Evidence Lab is a proving ground for digital solutions via critical partnerships

Sep 27, 2022

Since the launch of the Evidence Lab in November 2021 (Launch of the Evidence Lab – a united effort to bring improved digital health solutions to patients | Novartis Biome), its network of partners has expanded in order to be better prepared to pressure-test digital solutions and address healthcare challenges. Over the past 10 months, an array of projects has been developed with two completed projects highlighted below.

Banner Health Logo

In its inaugural project, the Biome facilitated a partnership between Banner Health (a large US healthcare system) and an internal Novartis commercial team to test wearable usability prior to distributing to future patients. One core objective was to collect real-world evidence to gain insights regarding its overall ease of use and usability. This wearable, along with its app, enabled providers to make real time changes to patient management while simultaneously reducing patients’ need to self-monitor. The result was patient empowerment…as one patient commented, “I like the idea of seeing how I may improve from day to day.”

Upon completion, this project provided additional insight for the Novartis commercial team through valuable patient feedback allowing them to make an informed decision regarding full solution rollout. Furthermore, this study enabled Banner Health to better understand the potential for utilizing wearables to complement provider’s patient management.

Beekeeper AI Logo

Another project undergone in parallel by the Evidence Lab dealt with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify patients with certain diseases. Previously, healthcare AI applications took an extreme amount of time and resources due to the issue of collecting a large, diverse data set and making it analyzable. The Novartis Biome partnered with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Health’s Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI) and BeeKeeperAI (a spinout of CDHI) to help an internal Novartis commercial team validate a digital solution to detect patients with a rare disease.

BeeKeeperAI is the first-ever confidential computing and zero trust platform that enables sightless computing against protected health information (PHI) that protects the interests of all parties involved in AI development and deployment. BeeKeeperAI demonstrates that a confidential computing, zero trust platform can be used to accelerate AI validation while preserving the privacy of UCSF’s data and Novartis’ intellectual property. This project is a massive step forward for Novartis in developing and delivering effective AI solutions for internal teams allowing better overall patient experiences.

Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz Logo

In February 2021, we launched the Brazilian Biome hub with the objective to accelerate digital innovation throughout Novartis Brazil and support our purpose of re-imagining medicine while guaranteeing that our innovative therapies reach the patients that need them the most. To improve our innovation process, we needed to build strategic partnerships that would allow us to identify challenges that are blocking our therapies reaching patients, and at the same time, consider other important factors such as the sustainability of the healthcare system.

We implemented the Evidence Lab program as an enabler for innovation connecting us directly with healthcare professionals and patients in both the public and private settings and in September 2022, we were thrilled to announce our first Evidence Lab contract: Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz (HAOC), a private hospital in São Paulo that works closely with the MoH to create treatment protocols and a digital strategy for the public HCS.

This partnership will kick off with two strategic projects with the Cardiology and Oncology teams, allowing us to use their capabilities, infrastructure, patients, and healthcare professionals to co-create solutions that will ultimately benefit patients, HAOC, the public HCS and Novartis.

From the beginning, the goal of the Evidence Lab team was to improve the process of testing and validating viable digital health solutions. Over the course of the past year, the Evidence Lab team has completed multiple projects highlighting that with effective partnerships, it can quickly evaluate digital technologies ensuring only the most meaningful and impactful solutions are scaled. As the Evidence Lab continues to expand its work, it will continue to develop a comprehensive network where members work collectively to accelerate digital solution utilization in healthcare and address the needs of patients and healthcare providers by putting them at the center of the healthcare journey.