Cognitive Computing: Revolution's in the Air

by Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO, ghg

ghg CEO, Lynn O'Connor Vos, delves into the IBM World of Watson and the revolutionary ramifications the technology holds for global healthcare in her newest Huffington Post blog. You can read the full post below.

The first intelligible words spoken over the telephone in March 1876 are reported to be, "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you." So perhaps it's only fitting new technology that may be as revolutionary for global healthcare shares that surname.

This genuine possibility was strongly demonstrated at the IBM World of Watson conference I recently attended in New York. And it is not surprising that information and communications are at the center of this intriguing advancement.

Watson is the IBM supercomputer most of us know about because it destroyed human champion contestants on Jeopardy. Cognitive computing is what made that possible.

Watson is designed to mirror human learning processes. Moving beyond the first fast-tabulation computer phase and the If/Then era of computing, cognitive computing allows Watson to digest both structured and unstructured data. That means it can take in data from all sorts of sources - say, from electronic patient records to published research on a particular type of small cell cancer to tweets. And Watson can read millions of unstructured documents in seconds.

That's a critical step forward because the pool of data from those sources will continue to grow exponentially. According to IBM, the increasing prevalence of personal fitness trackers, connected medical devices, implantables and other devices that collect real-time information will generate more than 1 million gigabytes of health-related data in each person's lifetime.

Next, Watson organizes that data to make it easier to work with. Trained by human experts, it then learns how to interpret that organized content to quickly expose patterns, connections and insights. Over time, Watson is able to master bodies of information and apply it to improve decision-making.

The ramifications for healthcare should be pretty obvious. Pinpointing patients best suited for clinical trials. Prevention protocols for individuals that are genetically predisposed for glaucoma or heart disease. Speeding new drug development and improving the chances of success. Cracking the code on why patients stop taking their medication. Improved understanding of how a disease impacts a specific ethnic population. The list is long.

It's also not too far fetched to think that Watson-aided humans could become de facto allied health professionals. In essence, Watson is Dr. Watson. Without having to schedule an appointment. Or old magazines in a waiting room. At your fingertips.

Armed with rapid access to answers about and proven treatment for any medical condition -- distilled down from billions and billions of real-world data points by Watson -- why wouldn't it be possible for individuals to finally take charge of their health care?

"The Power of the Purse" study recently confirmed that women are the Chief Medical Officers (CMO) of their families - but CMOs that feel ill equipped to make medical decisions. Why can't Watson solve that challenging conundrum with its insights, real-time feedback and instant recommendations?

And why won't access to all of this highly vetted and analyzed health information, state-of-the-art research and treatment patterns from the world's medical centers of excellence improve communications between patients and health professionals?

Several companies are already creating "Powered by Watson" apps to provide intelligent coaching systems centered on pre- and post-operative care. Others are building apps that allow mobile device access to highly personalized, dynamic care management for people with diabetes and other chronic diseases. More are sure to follow. Stay tuned.

There's revolution in the air. And communications is the cure.

Visit http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/ibmwatson/health/ for more information about IBM Watson Health

ghg Australia Wins The Healthshare Audience Award

On May 28, in Cologne, Germany, ghg Australia’s “Dr. G. Oogle” campaign won the Audience award at the Healthshare Awards. The HealthShare Award was established in 2012 and is the first award to honor innovative social media communication in the health sector. The Audience award is chosen by vote, by the 1,000,000+ users of DocCheck, one of the largest membership portals for medical professionals in Europe. These users choose the winner of the Audience Award HealthShare “Crowd Cup.”

ghg Australia created Dr. G. Oogle to illustrate how imprecise the Internet can be for health information and the importance of working with an expert healthcare communication agency. All six videos can be viewed on ghg Australia’s website and provide creative (but inaccurate) healthcare advice for common conditions, including Psoriasis (Poor eye isis) and Urinary Tract Infections (discovered by Russian Plumber, Yuri Nari Tracticov). The creative team includes Martin Greguric, writer, and Nicholas Brown, art director. The campaign also received a finalist certificate in the self-promotions category and won a Global Award for “Humor” at New York Festivals’ 2014 Global Awards.

