Top 7 Digital Transformation Trends in Pharma To Look Forward To

Jan 05 2023

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The Rise of Digital Transformation in The Pharmaceutical Industry

Leaders of the pharma and life sciences industry are always amidst unprecedented change. Ostensibly, global evolution has accelerated the rate of change by making organizations reconsider clinical trials, drug development, and patient treatment. But, most importantly, the change has spurred the adoption of digital transformation in pharma to gather data insights to execute business strategies, improve patient access and support, provide brand value propositions, and faster time to market drugs.

This blog provides insights on what 'digital transformation in pharma' means and which trends pharma companies should capitalize on to stay on top of their games.

Digital Transformation in Pharma

Digital transformation in pharma means the positive impact the technology is bringing in the field of drugs and care delivery. Telehealth, AI-enabled medical solutions, virtual reality, connected care, self-monitoring, and big data analytics are just a few examples of digital transformation. And these trends are entirely redefining how we improve interaction with health practitioners, how our data is shared among other healthcare providers, and how decisions are made about our clinical trials, treatment, and health outcomes.

Know that digital Innovation is the game here, with the main objective of streamlining physicians' work, optimizing systems, improving efficiency, uncovering new business opportunities, building better relationships with patients and prescribers, and importantly reducing human errors.

One good example is GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). This British multinational pharmaceutical company partnered with Icreon to improve digital business marketing operations and productivity by selecting the right technologies, building the right capabilities, and implementing the most efficient processes.

A report published by Statistica says that "the global digital health market is forecasted to grow from USD 145.8 billion in 2022 to USD 256.3 billion by 2027, which is a speed of a CAGR of 11.94% during the forecast period 2022-2027."

Seeing this upward trend, pharma leaders need to embrace digital technology to bring in more business.

How Can Digital Transformation Reshape the Pharma Industry: Latest Trends Revealed

The pharmaceutical industry is witnessing a massive revamp from drug discovery advancement to innovative breakthroughs (telemedicine and online care), AI, and marketing automation. Here are top trends uplifting the pharma and life sciences face.

Faster Time-to-Market for Drug Discovery

Technologies are playing a significant role in drug discovery. Using AI and Big Data, pharma companies can perform early-stage experiments to lower time and costs by bringing new drug formulations faster to the market. The whole process of the research and development cycle spanning data management, drug testing, and trials, involve digitally driven solutions for which pharma is collaborating with health-tech partners to expedite the journey of drug discovery.

AI and Hyper-Personalization

The term hyper personalization means good business results, provided that healthcare providers receive highly relevant content. With AI, real-time data can be harnessed to deliver highly targeted content. Hyper personalization allows pharma brands to engage with customers better and develop more robust and meaningful relationships. For example- a progressive sequence of questions in automated chat conversations enables pharma executives to identify customer needs in a detailed manner. This further allows the data to be sorted into individual personas, each with unique use cases, such as email chains that are customized based on each customer's needs.

Telehealth and Online Patient Care

The rise of remote healthcare and telehealth will be a new trend in pharma marketing. As people turn to mobile more, it has become a game-changing aspect of the industry. Recent global changes also made health practitioners shift to telehealth platforms for care delivery through phones, apps, or websites. Digital platforms offer care, saw exponential growth, and created new opportunities for pharma brands to explore digital mediums.

According to combined research conducted by BCG and the Future of Work, it has been found that over 70% of prescribers are interested in healthcare companies that are using digital mediums.

Companies like Mednections, a doctor referral platform, offer a robust web-based platform for primary care. The portal uses emerging technologies like Machine Learning based service (Amazon Polly), Artificial Intelligence and Voice Response as the primary technologies to make it convenient for physicians to provide on-demand healthcare to patients suffering from specific disorders that match their expertise and schedule.

Connected Healthcare Using Wearables

Another trend in digital transformation in the pharma industry is the increasing adoption of wearable technology. Currently, patients focus on prevention and maintenance and seek information on most health vitals more frequently. As a result, healthcare companies are fast moving towards wearables and connected devices, where IoT sensors (heart rate, oximeters, exercise trackers, etc.) provide first-level diagnostics very intuitively

According to combined research conducted by BCG and the Future of Work, it has been found that over 70% of prescribers are interested in healthcare companies that are using digital mediums.

Other crucial benefits of connected healthcare include personalization of healthcare experiences, insurance incentives, and gamification opportunities. Furthermore, this Innovation can help healthcare providers to save money. Iqvia’s study reveals that wearables & devices can save the U.S. healthcare system around $7 billion annually.

Blockchain Technology

All over the world recently, blockchain has become the new norm. It has transformed several complex architectures and helped businesses acquire new levels of success. 

Blockchain is a technology, or we can say, more of an evolutionary digital architecture, that helps lodge and record transactions and activities by categorizing them into chronological blocks of information. These records are encrypted and secured with cryptographic algorithms. 

Pharma and healthcare industries are utilizing blockchain technologies to develop a secure, unified solution for efficient management of pharma supply chains worldwide. The distributed blockchain network facilitates the compact and comprehensive supply chain whose endpoints are connected with pharma professionals worldwide. In other words, we can say that blockchain technology has been proven to be a recent yet successful trend for the traceability, security, and visibility of the pharmaceutical supply chain it provides to HCPs. 

Emphasis on the Value Proposition

In the past, no emphasis was given to the drug's value proposition. When markets are competitive, it is the case that the strongest participant wins or the one who communicates the market to the best wins. This year, the demand for brand value propositions supported by clinical and real-world facts will gain momentum. And as patients and decision-makers are armed with more and more information, the new value proposition needs to fit in with each individual's experience, behaviors, and needs. Pharma leaders must develop strategies and tactics that support value-based recommendations to thrive in the competitive market. For example, Jazz Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, is teamed up with Icreon to develop an enterprise-level digital strategy to help the company stand out from the competition.

Natural Language Processing for Patient Enrollment

Today, NLP is everywhere: in word and sentence predictions of email, in smart assistants, in personalized search results, and inaccurate online translations. Pharma companies are tapping the NLP expertise to collect valuable information from unstructured piles of data. Furthermore, in the clinical trials process, NLP helps analyze a large dataset and identify doctors or influencers within a specific dataset to tackle problems about patient recruitment.

Doctors who haven't participated in any clinical trials can identify with the NLP. These principal investigators can source patients that fit a clinical trial's criteria. In addition, the information gathered by NLP can help other research organizations expand the market and save costs spent on marketing by deploying many resources.

Step Up to Transform Your Pharmacy and Healthcare Business 

In the coming time, digital transformation will only continue to grow as a fair share of pharmaceutical and healthcare spending. By running parallel to the pandemic, pharma companies need to reconsider their business strategies to suit the current scenario and navigate smoothly to the next. Undoubtedly, challenges will come along the journey, but the key is to respond fast to the emerging needs of customers and investors. And most importantly, always stay updated with the latest developments and trends in the industry to stand ahead of the competition.

At Icreon, we understand the importance of digital transformation. Connect with our experts today to transform your old pharma business operations. Explore Icreon's Digital Transformation Services.