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Contact: Gary Pattison, Group Managing Director
on (02) 9955 9500

Gary Pattison

Group Managing Director

Level 2, 72 Christie Street,
St Leonards, NSW 2065
Australia

Ph: +612 9955 9500

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Take your shoes off and relax. The OCH Common Room is a place where we share interesting, funny and potentially inspiring snippets of information.

 

  • A roaring success at Lions Health

    Well the dust has certainly settled and everyone is reflecting on Lions Health 2016. Celebrating, commiserating or wondering what the hell just happened.I was lucky enough to be there this year soaking up the atmosphere of the cote d’azur and attending one of the biggest if not the most prestigious healthcare advertising awards events of the year.

    Cannes Lions Health is now in its third year but it was my first. Overall it was an impressive event, and from what I hear, it was slightly more integrated with the main event than last year. I reckon it could be even more so, with some of the speakers from the main show talking at the LionsHealth. Iggy Pop is the best person to talk pharmaceuticals right?

    I was really there to be inspired by creativity, to talk about creativity and to worship creativity in healthcare communications. Also to see how we measured up against the world.

    I am thrilled and proud to say we did. We only had one entry and managed to score 3 Bronze Lions. It was a great moment for us. It was even sweeter being the only Australian healthcare agency to come away with anything. A massive achievement as we have some great competition.

    But when you look at what’s winning you realise that healthcare agencies aren’t really making a large impact at the LionsHealth, which seems backwards as it’s a health specific show.

    The Grand Prix went to a non-healthcare agency. Only 3 healthcare agencies won Gold out of the 12 Gold Lions handed out. 9 out of the 29 Silvers and only 8 out of the 38 Bronzes across Pharma and Health & Wellness.

    When I looked at the finalists in the mainstream show who also took the stage at Lions Health, I realised they’re going to need an extra suitcase and healthcare agencies are going to have to find more opportunities to do this kind of work. 

    But hey, good on them, Manboobs, and Breathless Choir deserved to win big as it was an inspirational piece of work.

    Yet we can lift our head high. 3 Lions for one piece of work is nothing to sniff at.

    So did I learn anything new? Yeah I did. I found out that the tech companies will be the leaders in health in 5 years time. Your phone will be your health centre and even deeper collaboration with your client and people outside of our normal scope is the recipe to wins awards. Also you can get free drinks at YouTube beach and free food at the Facebook event.

    So what can we as healthcare companies do to win big at Cannes Lions Health next year?

    Ultimately a great idea executed extremely well is all it takes. One that makes the judges jealous, laugh out loud or cry – it’s that simple. But it’s not that simple to do.

    Toby Pickford

     

     

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  • See who was top of the pile at the creativity show of the year – Cannes Lions 2016

    The Cannes Lions international festival of creativity has wrapped up for another year. Ogilvy & Mather took out top network for the 5th year in a row.

    See who was top of the pile in 2016.

     

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  • Cancer awareness

    ​1 in 2 Australian males and 1 in 3 Australian females will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85. Learn how to mitigate your risks here.

     

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  • Do we need a healthcare awards?

    ​Do we need a healthcare awards show?

    With all but one or two award shows done and dusted for the year, I can honestly say that I have been delighted to see the standard of creativity in healthcare grow from strength to strength. It’s been inspiring but at the same time it’s been frustrating.

    Recently I judged at one of the major healthcare award shows along with some of the industry’s best  – people I respect deeply.

    We had some interesting conversations around a few of the entries. The main discussion point being, is this really health?

    Saving dogs, a hashtag for mums about how amazing their child is, helping hungry people or recruiting medical staff for the armed forces – for me seems broader than health or not even health at all.

    We did discuss the fact that it lifted the game in terms of thinking and execution, but it was acting as a guide stick of where we need to be rather than being a true health entry.

    But do these types of entries make the interactive visual aid that has been under the red pen of medical advisors feel boring? Does it make the print ad idea that has made it through the treacherous journey of a pharmaceutical marketing department and research group feel flat? Does it make the medical education program that the regulatory body has scrutinised to the inch of its life look dull?

    The answer is yes.

    There is no place for pharmaceutical work in a current healthcare awards show. If it isn’t bringing you on the brink of tears or changing the world as we know it, it won’t get a real look in. It will be blindsided.

