From treatment to technology: a personal journey
William King, founder and executive chairman of Zephyr Health, speaks with Paul Tunnah, pharmaphorum’s CEO, about using predictive insights for business transformation and his mission to help life sciences companies.
“One thing that strikes me with big data is that, while the technology itself is often considered new, the industry has been stockpiling it for years, often without realizing its potential,” says William King, founder and executive chairman of Zephyr Health.
In another life, King held a range of global leadership positions in sales, marketing, training and strategy for Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Then in 2009, as data and digital began to enter the spotlight, he began to understand that technology would be a major accelerator for an industry that had yet to grasp the changes afoot.
King saw that he could do more as a provider for the industry than he could achieve from working within it, because the kind of technological and data disruption necessary could not be done in or by a single pharma company; it needed to be appraised and built from a technologist’s perspective. He began consulting with pharma companies on solutions that could connect their disparate, disorganized data sources, and saw an industry-wide opportunity to bring transformation. This marked the birth of his company in 2011.
One of the things King learned early on was how critical data is in management. “It struck me, while working at J&J, that we were generating staggering amounts of our own data. I became fascinated with how data can help to optimize processes and decision making, making a company more efficient. We’re still just scratching the surface of what decades of data collection can tell us. And that’s very exciting.”
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