Already selling Micromedex solutions to 90% of Taiwan’s healthcare organizations, Shou Ray Information Services Co., Ltd. (SRIS) sought to capitalize on its partnership with IBM to sell new offerings.
The enterprise collaborated with Watson Health to deliver data-driven medical and pharmaceutical resources to customers, including integrating content with customers’ electronic health record (EHR) systems.
Positions the company for business growthin both existing and new Asia-Pacific marketplaces
Helps improve patient outcomes and reduce costsby integrating evidence-based insights into clinicians’ daily workflows
Creates higher customer valuewith innovative AI capabilities, including natural language searches
Business challenge story
Opportunities open in Asia Pacific
Across Asia Pacific, countries have modernized healthcare in response to rapid socioeconomic growth, aging populations and higher rates of chronic disease. Still, healthcare providers often cannot meet the demand for services. Many consider evidence-based decision-making critical to their ability to work efficiently without sacrificing quality of care.
A distributor of medical and pharmaceutical content, SRIS stands out as a pioneer of evidence-based medicine in Taiwan, largely through effective promotion of Micromedex solutions. Approximately 20 years ago, the company became the first and only company in Taiwan to resell Micromedex solutions, which enable point-of-care access to a comprehensive online reference database covering drug selection, disease and condition management, toxicology, and alternative medicine. A few years ago, SRIS became an IBM Business Partner when Watson Health acquired the Micromedex solution suite.
SRIS now resells Micromedex solutions to healthcare organizations in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. In Taiwan, Micromedex solutions have a more than 90% marketplace penetration rate. The company also offers consulting, training and integration services. Yet other content distributors have taken note of its success and begun to sell competitive offerings and services at lower prices.
“Other products cannot compare with Micromedex in terms of its importance and authoritativeness, which are well known in Taiwan,” says Kevin Lai, Director of Business Development at SRIS. “The content is widely used in medical schools, and physicians, pharmacists and nurses who have used Micromedex since they were students have made it part of their practices.”
However, despite the product’s excellence, it could lose its marketplace edge during the global recession, Lai explains. To continue growing its Micromedex business, SRIS sought to increase upselling across its existing customer base and also enter regional marketplaces.
Uniting with Watson Health
SRIS is capitalizing on its new relationship with IBM to help spur growth. First, SRIS actively promotes Micromedex with Watson, a solution that enables users to look up drug information using natural language queries. It also looks to Watson Health product specialists to help deliver higher value through customized integrations in Taiwan, where most hospitals and medical centers develop their own, in-house EHR solutions. Drawing on IBM expertise, SRIS can gain competitive advantage by helping customers display unstructured Micromedex content in more user-friendly ways. “Our long-term customers are excited to make AI part of their daily medical practices,” comments Lai.
Second, Watson Health and EBSCO Information Services recently launched DynaMed and Micromedex with Watson. This cloud-based decision support solution combines evidence-based drug and medication management content from IBM Micromedex with clinical disease content from the EBSCO DynaMed solution. Using the integrated offering, healthcare organizations can facilitate evidence-based decision-making across the continuum of care. They can also help reduce TCO through streamlined pricing and invoicing. SRIS is proactively working with local EBSCO teams to promote sales through joint customer engagements.
Getting faster answers with AI
In just a few years, SRIS and IBM have built a strong business relationship characterized by open communication and mutual responsiveness. For SRIS, the new partnership means transitioning to new pricing and legal structures. For Watson Health, it entails adapting its procedures to help partners speed time-to-market. Both teams believe that together they can help healthcare organizations improve patient outcomes and satisfaction while reducing costs.
In one of its most successful integrations to date, SRIS helped a major healthcare network seamlessly integrate Micromedex with Watson content into its EHR. Network pharmacists can now type questions into their organization’s EHR as they would ask them in conversation and quickly learn about drug interactions, IV incompatibilities and dosing errors before dispensing medications to patients. “With Micromedex with Watson, they have faster, easier access to the content they need,” comments Lai.
SRIS also looks forward to IBM’s continued support of the company’s annual Micromedex user conference, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with help from a Watson Health executive. The event, which has grown from 50 to nearly 700 participants, gives hospital managers, pharmacists and other influential users the chance to share experiences and research. SRIS is planning a virtual conference for 2021.
“Presenting ourselves with IBM, an international company, gives our customers more confidence and creates new opportunities to introduce ourselves and Micromedex solutions to new customers,” explains Lai.
Shou Ray Information Services Co., Ltd.
Founded 30 years ago, SRIS (external link) works with international and regional publishers to distribute medical and pharmaceutical content and associated services. SRIS customers include hospitals, medical and research centers, libraries, universities, government agencies and corporations in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. Privately owned, SRIS employs approximately 80 people in Taiwan at its headquarters in New Taipei City and at two branch offices.
About Watson Health
Watson Health is a data, analytics, and technology partner for the health industry. Supported by the innovation of IBM and intelligence of Watson, we are committed to helping build smarter health ecosystems. Through the combination of our deep industry expertise in health, data and analytics, actionable insights, and reputation for security and trust, Watson Health is working together with its clients and partners to help them achieve simpler processes, better care insights, faster breakthroughs, and improved experiences for people around the world. Learn more at ibm.com/watson/health.
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