    So should we have a healthcare awards show? Why not simply have a health category in the mainstream shows?

    Think we know the answer to that one.

    The bigger question is (and the part of the reason why award shows were there in the first place), how are we going to lift pharmaceutical communications to a better standard. How are we going to inspire true healthcare agencies that live and breathe health everyday?

    I believe they deserve to be judged in a very different way.

    The idea and great execution, without a doubt should be there. But pharmaceutical communications goes deeper than that. It’s the strategy that creatively and intelligently weaves its way though the minefield of regulations and treatment indications. The medical writing that’s taken highly scientific information and made it code compliant yet highly persuasive to a cynical physician.

    So with all this in mind, I believe we do need an awards show for healthcare, but it has to be very different to the shows we currently have. They are mostly celebrating work that’s for the good of man (or animal) kind and I believe you could tack anything to that and call it health.

    Pharma is a weird and wonderful world and very specialised one, so when it comes to judging creativity, should it not be seen through a slightly different lens?

     

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  • DNA and Data

    DNA stores endless amounts of biological data on its double helix. This has led scientists to hypothesise that other types of data could possibly be stored on DNA, replacing hard drives and servers.

    A research team in Zurich have developed a proof-of-concept on how data could be stored using DNA. Although this is still a long way from commercial development, the DNA code of A, T, C and G may be able to take the place of 0s and 1s used to conventionally store data. 

    Find out more here

     

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  • Fight Antibiotic Resistance

    ​Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria adapt to evade antibiotics that are used to kill them or slow down their growth. 

    This resistance is linked to how often they are used.  In most countries antibiotics can be purchased without a doctors prescription! Antimicrobial resistance WILL affect everyone, regardless of where they live, their current lifestyle or economic position.

    By raising awareness through education and training we can help slow the development of resistant microbes. You can help fight emerging antimicrobial resistance. 

    Join the fight!

    Find out more here

     

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  • Immunotherapy: Has the Answer to Cancer Been Inside Us All Along?

    ​This year over 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly 600,000 people will die from the disease. That’s over 1600 people each day. The need for innovative therapeutic approaches to treat cancer has never been higher. To help fight the tumor, oncologists are literally looking within at new immunotherapeutic approaches aimed at unleashing the body’s own natural defenses.

    The idea of immunotherapy isn’t a new one. Since the first studies of antibodies began in 1891, researchers have continued to investigate the potential of the immune system. But the idea held little more than promise.

    But all that has changed.

    Numerous breakthrough advancements in immunotherapy, with unprecedented results, have propelled the entire class forward. At this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oncology (ASCO), immunotherapy took front and center. Thousands upon thousands of oncologists crammed the educational sessions for just a glimpse of some of the new data being presented, CNN ran headline news stories from the congress, and even patients are aware and asking their physicians about the new therapies being researched.

    Across the board, the pharmaceutical industry has started to mobilize behind the potential of immunotherapy unlike anything else seen before. Most of the major pharmaceutical companies already have one or more new drug candidates in development—and if they don’t, they are aggressively exploring opportunities to catch up.

    Over 800 Clinical Trials With Immunotherapy Products
At present there are 844 ongoing or completed clinical trials with immunotherapy drugs across a wide range of tumor types. These trials include some of the most challenging cancers associated with the worst prognoses, like lung, stomach, brain, and melanoma. And new trials with new products and new regimens are added almost daily.

    $35 Billion in Projected Sales
Analysts believe that annual sales for immunotherapy products in oncology will reach $35 billion a year.

60% of Cancers Will be Treated With Immunotherapy
Researchers believe that immunotherapy may become the dominant form of treatment in oncology, with nearly two out of every three cancer patients receiving some form of immuno-based therapy within the next decade.

    While these numbers are staggering, the greatest benefit may be for the patients diagnosed with cancer. The early results from the emerging next-generation immunotherapy agents have rightfully captured the hopes of both patients and oncologists. With continued research and a little luck, these treatments may provide more than a treatment for a cancer, they may offer a cure.

    View original post here

     

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  • Why are we all forced to wear global creative?

    ​Ok so we have infiltrated most of the world with Neighbours, XXXX beer and Aussie backpackers armed with Vegemite, but does that mean we deserve to wear global creative?

