HEALTH

Like father like son: Christopher Combe recognized with CHPA’s lifetime achievement award

BY Michael Johnsen

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday awarded the Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award to Christopher Combe, son of Ivan Combe. 
 
“It’s altogether fitting that Christopher be honored with the award named after his father as he has certainly carried out his father’s legacy not only as a strong leader of Combe Incorporated but also in upholding the principles of this award," said Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. "As an industry leader and as a true philanthropist committed to various social and educational causes, Christopher exemplifies the ideals celebrated by this honor," he said. “On the business front, one of his greatest accomplishments was expanding Combe Incorporated’s international market. He took the company global before ‘going global’ was a thing, and today international sales represent 40% of the overall business.”
 
Prior to his retirement, Combe served as chairman of Combe Incorporated, a 64-year old, privately held global manufacturer and marketer of health and beauty care products, headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., Combe markets well-known brands such as Vagisil, Just For Men, Aqua Velva, Lectric Shave, Brylcreem and Sea-Bond.
 
Combe spent five years in sales and marketing with American Hospital Supply Corp. (now Baxter International) before joining Combe Incorporated as manager of international marketing services. He attained positions of increasing responsibility, rising to VP international and VP marketing, and assumed the position of president and chairman in early 2000.
 
During his 10 years developing Combe’s international affairs, he launched its business in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and lived in Europe for four years managing the company’s business throughout that area. He was chairman of the World Self-Medication Industry and a member of the board of directors of the Personal Care Products Council.
 
He serves on the board of Malaria No More, not just giving financial support but traveling to Thailand to help spearhead a program to eradicate the disease. He also serves on the board of Heartcare International, which has a mission of improving the health of indigent children with heart disease in developing countries. The One Acre Fund, which is focused on poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and AmeriCares are additional causes to which he is dedicated. Combe is also very active in civic and charitable organizations as a member of the Boy Scout Board of Directors for Greenwich, Conn., as well as the Boy Scout Advisory Council of Westchester, N.Y. He is involved with the American Heart Association, serves as chairman of the men’s ministry at his church, and is a member of the board of trustees at Northwestern University.
 
The Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award is the industry’s highest honor. This award is bestowed upon an outstanding individual whose actions have created a positive impact upon and/or benefit to the consumer healthcare industry and as a result, has directly improved self-care for U.S. consumers. The award was established in honor of Ivan Combe who was exceptionally active in CHPA activities and served on the association’s board of directors from 1958 until January 2000. This award is presented annually to an individual based on the following criteria: experience, leadership qualities, outstanding service to the consumer healthcare industry/community, and professional excellence.
 

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Online consumer resource tool KnowYourOTCs.org launched by CHPA Educational Foundation

BY Michael Johnsen

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Now in year two of its commitment to expand consumer education, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation on Tuesday unveiled a new name and look for its online hub. KnowYourOTCs.org has replaced OTCsafety.org as the go-to source for consumers seeking information on the safe use, storage and disposal of over-the-counter medicines.
 
“The way consumers seek health information is ever-evolving, and our foundation is evolving with them," said Emily Skor, CHPA Educational Foundation director. "Over the years, we have worked to meet consumers wherever they are. Through partnerships with retailers, we provide information at the point of purchase. Partnering with healthcare providers enables us to reach consumers at the point of care. Online, we have pursued many avenues to reach consumers seeking information on OTCs through sponsored content on premiere health sites, parent blogger ambassador work and targeted social media engagement. The new website is critical for growth in all of these efforts as it a unique online resource for consumers, and we will drive them to it through all of our touch points in all of our foundation campaigns, initiatives, and partnerships.”
 
Designed to help consumers “take their healthcare personally,” the mobile-friendly website will guide consumers making OTC decisions wherever they are — be it the pharmacy aisle or their child’s bedside. Visitors of the website will benefit from an expanded ingredient index, children’s dosing charts and tips on safe medicine storage and disposal.
 
CHPA Educational Foundation partner the National Council on Patient Information and Education noted that the updated resource will be a great tool for consumers. “At the National Council on Patient Information and Education, we are dedicated to educating consumers on the safe and appropriate use of medicines. We are excited by the launch of CHPA Educational Foundation’s new consumer website KnowYourOTCS.org,” reported Ray Bullman, NCPIE EVP. “The new website will be a tremendous asset in helping empower consumers to take their healthcare personally and we look forward to working with the CHPA Foundation on efforts surrounding this issue in 2015.”
 
