Pharmaceutical companies have always had a higher and advantageous ground compared to other industries because they were the sole authority who controlled the narrative of their products. But now in the Digital Age, every industry is being disrupted by the faster and more efficient digital alternatives such as the different information channels about any drug in the market and digital tools like apps and gadgets that collect and reports about a patient’s conditions when not in the care of a physician. The industry is rapidly integrating advanced and progressive technology to keep a semblance of control over their own products. It is becoming increasingly important for pharmaceuticals to keep up and upgrade to the latest digital trends if they wish to not lose out to the competition.
Technology like automated decisions, advanced analytics and reports, and digital sensors are all some of the best benefits of digital integration in any industry promises. In order to remain on top of things, pharmaceuticals would need to start deploying highly advanced processes to keep their business module updated. The digital race amongst competitors is always unpredictable and can go either way. Such digital upgrades will improve the efficiency, quality, responsiveness, and speed of any business especially one such as pharmaceuticals.
Which aspects would benefit more?
When it comes to benefitting from digital developments in the industry, pharmaceuticals stand to gain a lot from four major aspects with digital integration and upgrade. A pharmaceutical’s success in the digital race falls upon these four major categories. Progressing digitally will help you provide a more personalized methodology of caring for patients, constant and effective channels of communicating with physicians and patients, a better insight into the profiles of patients and how to handle each one individually by making sound decisions, and an improved timing of responses that follow a quick and competent business process. Here is a brief overview and analysis of how pharma companies are projected to perform in each of these aspects in the near future.
- Personalized Care
In any industry at the moment, personalized treatment and interactions are what’s driving the business. Even though many patients might have the disease or symptoms, they are all still very different when it comes to treatment needs. Some patients follow the regime described by their physician while some, not so much. This means that digital resources and tools could help physicians monitor the lifestyle and health of their patients remotely. Personalized care would mean that it will be easier to monitor the intake of every patient’s medication and meals. It would help a physician curate a better treatment plan that would suit that particular individual’s health and lifestyle.
Using the data collected through the remote digital devices, it would be easier to understand a patient’s needs as defined by their diagnostic results, history of medication, medical records, genomic data, etc. The medication would remain an integral part of the treatment process, yet it would be more precise considering the individual needs of the patient that other similar patients might not have. This would help aid in curating a more detailed and more proficient therapy plan for the patient.
- Better engagement
For any company, pharma or not, it is increasingly important to create a more improved channel of communication with physician and patients. Nowadays, the use of patient communities has gotten more widespread because they like exchanging information and tips regarding their own symptoms or diseases. These communities can exist on social media, apps, mobile phones, forums, etc. They share medical records and converse with their physicians easily there. This creates the perfect place and opportunity for pharma companies to target and market their products to exactly the ones who need it. These channels of communication prove very informative and beneficial for marketing, advertising and spreading information about your products.
The virtual method of reaching patients and physicians will be more commonplace in just a few years since many companies and departments are already testing out projects to help patients remotely and digitally. Digital care would prove more effective since it would reduce cost, stress, and difficulty of going to consult a physician physically. Pharma companies can take advantage of this by upgrading to a more digitally flexible and progressive marketing strategy. Engaging your clients using a common channel will help them trust you more and your information about your product.
- Data insight for commercial value
Pharmaceuticals are always the ones who have a huge collection of important and sensitive data. They collect data about patients, their medical records, medication history and other such details that can help identify a target a specific patient for your product. Pharma companies need to learn to mine the huge data set they are sitting right on top of. If they mined that data, they would be able to open up a whole new channel for marketing that is more specifically targeted.
Marketing and sales teams could work to mine electronic data about patients using technology that could identify specific patterns and target the ones that need a certain medication based on their medical profile even though they have not yet been diagnosed. Pharma companies can easily mine data collected off of apps, social media, internet, laboratories, insurance claims, medical gadgets, etc. That data could help see the real-world evidence and proof of a drug’s efficiency regarding that certain patient. It could help with reimbursements and clinical trials. By adopting these methods, the treatment process would become more private yet protocolized.
- Improved response time
Digital processes have allowed companies to evolve a lot and bring about many changes in their infrastructure that prove to be beneficial for the business. Technology like Cloud, automated system, mobile sensors, and many others have given companies a chance to improve by a large margin. These digital enhancements can help change the agility and efficiency of complex processes. The processing time and costs can be reduced by a lot and improved transparency would show the accurate chain of processes involved in any project.
Pharma companies could benefit greatly from automated workflows and transparent process especially when it comes to recruitment and management of clinical trials. Automated workflows and transparent processes would improve the settings of the trials so that a patient could feel more comfortable with the trial. Sensors and remote technology would allow physician and laboratory personnel to manage and analyze a trial patient’s record while they go about their day like usual. Physicians could monitor and collect accurate reports as to the progress of in-trial patients with increased transparency.
These are four aspects of pharma that expected to benefit and improve the most with digital innovation over the years. These areas are where technology and digital integration could increase the level of engagement from physicians and patients, the efficiency of responsiveness in business, data-driven evidence and the products to be more personalized for patients. Better care for patients, a commercial model, and innovative progress are all part of the digital success that pharmaceuticals should be striving towards. All that pharma companies need to do is analyze their business needs and customize their own path to success and progress using the value derived from digital innovation in the four aspects detailed above.