Since its introduction early this year, the Align Biopharma consortium has grown to 23 members, nearly quadrupling. And that is before it has issued its first draft industry standard, for identity management so that healthcare providers (HCPs) can have a single sign-on across all the websites whose owners abide by the standard currently in the works. While that initiative goes forward, a second one has started, for consent- and preference-management, so that those websites are attuned to HCP preferences in device and allowable messaging.
All this is being done, according to Align Biopharma president Henry Levy, to streamline HCP digital access and interaction with industry-sponsred websites and portals. “It’s clear there is a significant opportunity to improve the digital experience for healthcare professionals,” he said, in a statement. “We’re attracting the best experts that are shaping the standards to simplify how HCPs get the important treatment information they need.”
The effort began with Veeva’s sponsorship and support, but is meant to be independent and self-sustaining. Six pharma companies signed on originally; they have been joined by additional firms, as well as such technology and service providers as Adobe, Exostar, Accenture, Cognizant, Deloitte, and Mavens. (A complete list is on the Align website.) “We are focused on meeting the needs of underserved patient communities,” said Ed Kloskowski, VP, head of commercial IT at Shire, one of Align Biopharma’s newest members. “Joining forces in Align Biopharma to work together to harmonize digital engagement in a way that will ultimately help patients is one more path to serving our patient community.”
Identity management and features like single sign-on are active parts of today’s digital work environment; Exostar (for one) has business with individual pharma companies who have set up such capabilities internally, and the SAFE-Biopharma group, another standards-setting nonprofit like Align, has had a standard in place for several years set up specifically for life sciences organizations (it’s technically possible for each of these efforts to be interoperable, provided that the organizations set it up).