Digital Pharma – The revolution we are part of

The rapid adoption of new technologies, such as Mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Analytics or Cloud, is transforming businesses across industries – and will also impact healthcare significantly!

Over the next decade in healthcare we will see smartphones as hub of a “body area network”, integrating data, analysis, and real-time feedback to patients and caregivers. Another innovation will be sensors that are integrated into medical products and processes, linking patients and healthcare professionals (HCP), feeding insights to product development and marketing.

Technology-related trends
Based on our studies we haveidentified five technology-related trends that will lead to major disruptionsin the pharma and biotech industry by 2025:

  1. New technologies make outcome-based care easier
    Payors and providers intervene beyond the pill and between visits to HCP, leverage technology to drive on outcomes and value.
  2. Patients are more engaged in their health
    Patients increasingly use digital channels to engage in their health and they are savvier about products as well as services.
  3. Non-traditional players move into healthcare tech
    New players will act as intermediaries, aggregating data and building platforms essential to a pharmaco’s business.
  4. More transparency into product performance
    Data on product performance is increasingly generated outside pharma companies, often owned by consumers.
  5. New generation of tech-enablement for core biz processes
    Advanced analytics, sensors and the automation of complex decisions allow a step change in efficiency, speed, quality and responsiveness.

To sum it up: Patient engagement capabilities are core to commercial models, competitors and non-traditional entrants seize control points, and the expectations on efficiency and agility will rise dramatically.

Business opportunities
Based on these technology-related trends we see huge business opportunities within the pharma and biotech industry to drive value from digital:

  1. Sensors and digital services for tailored care 24/7
    Build digital services, apps and platforms delivering beyond-the-pill care as part of a suite of therapy area solutions.
  2. Omni-channel conversations across HCPs and patient decision journeys
    Foster the dialogue between patients, HCPs, and caregivers to develop relationships, provide support and generate insights.
  3. Advanced analytics to gain real-world insights and demonstrate value
    Build analytics and data access capabilities to drive distinctive insights on unmet needs, safety and efficacy as well as personalized therapy.
  4. Automate processes to improve cost, responsiveness, and agility
    Bring safe drugs to market faster, with improved agility and efficiency.

Examples for digital pharma apps
Tailored care 24/7
By 2025 medication will be one element of a therapy that is customized based on many streams of data. How will it work? Body area networks containing sensors monitor and transmit physiological variables in real time to a cloud. If, for example, the glucose level decreases, a safety signal is triggered to the pharma company and recorded in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR). The safety signal is integrated with other wearables and EHR data by cloud analytics. A proactive alert is sent to the physician and the patient to prompt dose adjustment.

Automated processes
We also envision that by 2025 real-time automation is used to increase efficiency and introduce automation across processes. Supply chains will be highly automated with RFID-based tracking of relevant inputs and vendors. This leads to real-time resource planning, tracking and network optimization across manufacturing and distribution. Business support functions rely on automated digital workflows and better decision-support tools. Many in-house business applications are replaced by cloud-based services. In clinical trials, for instance, predictive analytics are widely adopted to optimize site, investigator and patient selection. Enrollment and dossier submission become entirely digital and cloud-based.

Digital transformation
Digital is not only transforming patient care and existing business models – it will also revolutionize pharma operations and supply chains. The most important technologies we have identified are the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0. And innovations have already started to impact the entire pharma value chain, from research & development, regulatory & safety to manufacturing, market access and commercialization. Pharma goes digital – and we are all part of it!

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