Health IT

Pharma companies using iPhone data analysis app to track clinical trial results

With pharmaceutical sales forces shifting to iPads instead of laptops, an app that helps them analyze drug sales is seeing increasing uptake for clinical trials.

David Becerra, is a co-founder and vice president of strategy and business development at MeLLmo, which makes Roambi. He and his co-founders started the Solana Beach, California business in 2008, and spent one year developing the product for iPhone in its iOS operating system. The Roambi analytics app was launched in 2009. The tool is designed to source data from a number of disparate systems and utilize it in one program.

In a phone interview with MedCity News, Becerra noted that although it’s not industry specific, the app’s 300 pharmaceutical company clients, including eight of the top 10 Big Pharma businesses, represent a significant segment of its users. Although it has other apps, including a marketing app called flow, its analytics app is the real workhorse of its app portfolio when it comes to pharma.

One interesting new trend is the Roambi analytics app is starting to be used to monitor clinical trials, which makes sense since clinical trials are evolving toward making greater use of mobile devices. Becerra says that in the past six months, Roambi has started to be utilized by clinical trial managers tracking clinical trials.


Still, the majority of pharmaceutical companies use Roambi for their sales teams.

“Sales is the low-hanging fruit where we see a lot of uptake,” Becerra said. A sales staffer might use Roambi for pre-call planning. He or she would look at all previous data relevant for a particular doctor — how many calls they have put into the doctor and how many samples did they leave on their last visit. When presenting to a doctor, the salesman could use the app to show how much a drug is being prescribed over another, for example. Internally, they could use it to analyze where a drug has been underutilized in a particular region, among other uses.

“It gives them really good understanding of where they are and where they are effective, and optimizes the work flow of the sales office,” Becerra said.

Healthcare providers are also making use of the app. One healthcare provider uses Roambi to provide both physicians and medical directors with the ability to monitor performance of hospital locations, number of surgeries, number of patients seen and number of patients admitted, according to Becerra. Additionally, physicians are able to monitor Medicare and Medicaid patients, and compare them with patients on private health insurance.

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