In addition to unveiling the new website, the CHPA Educational Foundation Board was elected today during the CHPA’s Annual Executive Conference. The board members are as follows:
 
  • Christopher DeWolf – CHPA Educational Foundation chair and president and CEO, Lil’ Drug Store Products;
  • Emile Lee – VP, North America Communications, Consumer, Johnson & Johnson;
  • Ernesto Levy – VP marketing, North America, Novartis Consumer Health;
  • Scott Melville – president and CEO, Consumer Healthcare Products Association;
  • Jeffrey Needham – EVP and general manager, U.S. Consumer Healthcare, Perrigo Company;
  • Stephen Neumann – VP consumer insights and consumer relations, Bayer Consumer Care;
  • Claire Payawal – VP global public affairs for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare; and
  • David Tomasi – marketing director, Vicks North America, Procter & Gamble. 

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Apple turns iPhone into powerful medical research tool with new source code

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple on Monday announced ResearchKit, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps. World-class research institutions have already developed apps with ResearchKit for studies on asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Users decide if they want to participate in a study and how their data is shared.
 
“iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health," said Jeff Williams, Apple SVP operations. "With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research,” he said. “ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before.”
 
ResearchKit turns iPhone into a powerful tool for medical research. When granted permission by the user, apps can access data from the Health app — such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use — which are measured by third-party devices and apps. HealthKit is a software framework Apple introduced with iOS 8 to provide developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. ResearchKit can also request from a user, access to the accelerometer, microphone, gyroscope and GPS sensors in iPhone to gain insight into a patient’s gait, motor impairment, fitness, speech and memory.
 
ResearchKit also makes it easier to recruit participants for large-scale studies, accessing a broad cross-section of the population — not just those within driving distance of an institution. Study participants can complete tasks or submit surveys right from the app, so researchers spend less time on paperwork and more time analyzing data. ResearchKit also enables researchers to present an interactive informed consent process. Users choose which studies to participate in and the data they want to provide in each study.
 
“We’re excited to use these new ResearchKit tools from Apple to expand participant recruitment and quickly gather even more data through the simple use of an iPhone app. The data it will provide takes us one step closer to developing more personalized care,” said Patricia Ganz, professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Director of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Access to more diverse patient-reported health data will help us learn more about long-term aftereffects of cancer treatments and provide us with a better understanding of the breast cancer patient experience.”
 
“When it comes to researching how we can better diagnose and prevent disease, numbers are everything. By using Apple’s new ResearchKit framework, we’re able to extend participation beyond our local community and capture significantly more data to help us understand how asthma works,” said Eric Schadt, PhD, the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. “Using iPhone’s advanced sensors, we’re able to better model an asthma patient’s condition to enable us to deliver a more personalized, more precise treatment.”
 
Developed by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and LifeMap Solutions, the Asthma Health app is designed to facilitate asthma patient education and self-monitoring, promote positive behavioral changes and reinforce adherence to treatment plans according to current asthma guidelines. The study tracks symptom patterns in an individual and potential triggers for these exacerbations so that researchers can learn new ways to personalize asthma treatment.
 
The Share the Journey app, developed by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Penn Medicine, Sage Bionetworks and UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is a research study that aims to understand why some breast cancer survivors recover faster than others, why their symptoms vary over time and what can be done to improve symptoms. Share the Journey will use surveys and sensor data on iPhone to collect and track fatigue, mood and cognitive changes, sleep disturbances and reduction in exercise.
 
Developed by Stanford Medicine, the MyHeart Counts app measures activity and uses risk factor and survey information to help researchers more accurately evaluate how a participant’s activity and lifestyle relate to cardiovascular health. By studying these relationships on a broad scale, researchers will be able to understand better how to keep hearts healthier.
 
Massachusetts General Hospital developed the GlucoSuccess app to understand how various aspects of a person’s life—diet, physical activity and medications—affect blood glucose levels. The app can also help participants identify how their food choices and activity relate to their best glucose levels, enabling them to clearly see correlations and take more active roles in their own well-being.
 
Developed by Sage Bionetworks and the University of Rochester, the Parkinson mPower app helps people living with Parkinson’s disease track their symptoms by recording activities using sensors in iPhone. These activities include a memory game, finger tapping, speaking and walking. Activity and survey data from your phone are combined with data from many other participants to fuel Parkinson’s research at a scale never before possible, making this the world’s largest and most comprehensive study of this disease.
 
ResearchKit will be released as an open source framework next month, providing researchers with the ability to contribute to specific activity modules in the framework, like memory or gait testing, and share them with the global research community to further advance what we know about disease. 

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