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Digital Disruption for Life Sciences: Rx for Transformation

Co-authored with Ibrahim Khalid

According to a recent BMI study, R&D investments in Pharmaceuticals, places Life Sciences as a leader on the list of global ‘outperforming industries’. This may not be a surprise considering the confluence of factors from the global aging populations to the shift to value and outcomes as well as a highly politicized healthcare marketplace. In addition, the consumerization of health care is driving growth in multi-channel marketing and more social media and digital engagements.

This new frontier is truly the ‘digital disruption’ in this industry that is shaking up even the stodgiest companies. We are seeing renewed drive for innovation and investments in conversations with leading biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical device companies. Meanwhile, according to Gartner Group, today, “leading life science companies are increasing focus by establishing organizational entities that focus on digital innovation.” What is the prescription for tackling this new frontier? Rapid digital transformation enabled by Internet of Everything (IoE).

At the recent Generis BioManufacturing Summit, stakeholders across Life Sciences functional areas were seeking a greater technological edge to drive a competitive advantage. Randal Kenworthy presented on the topic of the Internet of Everything (IoE) and its impact on the Life Sciences industry, including use cases across the value chain from R&D to Connected Care. There was resounding agreement as we discussed the business drivers, which cluster around some common themes including:

  • How to accelerate research, lowering risks and improving health outcomes through precision medicine
  • How to better leverage information from new connected data sources with analytics.
  • The best practices around creating smart connected factories by enabling manufacturers to increase compliance, reduce cost and increase operation excellence with IoE
  • Steps to create a connected supply chain to increase visibility, traceability and compliance

In discussing case studies on improving patient health through Connected Care, we were struck by how exciting developments in virtual collaboration, data virtualization, medical grade networks and more can enable breakthrough innovations. A great example of that IoE innovation came from Jeremy Frank of Proteus Digital Health. Dr. Frank did a live demo of the digitization of health care by swallowing their sensor enabled pill that began displaying some of his health metrics live (over the Cisco network).

Life Sciences 6.16 Blog

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The New Rules of Patient Engagement

Last year Ernst & Young coined the term ‘Pharma 3.0’ describing an ecosystem where healthcare innovation shifts from being product centric to an outcomes focus.  This market transition has come as a result of the generally recognized lack of a sustainable model in global healthcare concurrent with rapid advancements in healthcare technology.  This paradigm shift has created multiple transitions in the healthcare market, including how products come to market and how corporate enterprises mobilize their resources.  It has also has opened the door for traditional biotech and pharm companies to invest in non-drug innovations like Smartphone Apps and offering services aimed at improving overall health outcomes through disease management and coordinated care.  This is happening at a time when patients are becoming more informed and more engaged with managing their healthcare decisions.

Speaking on a panel at BIO 2012 in Boston this week, Robert Prachar, senior vice president at Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., stated that there is an abundance of information out there, but “The question becomes how we build decision-support systems that are patient- and physician-friendly rather than just whatever flows to the top in a Google search? Anyway you cut it, we are still in an employment-based health care system…If we start to deliver coordinated care that works, people will pay for that.”

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