    Every year we have to put up with images of a happy patients, a swoosh or metaphoric symbol demonstrating the benefits, a brand guidelines book of ‘do’s and don’ts’ and a template to follow that sets more restrictions than a Russian trade embargo.

    To a global marketing team this makes perfect sense, to the CFO it makes the spread sheet look good, but to the poor bastards who have to deal with it at a local level, its like wearing a jumper your Nanna knitted you for one of those daggy family photos - its preposterous.

    So here goes; ‘there’s no such thing as global creative’- one size does not fit all cultures. What they are creating is global awkwardness as it stifles creativity and more importantly doesn’t give the brand flexibility to adjust to the nuances of the country and audience.

    However, there is such a thing as a ‘global ideaL’. All great brands that we interact with today have one. It’s the bedrock from which brands can thrive. I believe pharmaceutical marketing departments and companies need to look outside their world and see how a soft drink or a sports brand connects with its audience. A global ideaL is perfect for health. Every drug, device or ointment is there to make the world a better place for humans and animals.

    A global ideaL will bring flavour and texture to a very dry area. For instance, the board game Scrabble has the ideaL of; the world would be a better place if we rediscovered the magic of words and Fanta’s was around having more fun. (Something we may need to do?)

    This is all very well but what can we actually do?

    Well I believe the creative community need to encourage marketers, strategists and account service teams in healthcare to look closely at their distant cousins and see the benefit of creating global ideaLs over global executions. We need to show how they connect with their audience on multiple channels and levels.

    If we have a great ideaL at the core of a global brand we can add local insights and flavour. It will allow briefs to breathe, creative to explore and the brand to have a purpose.

    More importantly it will guide creative teams down new roads, roads where the ‘key visual’ isn’t the centrepiece for healthcare advertising, it’s the ‘key thought’, a big ideaL – something that every creative team around the world would be happy to wear.

     

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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth eyes Asia’s ‘enormous’ opportunity

    ​On a recent trip to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney, where he visited our offices in those cities and met with our leadership teams there, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide President & CEO, Matt Giegerich, took some time out of his schedule to speak to Campaign Asia Pacific and talk about OCHWW and the growing importance of the region to our organisation.

    More here

     

     

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  • Biological evidence links brain inflammation and major depression

    ​A recent study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that the measure of brain inflammation in people who were experiencing clinical depression was increased by 30 per cent. The findings, published today in JAMA Psychiatry have important implications for developing new treatments for depression.

    More here

     

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  • Beer compound could help fight off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

    ​They’re now reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that a compound from hops could protect brain cells from damage and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

    More here

     

     

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  • Temporary paper tattoo measures blood glucose

    ​Future diabetes patients won’t have to stick themselves with a needle; they’ll just need to get a tattoo. Researchers have developed a temporary paper-based tattoo that applies a mild electrical shock to the skin to measure blood glucose levels. In a study of seven individuals—four males and three females—who wore the tattoo while eating a carbohydrate-rich meal in the lab, the device (pictured) was just as effective at measuring glucose levels as the traditional method, the finger stick monitor. None of the volunteers reported any discomfort during the tests, the team reports in the current issue ofAnalytical Chemistry, although some of them did point out a tingling feeling when the tattoo was taking its measurements. The device does not currently provide a numerical reading that diabetes patients would need to monitor their condition, but this is in the cards. Other possible applications include sending the information to the patient’s doctor in real time using Bluetooth. Now, the tattoo works for a whole day; the researchers are working on making the tattoo last longer while keeping it at its current cost of a few cents.

    More here

     

     

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  • FDA approves first-of-kind device to treat obesity

    ​The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the Maestro Rechargeable System for certain obese adults, the first weight loss treatment device that targets the nerve pathway between the brain and the stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness.  

    The Maestro Rechargeable System, the first FDA-approved obesity device since 2007, is approved to treat patients aged 18 and older who have not been able to lose weight with a weight loss program, and who have a body mass index of 35 to 45 with at least one other obesity-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes.

    BMI, which measures body fat based on an individual’s weight and height, is used to define the obesity categories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of all U.S. adults are obese, and people with obesity are at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancer.

    More here

     

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  • Expensive medicines and where it’s all going?