You can visit The Healthshare Award for more information on this award.

Global Awards 01
ghg (Grey Healthcare Group) acquires minority interest in PARx Solutions

Leading healthcare agency invests in prior authorization company focused on improving health outcomes

May 19, 2015

New York, New York – ghg (Grey Healthcare Group), a leading healthcare communication services agency, today announced it has acquired a minority interest in PARx Solutions, Inc. (PARx), an innovative organization which specializes in expediting the prior authorization process for pharmacies, physicians and patients. PARx’s full service approach facilitates a higher number of successfully submitted prior authorizations, resulting in more prescriptions being filled, greater adherence, and, ultimately, better patient outcomes. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The number of prescriptions requiring prior authorization is growing rapidly, and the intensity and variability of prior authorization requirements is making successful submission of forms difficult. According to industry research, only about 30 percent of prior authorizations actually result in the initial physician-prescribed choice of therapy. This represents a significant barrier to care as patients denied prescriptions at the pharmacy due to prior authorization failure are less likely to get that prescription filled at all. PARx uses a combination of proprietary software, automation and a personalized approach to streamline challenging and time-consuming paperwork for prescribers to ensure successful submissions of prior authorizations. This makes the experience easier for the physician and pharmacy, and helps patients receive the medications that they need.

“The focus in healthcare is on ensuring good health outcomes and improving the patient experience. At ghg, we work to help our clients find ways to support those goals. Failed prior authorizations can be a significant barrier to patient care and satisfaction. PARx brings a fresh approach to the process, one that proactively removes barriers and paves the way for a better customer experience,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, chief executive officer of ghg. “We are always looking for innovative partners, like PARx, that will measurably improve the patient experience, and we look forward to bringing PARx services to our clients.”

PARx’s Prior Authorization Support System (PASS) is designed to support physicians and pharmacies as they manage prescription prior authorization requirements through a web-based portal. PARx’s clinical staff work one-on-one with physician offices and pharmacies to streamline processes and improve prior authorization success rates. Through data collection and analysis, PARx continuously ensures that physicians provide accurate and appropriate information to payers to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

“We are excited to be joining forces with ghg. Aside from its standing as a premier creative agency, ghg has a deep understanding of the healthcare industry, including the importance of effective workflows to ensure patients can access the medications they need. The prior authorization process and its inherent challenges present a significant opportunity to streamline a critical part of health care delivery, and we believe that ghg’s expertise and resources will strengthen and accelerate PARx’s ability to improve patient care through the delivery of high quality services to physicians and pharmacies. We look forward to leading the way on that opportunity” said Mike Evanisko, chairman at PARx.

She’s the Chief Medical Officer – By Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO, ghg

How important is communications to the rapidly evolving practice of healthcare around the world? Look no further than the results of a recent multimarket survey of 9,200 respondents in the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan and Brazil titled “The Power of the Purse: Engaging Women Decision Makers for Healthy Outcomes.” Conducted by The Center for Talent Innovation and co-sponsored by WPP, I recently had the pleasure of serving with industry leaders on this important primary research initiative.

The study’s key findings make clear that women are now overwhelmingly the healthcare decision makers for both themselves, their families and their friends. They are setting healthcare agendas, making treatment decisions, selecting healthcare coverage and providers.

  • Regardless of marital status or whether they have children, 94 percent make decisions for themselves and 59 percent make healthcare decisions for others
  • 94 percent of working moms of children under age 18 make decisions for others

Meet the new boss.

Women are the new “Chief Medical Officers (CMO)” and they take this role very seriously. Fully 73 percent of respondents indicated that it is very important to them to be knowledgeable about keeping themselves and their loved ones healthy. And yet, it is a role that a healthy majority of women feel ill equipped to do. Nearly 60 percent say they are lacking confidence in their decision making.

Why? The study results strongly suggest that they are starved for healthcare knowledge. They don’t know what information – mostly accessed online -- to believe or trust. In addition, they are starved for trust in their insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies.

