More analytics horsepower for defining prescriber profiles

Zephyr Health adds Referral and Segment Analytics to its Illuminate data service

Partaking from the latest in cloud-based data science and analytics, Zephyr Health (San Francisco) is expanding its Illuminate “insights as a service” platform to include two new capabilities: analyzing and predicting prescriber referral behavior, and automating more of the conventional process of segmenting prescribers by actual and potential prescribing behavior. These are in addition to Zephyr’s existing capabilities for analyzing KOL relationships; ranking prescribers by their interests and prescribing patterns; professional affiliations and other characteristics. Zephyr Illuminate is the engine behind CRM vendor Veeva’s “Suggestions” feature, which guides field sales reps on best use of their time in making calls based on physician preferences and past interactions.

The two new features: Referral Analytics and Segment Analytics, broaden this capability, says the company. Referral Analytics compiles existing data on prescriber affiliations, familiarity with a given therapy area, and existing patient populations suitable for a specific prescription recommendation. For example, a primary care physician with a large elderly patient population might be a good candidate for recommending the patient to a particular specialty health provider; Illuminate can then recommend to a sales rep to engage with the primary care physician to suggest referral recommendations. Segment Analytics builds on existing practices in segmenting presribers based on their prescribing potential, but employs machine learning and analytics algorithms to put these information in the hands of drug marketers quickly and cost-effectively. “Insights like these can take weeks to develop with an outsourced analytics provider,” notes Leilani Latimer, global marketing director at Zephyr. “Now this can be done in-house and quickly.”

According to Latimer, the list of prescriber attributes that can be plotted and cross-referenced is large and growing. Current attributes include: research interest, influence; clinical trial involvement; past medical affairs and sales-rep interactions and industry payments. The latter refers to the data now available from the Open Payments database of CMS, set up to document transfers of value between healthcare providers and the life sciences industry. Latimer says that these data can be used two ways: to analyze a prescriber’s predilections for competitors’ products; and also to track how extensively a manufacturer has been engaging with that provider through such things as speaker programs or consulting work.

The company lists such companies as Genentech, GSK, Gilead Sciences and Medtronics among its pharmaceutical and medical device clients, and claims that Illuminate collects data from “thousands” of sources to provide the profiles and scores it generates.