    ​The Australian Commonwealth spending on PBS drugs is currently around $9 billion AUD per annum.  It is forecast to be over $15 billion by 2023. We are seeing this upward trend due to the increasing incidence of chronic illnesses and conditions, the ageing population of Australia and the cost of new PBS medications. 

    We know the hurdle to getting drugs listed on the PBS is higher than ever.  But when they get listed why are these medications so expensive for governments and should we listen to those criticising the Pharmaceutical Companies who discover, commercialise and manufacturer these medications?

    Bruce Booth wrote an interesting article this week on Forbes.com where he looked at two very different calculations around the total cost of drug development.  All things equal, and dipping into a Tufts Centre for the Study for Drug Development, it looks like the cost is now upwards on $2 billion USD per drug.  That’s huge by anyones standards.  But consider the journey to approval. 

    • It takes an average of 10 years to bring a discovery to the approval stage. 
    • Only 8% of drug candidates make it from discovery to the market – and that’s regulatory approval not reimbursement.  Reimbursement is a further stumbling block.
    • The cost of failures is the largest part of the overall cost in this analysis.  

    70% of the calculated cost of developing a new drug is that cost associated with the failures along the way. In a good article, Booth suggests we need to do things better, faster and cheaper.  

    I tend to agree. New technologies and the digital world we live in should mean we can share new information, new clinical data and new treatments more rapidly. Most products in the drug-pipeline are now complex, highly technical and often target new pathways and therefor HCPs will need to have a more in-depth understanding of the mechanism of action and science behind these innovative compounds and classes of drugs.

    The other question is how can the ‘Big Data’ we keep reading about help us develop the right products for the right patients in a healthcare landscape that is constantly changing and evolving?  A load of patient, HCP and product data itself won’t help us.  We need to be able to analyse and sift through it to find meaningful truths and insights that change the way we develop and commercialise new medicines.  This will make a difference.

     

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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth Launches Middle East Operation

    Today sees the formal launch of Ogilvy CommonHealth Middle East & North Africa (OCH MENA), part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide (OCHWW), the health behavior experts of Ogilvy.

    The official launch of the Dubai office was celebrated with an exclusive event for key stakeholders and senior clients at The Oberoi, Dubai. This is an important step in expanding the business model in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. The Dubai operation will be led by Karen Kamel, Business Director, Ogilvy CommonHealth. She will directly report to Ronald Howes, Regional Managing Director, Memac Ogilvy.

    Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide is a globally recognized leader in the field of healthcare communications. The network offers a full range of services to the industry, including professional and consumer advertising, sales promotion, medical education, digital health solutions, pharmacy channel planning and public relations.

    The demand from the Middle East healthcare market continues to grow and the clients are constantly looking to engage with specialists that can offer 360 degree communications support. It is even more imperative that the Middle East healthcare practitioners take the growing demands of the clients seriously and respond creatively. With the ability to provide innovation and new thinking to existing and potential clients, it is a vital and a natural step to launch the new practice in the region.

    The Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide offer brings together experts from health promotion, medical education, brand planning and creativity that are driven by deep insights into cultural and market trends. Armed with Ogilvy’s global network and healthcare infrastructure understanding, scientific knowledge, technology and behavior change expertise, the practice is committed to providing creative and effective solutions for healthcare clients across the MENA region.

    Gloria Gibbons, President, EAME Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, said:

    Edmond Moutran, Chairman & CEO Memac Ogilvy Group, commented:

    The Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide network currently has more than 1200 specialists in health and pharmaceutical communications. The newly launched Dubai practice will be supported by the resources of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide network.

     

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  • Worse than Heartbleed.. Introducing Bash bug

    ​Linux users got a nasty surprise today, as a security team at Red Hat uncovered a subtle but dangerous bug in the Bash shell, one of the most versatile and widely used utilities in Linux. It’s being called the Bash bug.

    Read more

     

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  • Access to High-Cost Medications: A Balancing Act

    Our Ogilvy CommonHealth UK Market Access team have brought together an expert panel to discuss and debate the current challenges of innovative, high cost medications in a reimbursed market. It is a great read and very relevant to the Australian Healthcare sector.

    Read the article here

     

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  • Healthcare: 10 trends you need to know

    ​Healthcare is evolving fast in the age of digital, here are 10 of the most exciting trends patients, healthcare professionals and marketers need to be aware of. 