This challenging CMO dichotomy adds up to huge opportunity across the healthcare arena -- medical schools, payers, pharmaceutical companies, nursing, product marketers, executive leadership, talent managers, etc. For improving healthcare outcomes. For improving the bottom line. IF their “famines” can be properly addressed.

For starters, that means healthcare professionals and organizations need to change their current thinking. Women view health more broadly than the usual definition of freedom from illness.

  • Nearly 80 percent of the CMOs in the study defined health as “having spiritual and emotional wellbeing.” Almost the same sample also cited “being physically fit and well rested.”

The CMO perspective needs to be baked into marketing, clinical trial design, boardroom decision making and more.

But most important, the study indicates healthcare providers and organizations must change their behaviors in order to build trust that can lead to empowered CMO engagement. Women were asked what behaviors they found most satisfying from these entities. At the heart of every answer is improved, two-way dialogue and clear messaging that are sensitive to the female perspective.

Behaviors that Win with Women

The “Power of the Purse” study offers an insightful blueprint for successful CMO engagement at the highest levels of healthcare organizations, throughout the marketplace and at the point of care. We marketing communications professionals have a golden opportunity to translate these findings into meaningful messaging and tools – and prove further that communications is the cure. By working with all sectors, we can play a significant role in properly preparing women to be effective, even revolutionary, healthcare advocates.

Visit the Center for Talent Innovation to read the study report.

ghg, CEO, Lynn O’Connor Vos Featured in PharmaVOICE

In the article, Augmented Reality: An Overlap Between the Virtual and the Real World, Lynn is quoted on how augmented reality has the power to drive significant change in healthcare.

“Augmented reality can not only help save lives, it can also help healthcare organizations make their existing processes more precise and efficient, by reducing overhead, facilitating smoother management, and reducing the change of human error.”

“Imagine the possibilities—an app that helps a patient with chronic allergies pre-emptively identify high levels of allergens every morning. Or imagine arriving to your doctor’s appointment with your check-in complete, files pulled, and the nurse ready to take your vitals, all triggered by your car entering the parking lot. Augmented reality has the potential to put timely, relevant information in front of patients and healthcare professionals when they need it. And that can disrupt healthcare for the better.”

This article and the full issue are available online.

Augmented Reality
Healthcare Marketing to Generation X – Helping the “Self-Reliant” Find Something to Depend Upon

Erin Byrne, Executive VP, Managing Partner and Chief Client Officer at ghg is featured in the recent eMarketer report - Healthcare Marketing to Generation X – Helping the “Self-Reliant” Find Something to Depend Upon.

(Excerpts from the full report)

This report provides an overview of Gen Xers’ attitudes toward the healthcare and health insurance industries, and their uses of both traditional and digital channels when researching and shopping for health solutions. Finally, it identifies tactics for successfully engaging these consumers with healthcare marketing.

Research Bar Chart

Despite this breakout, marketers agree that digital channels are necessary for reaching Gen X. “Print and broadcast still have a role to build awareness, but for this generation digital marketing is critical to driving behavior change and critical to driving action,” said ghg Healxx Digital’s Byrne. “If you have a dollar to spend with this generation, you would spend it in digital first.”

Members of this generation are prolific and thorough searchers, turning first to Google and other search engines for all types of health and medical inquiries. “Search marketing is absolutely critical with this generation,” said ghg Healxx Digital’s Byrne. “They are much more likely to type a disease or a symptom or brand name into a search engine as opposed to trying to go to a website. They let what Google returns be their consideration set for where to get additional information.”

To see all of Erin’s quotes and the full report, please contact info@ghgroup.com.

An Important New White Paper From Our Partners at OptimizeRx

With almost 80% of doctors now ePrescribing, OptimizeRx’s new e-Coupon White Paper shows the value and impact of integrating patient support services, including vouchers and co-pay coupons, and patient education directly into EHR and ePrescribing platforms to increase prescribing and fill rates for your brands and improve patient outcomes.

