Boehringer Ingelheim and Sutter Health Establish Research Collaboration to Improve Patient Care
Boehringer Ingelheim, a family-owned biopharmaceutical company, and Sutter Health, a not-for-profit health system in Northern California, today announced the start of a five-year research and health care innovation collaboration, which will explore and test the value of digital health solutions, mobile technologies, and insights from advanced data analytics in the delivery of health care.
The organizations will work on initiatives that bring together Boehringer Ingelheim’s research and development expertise 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 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 United States. Healthcare providers have told approximately 15 million Americans that they have COPD. 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,” said Walter ‘Buzz’ Stewart, Ph.D., MPH, chief research officer for Sutter Health. “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.”
Specifically, the initial collaboration 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
“Re-designing the patient experience by seamlessly integrating key technologies, applications, and analytical insights has the potential to fundamentally enhance care for our patients with COPD,” said Joshua N. Liberman, Ph.D., director of Research, Development, and Dissemination at Sutter Health. “We will work with our pulmonologists, patients and Boehringer Ingelheim to design, develop, and test the most promising ideas for use broadly with our and others’ patients.”
“For more than a century, Boehringer Ingelheim has led the industry in bringing innovative medicines to patients,” said Ruchin Kansal, executive director and head, Business Innovation at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “By joining forces with Sutter Health, we hope this collaboration will provide new insights into unmet needs in care delivery and inform development of new resources for patients. We are excited to launch the first such initiative in COPD, a therapeutic area where Boehringer Ingelheim has been an industry leader for more than two decades.”