“Game Changer”

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash


A term that is so often used these days, but often only applies to an incremental innovation gain.

Like the introduction of wearable fitness trackers: a healthy enabling device, yes. Innovative, absolutely. But game changer. Hmmm, No.

On the flip side, SpaceX. Few would argue that this is a game changer – but realistically future generations will only benefit from this change-of-the-so-called-game.


What about right here, right now?

Good question. It just so happens that two events recently came to my attention that, just maybe, could permit the use of the game changer title.


And the first, quite literally, is a game changer.

The FIFA e-World Cup Final

The lowercase “e” in the title is important here. I’m talking about the electronic gaming phenomenon. Or, to put it bluntly, people playing games on Xbox or PlayStation, with hordes of other people watching the game live.

In May 2018 the very real sports channel, Sky Sports, aired the eClub World Cup final between Brondby eSport vs. Team Envy. I remember staring at my t.v. in equal puzzlement and excitement as I watched, live on t.v, two people playing a game of football on a games console.

And is it turns out, e-gaming is a booming business with Global esports revenues expected to grow to $906 million in 2018, which further growth to $1.65 billion by 2021.

But, it’s not all about the $$$.

What attracted me to this story is the fact that 20 million players participated in the FIFA 2018 competitive gaming season (which, incidentally isn’t even over yet – the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final is set to take place in August London) and over 30 million people watched the season unfold.


To repeat: that’s 20 million participating and 30 million viewing a competitive computer game.  




This switch from passive viewing to active participation is happening right now.

The gamers hold the sway here and it is the gamers have become the commodity. And importantly, the gaming industry have embraced this and sought the might of Sky Sports to showcase this.


Now, if only there was a pharma example that I could tenuously link this fascinating game changing point with…


Fundamentally changing clinical trials with technology enabled trials at home

Also in May 2018, Science 37 and UCB announced their patient focused game changing opportunity to improve clinical trials.

Having worked in clinical trials, I am aware that companies develop tech solutions / reporting mechanisms for trials. But these have always seemed as nice-to-have add-ons, and mostly to make the lives easier for the trial sites / sponsor.

The Science 37 and UCB partnership already seems different. Sure, the patient will no doubt benefit from the site-less clinical trial setting, with the data aiming to be a more representative reflection of “real-life”, which could in turn help shape future study protocols and the development of new treatments.

The press releases  are worth a read, with excellent soundbites from Science 37’s co-founder and CEO Noah Craft and also Prof. Dr. Iris Loew-Friedrich, executive vice president, and chief medical officer at UCB.

Noah Craft, CEO Science 37

Science-37 release


Iris Loew-Friedrich, CMO, UCB

UCB release



Some of the takeaways that I found intriguing around virtual clinical trials:


  • They offer greater patient value as the resulting data will be more representative of the real-life experience of patients
  • They will be able to provide a better patient experience
  • Have the potential to shorten (clinical trial) timelines
  • Will enable researchers to engage directly with trial participants through the complete trial process (planning, screening, recruitment to data lock).
  • Noah Craft “…take on new and exciting research studies,”
  • Iris Loew-Friedrich:  “…innovate and accelerate our clinical studies in a patient-focused way”
  • Iris Loew-Friedrich: “… the aim to bring new solutions to patients faster.”


The Power of community building

The aforementioned collaboration will initially focus in the areas of neurology and immunology. However the world of clinical trials could potentially be changed for the better as Science 37 has also signed digital partnerships with three other big pharma players: Novartis, Sanofi and Otsuka.


What is welcoming to see is the willingness of Science 37 to build a community with partners and clinicians alike. It is clear to see from the e-gaming example that it is the power of communities take take the nice, innovative ideas to a real-life, happening right now, game changing paradigm shifts.




Still hungry for more insights? Why not check out our blog looking at the pharma brand name situation:

You know my brand name (look up the number)