View OptimizeRx’s e-Coupon White Paper

ghg Expands Barriers of Innovation with Inaugural Health Outcomes Code‑A‑Thon

New York, N.Y., October 6, 2014 – From September 20th to September 21st, ghg/NY, together with WG Consulting, hosted its first Health Outcomes Code‑A‑Thon as part of the Health Spoken Here series. The contest supported the formation of new ideas and prototypes that improve health outcome measures as they relate to the ACA and the larger U.S. healthcare system. Nine teams came together to present their ideas, all ranging from mental health awareness to the optimization of ACO and IDN networks. The expert panel of judges consisted of Managing Partners Lynn O’Connor Vos, Erin Byrne, John Dietz, and Ben Ingersoll. Guest judges in attendance were Ritesh Patel, Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy Commonhealth Worldwide; Adam Griff, Healthcare Innovator and Entrepreneur, Health 2.0 NYC/MedStartr; and Thomas Tsang, Executive Director, Business Development and Strategy, Merck. After careful deliberation, the judges determined the top three winners:

Team Bright Day (First Place): Bright Day focused on a depression app that utilized Facebook to put a personalized aspect on depression and how it may affect the target audience’s immediate world of friends and family. The app allows users to identify friends or family that may be exhibiting signs of depression and connect with them through messaging. The app, using Facebook interests, can then suggest activities to do using outside APIs from Groupon, Yelp, Ticketmaster, etc.

Team Bright Day (First Place)

Team Treatease (Second Place): Treatease presented an app focused on providing counseling for long term, post-care at an addiction treatment center to help reduce the need for readmissions. The app links counselors and patients for continuous care throughout the patient’s life.

Team Treatease (Second Place)

Team Knife to 5K (Third Place): Knife to 5K presented an app focused on reducing hospital readmissions post-hip arthroplasty and reducing the cost of physical therapy in the longer term recovery of patients by expediting treatment. The app provides “virtual physical therapy” and also helps to track patients’ recovery progress back to healthcare professionals. The end goal is getting a person back to running 5ks after surgery.

Team Knife to 5K (Third Place)

For additional pictures and highlights from the event, visit our social media pages:

Facebook: GreyHealthcare
Twitter: twitter.com/GreyHealth
Instagram: instagram.com/greyhealth

ghg’s EVP, Director of User Experience John Canevari to Judge 2014 Global Awards

John Canevari, ghg’s EVP and Director of User Experience, has been announced as a judge on the Executive Jury—a panel of top creative leaders from medical, pharmaceutical, and healthcare communication companies—for the 2014 Global Awards. Canevari and the Executive Jury will be responsible for judging the shortlist of winners and selecting the award winning campaigns honoring this year’s World’s Best Healthcare and Wellness Advertising.

Now in its 20th year, the Global Awards is one of the world’s largest and most recognized healthcare communications awards, showcasing creativity and innovation in 150 category entries, spanning regional, national, and continental boundaries. The 2014 awards ceremony will take place in November in New York City and Sydney, Australia. For more information, please visit http://www.theglobalawards.com.

Ben Ingersoll Appointed Chief Creative Officer of Grey Healthcare Group

New York, N.Y., August 11, 2014 – ghg (grey healthcare group) announced the appointment of Ben Ingersoll as Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer. In this role, Ben joins fellow Managing Partners, Chief Engagement Officer Erin Byrne, and Brand Strategy Director John Dietz, in leading the New York agency.

“Ben brings with him extensive experience spanning nearly every therapeutic area, including diabetes and rare diseases,” notes Lynn O’Conner Vos, Chief Executive Officer of ghg. “We are pleased to add Ben to our team to drive creative excellence across ghg worldwide.”

Ben brings passion for creative ideas, great design and talent development to ghg. In his role, he will be responsible for all US creative operations, including copy, art, editorial and studio. He also will oversee collaboration among the agency’s global creative directors in London and Sydney to unify ghg’s creative point of view.

“ghg is a leader in the field, a company known for pushing the boundaries of communications and tech—I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team,” notes Ben. “My goal is simple: to make ghg the hottest creative shop in healthcare, the go-to destination for clients and a magnet for the best creative talent.”

Prior to joining ghg, Ben served as Partner and Creative Director for Cline Davis & Mann New York where he was responsible for several global healthcare brands across multiple therapeutic areas.

