health in a rather significant way. For more information check out: ‘Big DIMAG2286ata in Personalized Medicine – the SAP approach‘ and ‘SAP Medical Research Insights for additional context.

Last month, I was invited to SAPPHIRE in Orlando, Florida for the first time. As no stranger to large healthcare venues (from HiMSS to the Digital Health Summit at CES, Health Datapalooza, The American Telemedicine Association and a litany of others) I am relatively well versed with the players in the ecosystem as well as the solutions or platforms architected to remedy the chronic ills of a volume driven but silo-ed healthcare financing and delivery paradigm. At SAPPHIRE I was afforded the opportunity to interview several key SAP Connected Health Executives including Werner Eberhardt, PhD, General Manager Connected Health and David Delaney, MD, Chief Medical Officer, SAP Health and Life Sciences as well as the first round of announced Strategic Partnerships via Kevin Fitzpatrick, CEO of the ASCO joint venture CancerLinQ, John McCraken, Executive Vice President, Castlight Health and Jesse Berns, CEO & Founder, Dharma Health.

The first of those interviews to be published shortly. Stay tuned!


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