    View article here

     

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  • PSD vs HTML

    ​The way we develop digital projects for healthcare is evolving in a battle between PSD and HTML. In the future, web development may have little to no dependency on Photoshop assets and layouts!

    Read more here:

     

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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth: Top 100 agency list

    ​Want to know more about Ogilvy CommonHealth worldwide? Have a read of why we’re one of the Top 100 agencies in the world to work for and with here: 

    View Here

     

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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide adds new leadership

    PARSIPPANY, N.J. —Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide (www.ochww.com) ,the health behavior experts of Ogilvy & Mather (www.ogilvy.com), today announced the addition of Matt de Gruchy, CEO of Ogilvy Healthworld inthe UK, and Katie Piette, director of global brand management, to the Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide Global Executive Committee.

    Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY, www.wpp.com). The organization houses and maintains individual Ogilvy CommonHealth and Ogilvy Healthworld brand identities within the marketplace. Mr. de Gruchy’s and Ms. Piette’s appointments round out the organization’s global executive committee, which is already composed of OCHWW Chairman and CEO Matt Giegerich; OCHWW President EAME Gloria Gibbons; OCHWW managing partners Darlene Dobry, Michael Parisi, Marc Weiner, and Shaun Urban; OCHWW Chief Financial Officer Robert Saporito; OCHWW Chief Talent Officer Susan DiDonato; and Regional Managing Director, APAC, Rohit Sahgal, as an associate member.

    Since joining the organization in 2001, Mr. de Gruchy has helped to guide and grow Ogilvy Healthworld in the UK to become the second largest hub within the OCHWW network. During his tenure in the UK office, Mr. de Gruchy has led a team that has produced an enviable collection of award-winning regional and global work, while setting standards to ensure the office consistently maintains a high level of creativity and innovation. With this new appointment, Mr. de Gruchy will lend his perspective and significant experience to the global executive committee and to the broader whole of the organization.

    During the past year, Ms. Piette assumed responsibility for overseeing global brand management across all of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide’s disciplines. Since her appointment to the global brand management role, there has been a wealth of new business activity within the network for a variety of global brands. With her broad expertise in developing and maintaining international business relationships, Ms. Piette is expected to add an important new perspective to the executive committee as the organization continues to grow and service more global-facing brand opportunities.

    OCHWW Chairman and CEO Matt Giegerich said, “We are fortunate indeed to have both Katie and Matt in our leadership ranks, and their appointment to the global board will help us enormously as we continue to evolve and grow our Ogilvy CommonHealth global community.”

    About Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide 

    Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide (www.ochww.com) — the health behavior experts of Ogilvy & Mather (www.ogilvy.com) — committed to creativity and effectiveness in healthcare communications, everywhere. With 56 offices across 32 markets, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide provides marketing services including brand identity and development, clinical trial recruitment, digital/interactive services, direct-to-consumer, direct-to-patient, global integration, managed care marketing, market research and analytics, media planning and buying, medical advertising and promotion, medical education, public affairs and relations, relationship marketing, and strategic consulting. The network also offers scientific communications and publications services through a wholly owned separate legal entity.

     

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  • The world of mobile development

    ​The world of digital and mobile development can be hard to keep up with. This short review gives an overview of what healthcare developers should be keeping front of mind when producing materials such as Apps and e-detailers for mobile devices.

     

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  • Australia punching above it’s weight for published publications

    The top 40 countries by number of research papers published this year has shown Australian research to be alive and well. With a population 14x smaller than the US, the number of publications per year stands up well with its larger advisory with 38,500 publications.View Article here

     

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  • We meowed at the Lions Health in Cannes

    ​Can you believe it was almost two months ago since the very first Lions Health at Cannes!

    I am actually kicking myself for not writing this sooner but you know how it goes.

    Overall I thought the standard of work was high, and that’s what you would expect for this type of event. I wouldn’t say that there was a new standard set, but there were definitely new players – non-healthcare agencies who haven’t been bound by medical departments or the weight of the past.