Ben Ingersoll, Chief Creative Officer of Grey Healthcare Group
Grey Healthcare Group Launches Health Spoken Here™ Series to Address Key Issues Affecting Health in the U.S.

New York, N.Y., May 30, 2014 – This week, ghg (Grey Healthcare Group) officially launched the Health Spoken Here™ series, a thought leadership series geared to discussing key issues impacting health in the U.S. ghg and market access consultancy WG Consulting partnered to host a much anticipated panel discussion - Realities of the Affordable Care Act: Can Value Be Legislated?

The panel, moderated by J.D. Kleinke, Health Care Business Strategist, brought together key influencers across the healthcare spectrum: Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO, ghg; Lindsay Farrell, President and CEO, Open Door Family Medical Centers; Laurel Pickering, President and CEO, Northeast Business Group on Health; Bill Meury, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Forest Laboratories; and Dr. Nancy McGee, Managing Director, Manatt Health Solutions.

Among the many goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to rein in the ever-rising cost of healthcare in the United States, making all providers of care more accountable for the cost, quality and value of what they deliver. While the panel presented different viewpoints based on their line of expertise, everyone agreed: the changes from the ACA are making a difference. And because there is greater access to information that we did not have before, greater alignment exists among stakeholders.

“The major difference [between now and 1999] is technology, digital and the mass consumerization of health,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO of ghg. “You have consumers who are online, reaching Dr. Google, smarter than they were in ’99… you’re going to get a more educated consumer, which has to make a difference in healthcare, and it will make a difference for pharma as well.”

The Health Spoken Here series continues as ghg will host the Health Outcomes Code‑A‑Thon on June 21st and 22nd at the Ogilvy Chocolate Factory. The contest will bring together a community of developers, designers, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, and community members to formulate new ideas and prototypes that improve health outcome measures as they relate to the ACA and the larger U.S. healthcare system. For more information on this contest, please visit http://ghghealthoutcomescodeathon.challengepost.com/.

Health Spoken Here Panel
Claire Gillis, CEO, WG Consulting, Featured in March Issue of MM&M

The March 2014 issue of MM&M features an article by WG Consulting CEO Claire Gillis. WG Consulting, ghg's global healthcare market access consultancy, is a leader in aligning clinical, health economics and stakeholder analysis across all states of drug development. Their work in the healthcare realm allows them to identify current issues in the marketplace and provide real-world issues.

In this issue of MM&M, Claire utilizes her expertise in delivering evidence-based solutions to discuss "putting moves" on Big Data and what the healthcare sector can learn from consumer giants such as Amazon. Read more from her opinion piece at http://bit.ly/1dgYcu5.

WG Consulting Presents at 2014 New York Social Media Week

On February 19th, Caitlin McQuilling, Health Economist for WG Consulting, presented on behalf of "Team WG" during the Health Innovation Track for New York Social Media Week.

Now in its sixth year, Social Media Week has become a leading platform and worldwide event with local presence and global reach across Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia.

Team WG – consisting of Justin DiSanto, Yan Wang, and Caitlin McQuilling - was able to present at this year’s New York Social Media Week after winning Third Place in the Merck Social Health Hack. The "hackathon" provided the team with a chance to flesh out concepts and create innovative solutions that improve health literacy, manage chronic and acute illnesses, and improve overall wellbeing of the community. Team WG focused their efforts on finding a solution for Hepatitis C by designing an app, tentatively titled HepFree, to engage patients throughout their treatment and provide data to the physician and health system on adherence, side effects, and quality of life.

During New York Social Media Week, the team had the chance to present their work from the hackathon and network with major players in the health atmosphere, including Aetna, Merck, American Express, in addition to several prominent physicians and payers.

As a whole, the event provided the group with an opportunity to see first-hand how technology and social communication is becoming a growing opportunity in healthcare. Justin DiSanto stated, "It was a good experience to take part in the social aspects of healthcare. It was also great to shift from an onlooker to a participant at an event such as this."

This was the first year Social Media Week included a health track, signifying the growing importance of healthcare in the social realm.

For more information about Social Media Week, please visit http://socialmediaweek.org/.

