AvantGo delivers mobile tool for Aventis Pharma cancer portal and surveys PDA popularity among physicians

London 18 April 2002The pharmaceutical company Aventis Pharma has deployed mobile software from AvantGo Inc., a provider of mobile enterprise solutions, to enable its French speaking customers, health care professionals as well as patients, to access cancer care information anytime, anywhere from their personal digital assistants (PDAs) or the Internet. Oncologists, General practitioners (GPs) and other mobile health care professionals can currently access the latest news and information from ZoomCancer.com, a dedicated portal designed for cancer specialists and patients. AvantGo has also conducted a physician survey on PDA use which was completed by 3482 self-identified physicians responding on their PDAs using the AvantGo mobile Internet service. The on-device survey was held over a four-week period.


Registered professionals are now using AvantGo software to access articles published from cancer-related publications and socio-professional news. To avoid information overload, health care professionals can select their subjects of particular interest and receive regular updates via PDAs or the Internet. In addition, health professionals can submit inquiries and provide feedback to Aventis Pharma teams, in effect establishing a professional virtual mobile health care community.

Laurent Decory, director, eBusiness Strategy at Aventis Pharma France commented: "ZoomCancer.com is the first French speaking medical portal to simultaneously meet the needs of health care professionals and the general public in the field of cancer care. It seemed natural to expand our approach to PDAs, a more and more widespread interactive media particularly for health care professionals. The move to PDAs with AvantGo software is also part of a recognised trend that has seen patients becoming better educated and having easier access to public health information at their fingertips."

Personal Digital Assistants are helping the vast majority of physicians with devices to provide better care through timely, relevant information and boosted productivity, according to the recent survey conducted by AvantGo Inc. The global study also cites the future PDA functionality that doctors believe will make them even more efficient and effective.

"Pharmaceutical companies are among the companies most quickly adopting mobile devices to provide additional value-added services to health care professionals and patients", added Ojas Rege, vice president of Applications for AvantGo. "Our award-winning software provides an ideal platform for delivering robust services where users have easy access to news and information about cancer, and they can request more information from Aventis Pharma about serving the health professionals in their targeted therapy areas."

The survey results indicate that PDAs are an effective tool for pharmaceutical companies to add value to and build relationships with physicians. In the survey, 84 percent of doctors felt that the time they spent with their pharmaceutical representatives would be more valuable to them if the representatives had immediate access to important drug or clinical trial information on their PDAs. Additionally, 86 percent felt the value they derived from pharmaceutical companies would be dramatically increased if pharmaceutical companies offered an on-device channel that would provide them with the latest information, including product collateral on new drugs, clinical trial results, and industry news.

The physicians surveyed felt that mobile devices could significantly improve patient care. Specifically, 92 percent of physicians with PDAs are using their devices multiple times per day to keep calendars, access drug reference guides, and read medical journals. These doctors would also like to be able to use their PDAs to access medical reference Web sites (48 percent), write and transmit prescriptions (33 percent), access pharmaceutical manufacturers Web sites (28 percent) and keep records of clinical trials (27 percent), while 93 percent of respondents claim that this additional information would enable them to provide improved patient care and make them more productive.

Fully 86 percent of the doctors surveyed felt that if their affiliated hospitals supported mobile devices, it would significantly improve the quality of in-hospital patient care. Yet, only 20 percent of the affiliated hospitals currently offer this support.

"These results are consistent with what we have experienced at Harvard Medical School, where we provide value-added services that help medical students use their PDAs more effectively, improving physician work flow and reducing our costs", stated Dr. John Halamka, Assistant Dean of Harvard Medical School and CIO of Caregroup Inc. in Boston. "We have deployed a PDA solution that in just six months has eliminated $150.000 in paper costs and reduced the need for data entry personnel, as well as significantly improved our paper-based process. The solution has provided us with higher quality data and increased our form completion compliance from the usual 20 percent, delivered up to six weeks after the completion of a course, to 80 percent delivered in near real time."

AvantGo solutions include the best-of-breed mobile software platform for creating and deploying enterprise applications, proven customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), field force automation (FFA) and personal information management (PIM) mobile business applications, and professional services to assist in the strategy, design, and delivery of end-to-end mobile solutions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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