Andaman7 Founder Vincent Keunen Recognised as one of 100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences 2022
‘With his unique platform, the CEO of Andaman7 has built a bridge between patients, physicians and researchers around the world’.
Andaman7 founder and CEO Vincent Keunen has been recognised as one of 100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences by leading US industry journal PharmaVOICE. Honorees like Vincent were selected from a pool of nominations and include Legacy Leaders, Tech Wizards, Innovators, Disrupters, Entrepreneurs, and DE&I Champions. Vincent was selected for his foresight to envision a healthcare landscape where patients were connected to researchers on a platform that would allow real world evidence data to be leveraged for decentralized clinical trials.
Described as a ‘courageous visionary’ by his peers, Vincent has very personal experience of just how important data can be to patients. He founded Andaman7 in 2007 when he was diagnosed with leukemia and three months later his 10-year-old son was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer. The positive outcome for Vincent, as a result of good communication and effective treatment, versus the resulting loss of a limb for his son, compelled Vincent to work to inform new research and make it easier for data to be accessed and shared by patients to foster faster treatments and contribute to new research developments.
“I want every patient to be able to take control of their health data – on some occasions it can be the difference between life and death,” Vincent has said. “I want to help patients around the world better manage their health data while allowing improved outcome measurement for pharma and research and disease measurement in hospitals.”
Speaking on the recognition, Vincent commented: “It is an honor to be selected for such a well-recognised international Award within the industry. Awards like this are an opportunity to recognise global expertise and to celebrate progress and innovation happening around the world. They shine a light on hard work and exciting progress and encourage further collaborative work to improve health outcomes for all.” Vincent was similarly recognised in 2020 as the first HIMSS Digital Change Maker from outside the USA.
Making a world of difference
Vincent’s commitment to collaboration and innovations that serve global markets is reflected in the international reach and impact of his business to date. Founded in Europe, Andaman7 is available in more than 20 languages, has been downloaded in more than 30 countries and is compatible with 85% of US hospitals.
Featuring a free patient-facing app but also a health intermediation platform, the solution can be utilized both for care programs (remote care, care path management, etc.) and for research use cases, such as clinical trials, decentralized clinical trials (DCT), real-world evidence (RWE) studies. The foundation is the PHR (Personal Health Record), which puts the patient firmly in control of their health management by helping them gather and access their personal health data anywhere.
Vincent believes empowerment in terms of managing personal health records and treatment outcomes should be an inalienable right for every patient – wherever they are in the world. He is an advocate for digital health in Africa, working closely with government and grass root organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo on a joint social project. Because Andaman7’s simple Patient Engagement Platform (PEP) runs on a smartphone, without the use of cloud storage, it can be used by multiple people in the same household without access to the internet. Data can then be centralized when the internet becomes available, making it ideal for nations and regions where connectivity is unreliable or scarce.
Protecting data security
Because Andaman7’s PHR does not rely on cloud storage (all data is stored locally on the device), it is not only more accessible to those without regular internet access, it is also more secure. The importance of data privacy is being increasingly recognised globally. Europe introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. China introduced its Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) in 2021 and US senators have introduced legislation in a bid to establish a federal data privacy law.
However, for Vincent, data security is about more than just meeting legislative and regulatory requirements – it is about the real engagement of patients.
He commented: “Studies have shown more than 85% of patients agree to contribute to research if their data is not abused. Patients want to be asked before their data is used, they want to know which data will be used and what it will be used for. It is also crucial they have the right to remove consent. Once you start to build up trust, patients can be vital partners for medical research.”
What comes next?
Vincent continues to advocate for patient-centered approaches on the global stage. Speaking at the HIMSS European Health Conference 2022 in June, he called for greater patient mediated research.
Vincent commented: “Disruptive developments in data are shifting power and accountability for healthcare into patients’ hands. The recent pandemic saw a shift towards Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCTs) and all the benefits they offer in terms of reduced costs and increased patient engagement. Patient mediated research is the next stage – from automated Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) and PHRs to Medication Adherence Data. I believe, over the next few years, we will see RWE play an increasing role in regulatory decision making.”
Vincent has also been a key contributor to the research activities of EU funded InteropEHRate, implemented by a unique consortium of experienced institutions and qualified experts representing healthcare solution providers, hospitals, universities, and research centers as well as European and local stakeholder associations. Exploring a citizen-centric health data sharing approach for care, research and beyond, their findings are soon to be published. More information is available here or follow Andaman7 for the latest updates (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).