Tech Tonics: Craig Lipset – Patient-Centric Before It Was Cool

May 18th, 2020 |
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As a boy, Craig Lipset thought he wanted to become a doctor – but over time, he came to appreciate that his real interest was, as he put it, engaging in the spirit of medicine at the population level – a pursuit that ultimately brought him to the forefront of digital health at Pfizer, establishing a capability long before most pharmas even recognized they needed it.

Craig grew up in the distinct cultural milieu that is the North Shore of Long Island. A middle child with an interest in music and medicine, he attended Brandeis, where he majored in music, took pre-med classes, and worked for an EMS service in Waltham, MA. In 1992 he returned to New York, and obtained an MPH at Columbia, and discovered he loved thinking about populations, and wanted to learn more about the organizations helping to study them.

After graduation in 1998, he considered consulting, but instead joined a contract research organization, Parexel and worked closely with Dr. Mark Goldberg, who would go on to become the President and COO. He eventually left Parexel to join a VC-backed company in Waltham that was ultimately acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb.

At around this time, Craig’s life changed dramatically and unexpectedly when he was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis. He decided to make a life change, so he returned to the New York area and joined Pfizer in 2006, where he would stay for eleven years. Craig built their clinical innovation program from a footnote to a core business capability. Within a year of joining Pfizer, Craig began to apply his personal experience as an e-patient and was designing the industry’s first fully at-home decentralized clinical trial – the Pfizer REMOTE study. During his tenure, Pfizer — along with the rest of the industry –would increasingly begin to appreciate the value of digital and the opportunity for patient-centricity that Craig had been championing so passionately for years.

Today, Craig serves as an independent adviser, sharing his experience, expertise, and learnings with biopharma companies, startups, and investors.

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Posted in: Audio Podcast, Healthcare, Tech Tonics, Technology