Beyond Medication: How Digital Technologies Are Transforming the Pharma & Healthcare Industry

In today’s modern digital age the expectations of how healthcare is delivered are changing and patients are more informed than ever. Consumers & Patients are taking control over their own healthcare and driving change, preferring a more convenient way to get medical services and access information.

Its upfront that Digital technology has increased the pace of change in consumer and patient expectations, and now pharma and healthcare organizations has to start responding to changing customer needs.

The notion that customer experience matters in pharma is old now. Pharma executives wants to focus more on it, still pharma is rated among the least customer-friendly industries.

Patients’ expectations in healthcare continues to increase and this is something that needs to be managed adequately in order to improve outcomes and provide proactive care.

Consumers are increasingly expecting the same level of experiences from brands, whether they be digital trend setters like Amazon and Apple or healthcare providers. Pharma companies are looking at how digital can improve the relationship their sales reps have with their customers and how they can impact the experience for the end consumer or patient.

In order to succeed in this high-pace era, Pharma & healthcare brands has to focus on the customer experience by putting the customer at the center.

Let’s understand how trends looks like and where brands can improve: 7 ways digital technologies are transforming the Pharma and healthcare industry.

  1. Improved Patient- Physician Engagement: A obvious area for improvement is to improve patient journey. From the healthcare provider’s point of view, the visit, diagnosis, treatment selection and condition management stages are all points where the patient could be more involved / better updated. Patient portals, apps and online communities are increasingly commonplace. The second and third generations of this technology should help improve customer experience.
  2. Content optimization tops’ the digital priority: Pharma companies need to deliver more timely and relevant content to physician and healthcare providers. Pharma and healthcare companies should start focusing on targeting and personalization in order to deliver contextual experiences to Patients and HCPs. Survey with Pharma executives shows that multichannel campaigns, social media and mobile apps would play a critical role to transform the overall experiences.
  3. Providing consumer experience, not just medication: Whilst drugs are vital in treating many diseases and conditions, there is much more for the patient and physician to consider. That could be anything from education or advice, to emotional support. Pharma companies have always engaged with the end consumer but digital technology ultimately empowered at much greater scale. In order to do well, pharma companies should create more outcome-based solutions which can enables patients to engage with physician & third parties easily. In order to achieve this they must not only assist with holistic patient care in this way, but must also advocate a combination of therapeutics, whether or not they themselves manufacture them. Consumers are ever more motivated by finding the best treatment at the very affordable cost, and pharma must provide the best outcome-based approach to cut through. Some pharma companies are partnering with third-party tech companies in an effort to promote an unbiased presence in the market.
  4.  Improved sales & marketing practices: Most of the private healthcare professionals or providers still meet many medical reps from the various pharma companies. This is understandable but from a consumer point of view, busy healthcare professionals (HCPs) expects more flexible solution which can give them quick insights when they are ready. Now, pharma companies are leveraging customer facing and back of house digital technologies to provide the same. CRM & Marketing Automation systems can help pharma companies to have a single customer view and digital communication channels can provide access to samples and resources for HCPs and patients.
  5. Real-world data and drug development: Pharma industry are getting transformed by the health analytics. They already have many health analytics solutions which can help them to successfully develop the drug, run the clinical trials, conduct the pharmacovigilance and optimize. Pharma companies will have access to much more real-world data and this will undoubtedly assist them to transform the overall experience.
  6. Improving diagnostics and adherence: In the era of smart phones & wearable devices, it’s very much possible to get to reliable access to patient & HCP data in the real-time manner. Indeed, concept of the connected human being given personalized care and improved diagnostics.
  7. Bringing efficiency in R&D and supply chain: Customer relationship management (CRM) is a model for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. CRM is not just about running email campaign & increasing sales through customer-facing technology or through analytics. Pharma companies can utilize such digital technologies in drug production too. Pharma companies can leverage real-time technology to improve R&D, conduct clinical trials, and the supply chain could benefit from better sales and operations planning. CRM can help Pharma companies to reduce data entry, improve purchasing, automate tasks, improve warehousing, improve procurement, create a means of tracking, support business growth. enhance SRM (Supplier Relationship Management).

Bottom line

It’s very obvious that pharma & healthcare companies should ensure digital is a part of the DNA of the organization, where digital and traditional are fully integrated. Digital will complement traditional methods and outcomes would be exponential.

Digital transformation represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with the people at the center of its focus.

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