Team HepFree WG
Grey Healthcare Group & OptimizeRx Announce Partnership to Expand Offerings through EHRs

New York, N.Y., January 7, 2014—ghg (grey healthcare group) and OptimizeRx Corporation (OTCQB: OPRX) today announced an innovative partnership that will enable pharmaceutical/biotech companies and payers to better support healthcare providers and patients through their electronic health records (EHRs) and patient portals.

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ghg and OptimizeRx will jointly market existing and newly developed products and services that are embedded in the doctor’s electronic workflow and provide physicians a suite of useful tools and information to support patient health. Powered by OptimizeRx’s SampleMD proprietary technology to automated delivery of product savings, support and information and with ghg’s premier strategic, creative and contract sales capabilities, these expanded services will provide instantaneous access to a range of information and on-demand services, including sampling, coupons, patient education, product information and (virtual) pharmaceutical rep support via the EHR.

The shifting healthcare environment has changed the way physicians work and how pharmaceutical companies support them. With a national shortage of physicians and mounting pressure to ensure positive health outcomes among patients, physicians have less and less time to see pharmaceutical representatives. More than half of physicians are not accessible to representatives, yet research shows that the top rated things physicians value from pharmaceutical/biotech companies are samples, coupons and patient education. As healthcare providers are increasingly relying on EHRs for information and workflow management, the opportunity to provide easy, on-demand tools that help physicians access valuable support is more critical than ever. The suite of expanded offerings by ghg and OptimizeRx will provide manufacturers and other healthcare companies a way to integrate their programs and offerings at point of context, directly and efficiently in physicians’ workflows.

“Today’s pay-for-performance environment puts pressure on physicians to deliver better health outcomes for patients. The more we can support the physician with impactful engagement tools the way they want them, the better they can help patients adhere to treatment plans and live healthier lives,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO of ghg. “The healthcare industry is a customer service business. And doctors are customers as well. These new tools will help pharma better support physicians with the information they need, when they need it, through the channel they access most. This will transform the physician-pharmaceutical relationship and positively impact people’s lives.”

OptimizeRx’s SampleMD proprietary technology is the leading platform to deliver patient savings and support within physician’s electronic workflow. Through its network of 350 EHRs reaching 250,000 healthcare providers, OptimizeRx delivers customized prescription vouchers, co-pay saving and other support programs tailored to the specific physician and patient type. Through this partnership, these platforms will be expanding new ways to further engage both the patient and physician, including a RepOnCall capability for physicians to access a live product rep, samples or schedule a future appointment. RepOnCall capabilities will be provided by OnCall, LLC, a ghg company and one of the most sophisticated contract sales organizations in the U.S.

“Our clients and platform partners are excited about further developing technologies to automate information the doctor has deemed valuable in treating their patients. ghg offers the ideal partnership to develop and deliver ‘better access to better healthcare’—which is our mission.” stated David Harrell, Chairman and Founder of OptimizeRx Corp.

About Grey Healthcare Group

ghg (grey healthcare group) is a global healthcare communications company capable of driving every aspect of healthcare communication. Headquartered in New York with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, ghg works with leading companies to build world-class healthcare and pharmaceutical brands among medical professionals and consumers, with a unique storytelling approach that covers print, digital and television broadcast media, medical education, sales force presentations and managed access strategies. ghg is a member of the WPP Group, a global provider of advertising, branding, and marketing.

About OptimizeRx Corp.

OptimizeRx Corp. provides unique consumer and physician platforms to help patients better afford and comply with their medicines and healthcare products, while offering pharmaceutical and healthcare companies effective ways to expand patient awareness, access and adherence to their medications. For more information, please go to www.optimizerxcorp.com or www.samplemd.com .

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the definition of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and such section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934, amended. These forward-looking statements should not be used to make an investment decision. The words 'estimate,' 'possible' and 'seeking' and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which speak only as to the date the statement was made. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted, or quantified. Future events and actual results could differ materially from those set forth in, contemplated by, or underlying the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties to which forward-looking statements are subject include, but are not limited to, the effect of government regulation, competition and other material risks.

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