    Cannes Lions Health is putting healthcare advertising and communications on the world stage and I think this is great, but the playing field has just gotten bigger. So us healthcare folk need to stretch ourselves even more and deliver ideas that aren’t a print ad, e-detail aid or a direct mail series. We need to look
    outside of this and step away from the pharmaceutical/health look, feel, taste and tradition.

    I am proud to say Ogilvy CommonHealth Australia did just that with a Cat Ramps, a little ambient idea that set out to raise awareness of cat osteoarthritis.

    Instead of doing posters or an ad, we created a series of specially made ramps with website activation that were placed in Hyde Park Sydney on one day. Park visitors and city workers could interact with the ramps, activate the mobile website, learn about the disease, the signs to watch out for and potentially seek a management plan from their local vet.

    The traffic to the website exceeded objectives three-fold. Just under their monthly hits was achieved in one day.

    Even though we only made it to finalist, it was a big achievement given the 1,400 entries from 49 countries.

    But the biggest achievement was getting this idea signed off and up and running.

    So this little meow will hopefully turn into a big roar for Ogilvy CommonHealth Australia as we start our journey towards the next Lions Health in 2015.

    Tobë Pickford - Creative Director Ogilvy CommonHealth

     

     

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  • Ricky Gervais: The secret of creativity

    ​An insight into the secret of great creativity from award winning comedian and actor Ricky Gervais – more play and less work! 

    Read here

     

     

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  • Avoiding the pitfalls of a new product launch

    With the launch of any pharmaceutical brand, success or failure can be defined within the first few years of launch. The following article overviews some of the most common mistakes sales and marketing managers make before and during launch… Read here

     

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  • 7 Medical advances to watch in 2014

    Plenty of advances in medical research and treatment were made last year that could start to have a big impact in 2014. These breakthroughs range from making body parts on a 3D printer to getting the body to fight cancer on its own. 

    Here are seven to watch in 2014.

     

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  • The consult just got creative with silver surfers

    We hear it all the time; the elderly don’t go online. But with emerging and already existing technologies that help with better health outcomes, there’s even more reason for Aussie oldies to be there.

    This opens up great creative opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturers and health business alike. It would be great for the brands that come off patent to offer value with exercises for the lungs or gamification for stroke rehabilitation. The digital world is our oyster. 

    More here.

     

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  • Apple executives meet with FDA to discuss mobile medical applications

    A group of senior Apple executives met with directors at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December to discuss mobile medical applications, which could signal the finalisation of the widely anticipated Smartwatch.

    View original article.

     

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  • Probiotics not working? Try this…

    Spanish researchers are boasting of the health benefits of sausages made from baby poo. The Girona-based research team claim the unconventional ingredient is an abundant source of gut-boosting probiotics Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that can aid in gut health.

    View original article.

     

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  • Belfast medics develop X-ray app

    A group of medical consultants in Belfast have teamed up with IT specialists to develop a mobile app that can identify where a doctor is going wrong when interpreting X-rays. According to those behind the training tool, it is the first of its kind in the world.

    View original article.

     

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  • DIGI KNOW… Every day, 16% of the searches that occur are ones that Google has never seen before

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  • Smart bandages to save your time

    If you’ve ever injured yourself and wound up with a bandage, you’ll understand the amount of time – and how many hospital trips – it can take before those bandages are ready to come off. Injuries can heal at remarkably different rates and you’re straight back to square one if there’s an infection growing under those layers.

    Say hello to no more unnecessary hospital visits – for both you and your doctor! Scientists at Swansea University have developed smart bandages which can detect how well your wound is healing and let your doctor know – minus the hospital trip! The 3D-printed bandages use nano-technology to record the state of a wound and then send a flow of data back to doctors via 5G. The technology still needs to be developed before it can be used but it’s a promising sign for the future of healthcare treatment.

    Find out more

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  • The very first hi-tech First-Aid Kit

    Former iPod Chief at Apple, Ram Fish, has developed Gale, a First-Aid Kit fit for the 21st Century and we’re really excited. Ram began developing Gale after his daughter was having trouble breathing on a vacation in a remote part of Mexico, and to help improve patient outcomes for those who live far from clinics.

    Gale, developed by Fish’s start-up 19Labs, is the size of a bread box and bursting with smart technology. The top of the kit features a touch screen, ready to give you a run through First-Aid guides and emergency procedures. The embedded camera is really handy for video calls with health professionals via 4G cellular radio and the bottom drawer also holds the latest medical supplies and sensors – all the essentials you could wish for!

