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‘Our aim is to enable Indian physicians to stay connected with global developments’

Eris Lifesciences recently entered into a partnership with PlexusMD to launch Saarthi, an interactive learning platform for doctors. Dr Viraj Suvarna, President – Medical, Eris Lifesciences, discussed how the platform will promote evidence-based healthcare and patient-centricity, in an exclusive interaction with Usha Sharma

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Tell us about Eris Lifesciences focus areas.
Eris Lifesciences is among the top 25 pharma companies in the Indian Pharmaceutical Market (IPM) and one of the fastest growing. The company has a leading position in cardiovascular and anti–diabetes drug segments, and is a key player in vitamins, gastroenterology, gynaecology, IVF and CNS. Patient-centricity, partnerships and speciality focus have been the strategic focus of Eris since its inception in 2007.

Tell us more about the Eris Lifesciences – PlexusMD partnership. How will this alliance benefit the patients as well as the physician community?
As a young company, Eris has adapted to technology in a big way. Through our collaboration with PlexusMD, we have tapped a unique space. Doctors are integral to providing quality healthcare. That said they are always pressed for time, and face difficulties for continued learning. Saarthi, the platform that PlexusMD and Eris Lifesciences have recently launched will offer customised content for continuing medical education (CME). Saarthi is an artificial intelligence-powered technology that will deliver relevant learning material to each practising physician’s unique requirements. It is an interactive and innovative platform to simplify learning for doctors.

How is the company filling the gaps in patient care— what steps are you taking in achieving it?
The gaps in patient care are in the areas of diagnosis, treatment and compliance to therapy. Accordingly, in consultation with the doctors, we have started patient care initiatives in areas such as hypertension (Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring and Holter monitoring), diabetes (Continuous Glucose Monitoring System and Guardian Connect), gynaecology and paediatrics (Adbhud Matrutva with FOGSI on the foetal origin of adult disease), pain management (mobility clinics) and neurology (sleep study).

How are you utilising technologies like AI to encourage evidence-based practice? How will this help in customising content based on different physicians’ interest?
With time we have realised that learning curves and experiences are different for each individual. AI-powered learning platforms, like Saarthi, are a step ahead in the sense that they personalise the learning experience for a target group that hitherto had limited options for CMEs. Saarthi will help doctors through evidence-based practice depending upon the patient case at hand. It will help in identifying patterns based on the patient’s case history and derive solutions best suited for their pattern and symptoms. Our aim is to enable Indian physicians to stay connected with global developments and practice evidence-based medicine to improve patient health outcomes.

What services will Saarthi offer? How updated and relevant will they be for the future?
The technology that Saarthi employs will majorly address the issues of information overload and fake news thereby customising news based on each doctor’s requirements and interests.
Another interesting feature of the app is a unique calculator for commonly encountered drug dosage, drug interaction and disease specific calculations that will come in handy for our healthcare practitioners.

Will this platform play a role in implementing the Uniform Code of Pharmaceuticals Marketing Practices (UCPMP)?
UCPMP provides guidance on pharma marketing practices. The app has nothing to do with UCPMP implementation, but is compliant to the principles enshrined within the UCPMP. The app may provide information to doctors that will help them be better equipped to deal with medico-legal issues, if any. Essentially, the app will empower doctors with the right information that will help them improve patient outcomes, which is the ethos of Eris.

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