New Tech-Driven Patient Activation Organization Combines Data, Behavioral Economics and Decision Science to Increase Speed and Reduce Costs
Launch of Hū Designed to Address Broad Clinical Trial Enrollment Challenges Heightened by COVID-19 Pandemic
San Francisco, September 29, 2020 – W2O today announced the creation of Hū, the first-of-its kind Patient Activation Organization (PAO). Hū will usher in a new era of patient activism and engagement, resulting in access to better health and well-being. Hū’s unique approach combines data, behavioral economics and decision science to unlock drivers of human behavior – how people make decisions, what they value, what motivates them, what they fear and more – in order to give people a central role in every facet of the clinical trial experience.
An unprecedented decline in people’s willingness to participate in clinical trials threatens the development of new therapeutic, vaccine and device breakthroughs. In the past year, willingness to participate in clinical trials has plummeted from 85% to just 49%, according to Centerwatch. While technology and big data have changed the ease with which potential clinical trial participants are identified, until now, no one has used social and behavioral evidence to quantify the motivations that drive increased participation. Hū – short for hūman but long on humanity – is taking an approach that promises to bring a dramatic shift in participation rates, and the optimization of speed, cost and quality in research and development.
“We’re not bound by the way things have been done before, so we’re free to reimagine the potential of clinical trials and bring them to life in ways that will reshape how we think about, organize and conduct them,” said April Lewis, EVP and General Manager at Hū. “We’re at an inflection point where the consumerization of healthcare and the changes in attitude accelerated by COVID-19 demand that we take meaningful action to amplify the patient voice as a driver of R&D success. And we at Hū are uniquely positioned to affect change at scale.”
Hū is led by Jayson Dupré, D.O., M.B.A. Dr. Dupré joined W2O through the acquisition of 21GRAMS where he continues to serve as President. Recognizing the opportunity to leverage W2O’s proprietary analytics, insights, and creative to address challenges in clinical trial patient activation, Dr. Dupré tapped industry veteran, April Lewis, to be General Manager at Hū. With 20 years of success innovating and disrupting clinical trial operations across pharma and clinical research organizations, Lewis was part of the Quintiles/IMS executive merger team and Head of Trial Operations and Site Engagement Products at GSK.
The Hū vision has inspired leading experts from across the pharmaceutical sector to join the leadership team, including:
- Jason Tse, EVP, Strategic Development, was previously with Pharma Intelligence where he was Head of Strategic Partnerships and M&A
- Alexandra Charge, SVP, Offerings and Marketing, who was previously Global Head of Process and Enabling Solutions with AstraZeneca R&D
- Ying Jiang, SVP, Delivery and Customer Success, who joined from IQVIA where she was Global Offerings Lead, Clinical Cost Benchmarking
- Ronnie Du, SVP, Clinical Data and Offerings, who was previously Principal Data Scientist, Center for Design and Analytics at Amgen
- Eric Roberts, VP, Trial Diversity & Inclusion, who was previously at Arnold Worldwide and a is career champion for multi-cultural communications
- Alex McSherry, VP, Sales, was previously at IQVIA and Oracle where he led global business development efforts with major pharmaceutical clients
A Revolution in Clinical Trials, an Evolution for W2O
Inspired by W2O’s analytics-driven, digital-first approach, Hū is the next step in W2O’s journey to use data and creativity to improve how healthcare is delivered, experienced and integrated into our daily lives. Clinical trials are a natural extension of W2O’s deep heritage of working from bench to bedside. W2O has been strategically broadening capabilities to become the clinical, commercial and corporate partner of choice to healthcare companies. The company’s growth is driven by the goal of advancing client needs in an increasingly virtual, social and digital reality, accelerated by the current pandemic.
“Forming Hū was a strategic choice, intended to speed up real, meaningful change in the clinical trial arena and is part of our own transformation into a global health innovation company,” said Jim Weiss, Founder and CEO of W2O. “Our vision has always been to make the world a healthier place by helping our clients make healthcare more accessible, equitable and beneficial to patients, providers and ultimately society. Hū gets us closer to that ideal.”
Founded by Jim Weiss in 2001 and built on an ethos of entrepreneurship, staying fluid and doing the right thing, W2O has achieved nearly 20 years of uninterrupted growth while remaining fiercely independent. W2O is an alchemic mix of 1,500 people and hundreds of clients and partners – working from bench to bedside – to make the world a healthier place.
Driven by data, W2O applies proprietary analytics and best-in-class technology to build insights that power creative ideas and concepts. W2O seeks to become the partner of choice to empower optimal healthcare knowledge, access and outcomes – now and in the future.
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Peter Duckler, 773-343-3069