    The team at 19Labs are aiming to create supplies for as many schools, workplaces and locations far from medical assistance as possible. In its two drawers, Gale is a small clinic in a box!

    Find out more

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  • Post-op playtime!

    Post-operative care plays a huge role in restoring your normal way of life after surgery but, unfortunately, it’s not just lying around watching daytime TV! It can be frustrating finding the right therapist and, even when you do, it’s a long, tedious and potentially painful process.

    Israel-based company VRPhysio has created a solution to this post-op annoyance and provided patients with a DIY version of that much-needed physical therapy. Patients can take part in a fun-filled therapy programme without even leaving their home through the use of the virtual reality headset. With a range of immersive exercises available, therapy just got a whole lot more fun!

    Find out more

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  • DIGI KNOW… While 54% of users engage with the Snapchat app daily, 87% of them never buy what they see in Snapchat ads

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  • Swipe right for a new kidney!

    Well not yet, but it seems the online dating craze may have more health benefits than only curing a broken heart. Bob Jones, a liver transplant director from Melbourne, has used the metrics behind the popular dating site eHarmony to improve the accuracy of matching liver donors and recipients. Using your typical screeners – sex, age, underlying disease, blood type and specific characteristics to the donor – the AI technology predicted graft failure, 30 days post-transplant, at an accuracy of 84% compared to 68% with current methods. Although it’s in the early stages, this technology has strong potential to reduce transplant failure by finding your perfect match!

    Find out more

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  • The ironic solution to your screen addiction

    When was the last time you checked your smartphone? It’s no secret that many of us are fond of our phones but we tend to ignore the potentially addictive habits we’ve adopted thanks to our pocket pals.

    From video games and gambling, to dating apps and porn, there’s a rising number of tech addicts whose lives are being negatively impacted by their screen habits. The team at Onward have created an addiction management app which they hope will help restore a healthy Tech-Life balance for many. Using the latest data science and artificial intelligence to help users change their compulsive behaviour, the app asks for just 60 seconds a day. Users can track their progress, learn coping skills and even talk to their very own AI coach in times of need!

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  • A helping heart for the homeless

    How many times have you passed a homeless person on the street and thought “I wish I had some cash on me…”? The combination of our increasingly cashless society and concerns over where our donations go has resulted in a harder life for the already struggling homeless.

    Luckily, an Amsterdam-based independent media company N=5 has the homeless covered. The company has developed a contactless payment jacket that accepts micro donations – all you need to do is wave your contactless card or device over the wearer’s heart, hence the name Helping Heart. A one Euro donation will be added to the person’s account at a shelter which can be exchanged for a meal, shower, bed or put towards their personal savings.

    With up to 80% of the UK homeless living with mental health problems, we can’t wait to see this technology introduced closer to home so that we can help make homelessness a thing of the past.

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  • DIGI KNOW… 89% of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand

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  • Miniature menstrual magic!

    Considering women make up half the global population, it seems strange that, as little as 20 years ago, women were excluded from many new drug tests due to concerns about negative impacts on fertility. As a result of this, there are a number of unanswered questions about how drugs impact women of a particular age.

    Scientists at Northwestern University have created Evatar – a nifty solution to testing the impact of drugs on reproductive organs without a human subject in sight! A mouse ovary and human fallopian, uterine, cervical and liver tissue have been engineered to imitate the menstrual cycle (without the blood!) and produce a miniature female reproductive tract. It looks like one day these devices will be available in doctor’s surgeries to test individual patients’ reactions to certain drugs.

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  • Breathe in, breathe out and lose weight

    Losing weight is a long and daunting process, and frustratingly, the number on the scale is often slow to budge… leaving us wondering whether our efforts are burning any fat at all! Queue in LEVLhome, the latest breathalyser that analyses breath to determine how much fat a user is burning.

    The handheld device uses a proprietary nanosensor to measure the amount of acetone in the breath, which is an indicator of how much fat the body is burning - the higher the acetone, the more fat is being burned in a user’s body. The data is analysed and displayed on the corresponding app which provides users with valuable insight into their fat loss and the effectiveness of their nutrition and exercise routines. Excuse the pun, but we think this app is a breath of fresh air for looking to get fit for summer.

