rMark Bio: Data-driven decision support for Life Sciences

About rMark Bio

rMark Bio’s industry-leading AI solution understands the real-time business strategies of R&D, Medical Affairs, Marketing, and Commercial to provide field representatives with clear and concise next best decisions that remove inefficiencies and increase ROI for engagements.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: United States

rMark Bio uses APIs built in Apigee to develop an AI platform that helps pharmaceutical companies better identify and engage with thought leaders during the various stages of drug development.

Google Cloud Results

  • Streamlines pharmaceutical application development through smart API management
  • Enables seamless migration as new features and services are built
  • Standardizes the development of back-end and front-end, and enables team to work on them in parallel

12 microservices connect 11 APIs to five organizations

In life sciences, new medications and medical devices are developed as the result of an extremely long and complex research and development process. Part of that process involves engaging with thought leaders in a variety of ways at critical stages of R&D.

The entrepreneurs behind rMark Bio already had significant experience in many aspects of the life sciences industry when they decided that building a deep learning intelligence platform to help pharmaceutical companies better identify and engage with thought leaders during the various stages of drug development would be their next challenge.

Data-driven decision making

Traditionally, pharmaceutical companies would have to independently establish which potential partners in a given area were working on new intellectual property of interest. They would also need to evaluate commercial factors impacting potential commercial relationships as well as identify the thought leaders that could most influence future sales. This process added significant time and expense to the product development cycle as researchers devoted hours and energy to tracking thought leaders’ activities across multiple matrices.

The rMark Bio platform was developed to help customers distinguish which business strategies they should apply throughout the product development lifecycle and make next-best decision recommendations based on those strategies. The platform applies deep learning and artificial intelligence to the R&D process to identify the right thought leaders to engage in the right activities at the right time.

“For rMark Bio, API management for our microservices is everything. Having a single platform for internal and exposed APIs enables us to reduce the inefficiency in managing all of them. Having all that through one stop is key for us.”

Jason Smith, Co-founder & CEO, rMark Bio

From microservices to APIs

The company’s platform is based on an array of microservices that are shared and exposed via APIs. These services roll up into a series of applications, which are in turn driven by deep-learning technologies. Jason Smith, Co-founder & CEO of rMark Bio says, “For rMark Bio, API management for our microservices is everything. Having a single platform for internal and exposed APIs enables us to reduce the inefficiency in managing all of them. Having all that through one stop is key for us.”

The company decided to adopt the Apigee API management platform during its first year of product development when it recognized that it wasn’t developing a standalone service, but rather a platform that could enable partnership and external innovation. Company leaders saw that they wanted to open up the rMark Bio platform to customers over time and knew that embracing an API-first strategy would help the company remain agile. Being able to quickly spin up services and bring them down lets the company evolve as its solution evolves.

“To address the challenges facing our customers, we needed to create a platform and enable access via our APIs. We quickly discovered that with Apigee, we didn’t have to do the work of managing our APIs while we were figuring out the intricacies of our engine.”

Jason Smith, Co-founder & CEO, rMark Bio

An agile mentality

Smith cites Apigee’s flexibility as the platform’s biggest differentiator. “We bring up services, we try things, we take them down, we start over again, we fail fast; all those key things that are key to success,” he says. “With Apigee, we can quickly spin up new proxies, new APIs, route them to new servers, try new things out, and really enable our customers to be on the cutting edge of whatever we’re ready to release.”

rMark Bio evaluated various API platforms, but chose Apigee because of its flexibility, and because it was the most mature product that the company saw for its particular needs in the life sciences market. rMark Bio’s specific needs for crunching large amounts of data while using machine learning and other big data technologies for decision support meant that it had to have an API platform that was robust and efficient.

“Apigee is a mature platform with rich features that help us now and will evolve as we monetize our APIs in the future beyond their use within our current applications. The Apigee platform can grow with us.”

Jason Smith, Co-founder & CEO, rMark Bio

“To address the challenges facing our customers, we needed to create a platform and enable access via our APIs. We quickly discovered that with Apigee, we didn’t have to do the work of managing our APIs while we were figuring out the intricacies of our engine,” Smith recalls. APIs provide rMark Bio the maximum flexibility to learn and to adapt its solution as customer needs change.

“Apigee is a mature platform with rich features that help us now and will evolve as we monetize our APIs in the future beyond their use within our current applications,” adds Smith. “The Apigee platform can grow with us.”

API-led development

As the company prepares to bring its platform to market, it is working with partners already building third-party applications on top of the rMark Bio platform. The concept of productizing APIs emerged early as developers began talking about which services to expose to application developers and how to manage them.

“As an API-first company, from day one, developers have had to think about a series of questions: How will partners interact with the platform? How will they interact with the services? What data do they really need? And more importantly, how can this be done efficiently?” explains Smith.

“Being able to use APIs to seamlessly integrate into users’ workflows has been a huge win for us with our customers.”

Jason Smith, Co-founder & CEO, rMark Bio

For the moment, rMark Bio has adopted Apigee internally. Every one of the company’s developers pushes out APIs that expose a variety of microservices. The company has come to depend on Apigee so that every developer can quickly go to one place, see everything they need to get up to speed, and see how their microservice interacts with all the others. This gives the company the ability to integrate in-house and onboard new developers seamlessly.

“We bring in new developers and say, ‘Here’s how we work. Go work on your service, and here’s the API you need to interact with.’ And that’s really been the big difference; it’s one stop, everything is well documented, everything is well tested, and it’s easily accessible for our team,” says Smith.

At this stage rMark Bio is exposing 11 APIs based on about a dozen microservices, which in turn support five applications built on top of them. The security features Apigee offers were critical to a small company like rMark Bio, which knew that building or managing these kinds of features in-house would have required a lot of work. This heavily influenced rMark Bio in the selection of Apigee.

Validation from the field

The fact that rMark Bio uses APIs to integrate with the existing toolsets that pharmaceutical company employees already use removes a huge barrier to adoption. Customers don’t have to retrain hundreds of sales reps or medical affairs personnel to benefit from rMark Bio decision support.

“As a startup, we think we have a really fun, high-impact application that looks good and works well,” Smith says. “The reality is, it doesn’t matter how great our product is if people don’t use it, because it’s yet another application that impacts their workflow. Being able to use APIs to seamlessly integrate into users’ workflows has been a huge win for us with our customers.”

About rMark Bio

rMark Bio’s industry-leading AI solution understands the real-time business strategies of R&D, Medical Affairs, Marketing, and Commercial to provide field representatives with clear and concise next best decisions that remove inefficiencies and increase ROI for engagements.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: United States