By patients for patients

14 December 2018


Interview with Geert Dewulf , The Vice President Sales of Andaman7

Currently, access to personal medical data from patients in the healthcare industry is difficult. Although it is accepted that the most accurate information is needed to help patients, to improve the quality of clinical trials or the production of new drugs, getting this information is becoming more and more difficult because of legitimate hurdles linked with privacy and GDPR. How can we overcome those obstacles to obtain real life data?  Andaman7 may offer part of the solution. We spoke with Vice President Sales Geert Dewulf of Andaman7 about the way Andaman7 can help to access the required information.

History Andaman7

The history of Andaman7 is quite a story. It started when Vincent Keunen, the founder and current CEO of Andaman7, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 43. He was treated by a Novartis product called Gleevec, which made his cancer “a chronic disease”. Three months later, his 10 year old son Pierre was diagnosed with bone cancer. For him, there was no pill or medication that would completely treat him and he underwent intense chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and an amputation of the right leg. During this hard time, Vincent could draw two conclusions:

The health data of both Vincent and Pierre were scattered all over in different silos necessitating repeat examinations.
The relevant and crucial information regarding their diseases and treatment were never complete.

As Vincent is a year long Healthcare IT expert, he wanted to help patients in a similar situation and decided to create a Personal Health Record for patients on their mobile phone.

What is Andaman7?

Andaman7This brings us to Andaman7 that looks like a conventional application (app) allowing to keep your personal health record on your mobile phone, filling it up with data from many sources. What you do not see is their Health Intermediation Platform, empowering patients to share their data with people or organisations they trust. All this happens without storage of medical data in the cloud or a company server, hence guaranteeing privacy by default and GDPR by design.

As Vincent created Andaman7 for patients the use of the app is free for them. External parties like hospitals and Life Science companies are the cost providers for Andaman7.

How can they benefit? As indicated earlier, these companies are in a big need for real life data, this data exists in the patients personal health record. If patients see the benefit of sharing their personal data with some organisations, they will be glad to do so. Especially if they stay in control and can decide what to share and with whom.

Patients easily see a benefit when it helps them to get a better health. For instance, patients with a chronic disease love to get advice on medication, nutrition and physical activity based on feedback they gave through questionnaires or daily recordings from connected devices. Another benefit is the possibility to get selected in clinical trials. Once in the trial, the app allows close follow-up and faster interventions if complications would occur.

Medical Device Manufacturers and Pharmaceutical Companies see the biggest advantage in getting access to the so much needed patient information (Patient reported Outcome and Patient Reported Experience) in a safe and privacy respecting manner.

Service from Andaman7

What Andaman7 offers to patients is obvious. The way the Health Intermediation Platform works avoids issues with GDPR and privacy control. Little danger that their data will be hacked or misused.

The offering to hospitals is focused on close follow-up of patients at home in between consultations.This follow-up can be enforced by adding specific disease related questionnaires or integrating connected devices such as blood pressure measurements or a glucosemeter.

Conclusion

Andaman7 could be a good tool for the healthcare industry to obtain real life data. More and more patients are making use of the app and as the patients perceive a personal benefit they are very much willing to share their data. This substantially decreases the gap between real life data and the life science industry. Ultimately providing more patients with better treatments, drugs and devices.


We want to thank Geert Dewulf for telling us everything regarding Andaman7. If you have any comments on Geert Dewulf’s story or if you want to share your own story, please contact us via info@medicaldevicescommunity.com or +31(23)30076674.