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  • Can humans and robots finally play nice?

    Aldo Faisal, a professor at Imperial College London, has developed a discipline that fuses neuroscience with technology sporting a well thought-out and incredibly creative name of - neurotechnology. His team use computational medicine to reverse-engineer the brain to see how far humans can be pushed or augmented. In other words, his technology allows humans to control robots with their thoughts. This is an incredible breakthrough in healthcare technology for many mobility impaired patients and is dubbing robots as our new BFFs! Still finding this totally mind-boggling and way out of Thursday afternoons thought grasp? Well, check out the video above and let the robots do the talking.

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  • DIGI KNOW… the average person unlocks their smartphone 110 times each day

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  • A germ busting gym bag to keep you fresh

    Sweating it out at the gym can make you feel on top of the world but opening your gym bag to the stench of all that hard work can quickly bring you back down to earth. Paqsule, a new Kickstarter, promises to get rid of the stink and leave your clothes smelling as fresh as daisies with the push of a button.

    The self-cleaning gym bag uses a chemical-free method to kill germs and freshen your things on the go. The Paqtech system has recreated technology used in medical establishments and dry cleaners on a much smaller scale so that it fits easily into a gym bag. Using UV-C and O3 technology, the system deodorizes, sanitizes and kills bacteria in just 35 minutes, leaving the bag and its contents completely germ free. On top of that, it’s lightweight, full of compartments and can even charge your phone! We’re already thinking about the possibilities this portable germ buster creates for the medical world from sanitizing equipment to eradicating bacteria, take that germs!

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  • The dirty truth about your phone

    If you still need a little push to wash your hands regularly, this new ‘live’ advertisement for Lifebuoy soap is here to help. A Latin American advertising agency came up with a clever way to catch people’s attention and raise awareness about hand hygiene. According to their research, only 17% of people wash their hands regularly – we hope their statistics are wrong!

    The agency used everyday objects such as a bank note, a game controller and even a mobile phone to get samples of bacteria and fungi present on these frequently used items. The bacteria were then placed on a giant petri dish to grow, creating amazing patterns that changed over time and caught the attention of onlookers in Uruguay’s shopping mall. Upon closer inspection, let’s just say people weren’t thrilled to realise how much bacteria lives on the items they use every day.

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  • DIGI KNOW… the fastest growing group of new users on Twitter are aged between 55 and 64 years old!

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  • Be a smart quitter

    If you’re going to give up the good stuff (carcinogenic, soul destroying cigarettes) then why not do it with a smart technology? Chrono Therapeutics new SmartStop patch is a digital nicotine patch that helps smokers give up their horrible habit.

    In comparison to a normal nicotine patch this one distributes the nicotine at times when the person craves it most; the wake up, lunch time and pub time. Not only will this patch manage nicotine delivery but it also has the ability (via the app) to log personal cravings and show inspirational when the going gets tough. The technology is structured to rid people of the poison sticks in 10 weeks, so it works in a step-down programme which decreases the nicotine dosage every 3 weeks.

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  • Keep your kiddies calm

    There is now a VR app that helps ease children’s fear of MRI scans. My MRI at Kings recreates the commonly terrifying setting by using 360 degree videos. It allows children to familiarise themselves with the scanner and begin to feel more comfortable in that environment. In many cases children have to take aneasthetic before having an MRI to ease their anxiety and this technology could help reduce this. It’s also a great training tool to help keep those wriggly kiddies still for a couple minutes.

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  • A Fitbit for your fit bit

    The i.Con – like our title describes – is a Fitbit for the old chap. The lightweight rubber ring goes around the base of the penis and will measure calories burned, thrusting rate and speed, temperature, and the duration of a session because let’s be real which guy isn’t working towards a personal best? The data is synced to a smartphone and easily shareable for those willing to break the internet.

    BUT WAIT, WE HAVE A POINT! Another useful tool is it’s STI detection ability. This is enabled through an ‘antibody filter’ which will alert your smartphone when it detects any proteins or antigens associated with identifiable STIs. Apparently checking your phone during sex is a common practice these days, so 21st century sex-ed must be doing something right.

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  • DIGI KNOW… 92% of the world’s currency is digital!

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