Digital Healthcare Leader
About Robin Blackburn
Robin Blackburn is the Global Head of the Commercial Digital Accelerator at Merck, based in Kenilworth, New Jersey since December 2017. She and her team have created transformational impact by leading the implementation and scaling of digital and data analytics capabilities into the core of prioritized brand strategies and the commercial operating model.
With 28 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry, Robin Blackburn has held numerous positions within Merck and MSD. She previously spearheaded commercial strategy and operations for Europe and Canada (EUCAN), led the US Integrated Delivery System National Account Team, the Northeast US Primary Care sales team, and the national (US) Women’s Health and Fertility Business Unit. Robin has also held multiple positions in the US Market Access / Managed Markets Team and in Sales and Sales Leadership as a sales representative, business manager, and Director of Commercial Operations.
Breakthroughs in the use of data, technology and AI are fueling opportunities to disrupt healthcare across the spectrum of drug discovery and development, and manufacturing, and improving the patient experience. Robin Blackburn has spent her entire career in support of improving human health, has come to understand that there are many factors that contribute to the ultimate outcome for a patient, regardless of the effectiveness of their prescribed medication.
Technology presents an incredible opportunity to monitor such factors and find effective solutions that can improve a patient’s experience and health outcomes. This topic is close to Robin’s heart, in the 1990’s shortly after his retirement, her grandfather was diagnosed with heart failure and this ultimately led to an untimely death. Had the remote monitoring technology that exists today been available at the time, it is likely that his disease progression would have been caught sooner allowing for life extending intervention and the opportunity to meet his great grandchildren and enjoy his retirement.
Robin Blackburn feels fortunate to work for Merck—an organization that has been a leader in scientific innovation for over 125 years.
Outside of work, health remains an important component of Robin Blackburn’s life. An impassioned runner, Robin has successfully completed five of the Abbott World Major Marathons (AWMM): Chicago, London, Berlin, and two New York marathons. She was scheduled to run the final AWMM in Tokyo on March 1, 2020 prior to the race cancellation, and has now deferred this final AWMM marathon to 2021. Additionally, she enjoys running 5K and 10K races with her teenage daughter.
Digital and data analytics follow Robin Blackburn home from work and have become an essential component in her training routine. She tracks data on her Garmin Fenix 6s, Oura ring, and My Fitness Pal and uses the information to guide her fitness and nutrition. Recently, one of her daughters successfully converted Robin and the rest of the family to go vegan—a choice she is proud to have made for the health and environmental benefits.
For more information on Robin Blackburn and the collision between health and technology, be sure to check out her blog!
While much of the medical world has been understandably focused on facing the ongoing pandemic, there are other areas that naturally require attention, too. In light of the pandemic, many new technological developments have been made and implemented that not only improve healthcare when it comes to telehealth and the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, but also change other key areas of health. One such area is that of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and care, which has been impacted by the pandemic in major ways.
This year, June 9 is host to World Empathy Day; on this day, the promotion of empathetic practices and attitudes is encouraged, and because empathy is a skill that can be taught, days like this that highlight the importance of learning how to be more empathetic hold significant value. In the healthcare industry, empathy is needed now more than ever.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented unprecedented circumstances for all industries. In healthcare, professionals are working to adapt and overcome various challenges as they arrive. While the pandemic has brought fear, panic, isolation, and hardship, it has also begun to serve as a catalyst for much-needed collaboration and innovation within the healthcare industry.