Express Pharma

How technology is making life easy for pharma companies and consumers

Sagarika Sarolia, Sr Manager - Analyst and Client Management, Stratbeans outlines how digital technologies are helping pharma companies to have a better connect with consumers, improve the entire patient journey and enhance public health

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Of late, the pharmaceutical industry has been under the spotlight, given the global health crisis. Be it the development of COVID-19 vaccine and other related drugs, ensuring supplies of essential medicine to every nook and corner or product quality assessment, these companies have been juggling too many balls to support the public healthcare system. Thankfully, the concurrent adoption of digital technologies has helped pharma companies address several of these challenges effectively and make lives easy (and safe) for their millions of consumers.

Let us discover some use cases where digital technologies are helping the pharma industry to make a positive impact upon consumers:

Engaging consumer interface

Digital-savvy consumers are extremely familiar with chatbots and interact with these in many situations, be it booking their cab, making investment decisions, or ordering food online. Using the same affinity, pharmaceutical companies are leveraging chatbots to offer 24X7 support to consumers and provide them information about COVID-19 protocols and resources, availability of medicine and medical equipment, knowledge about certain health conditions or directions on using medical devices, etc. Using the power of AI and machine learning, these chatbots can replicate a human-like experience in a text or audio conversation and personalise it for repeating.

Data-driven decision-making

In today’s world, perhaps no industry needs as much evidence-based decision making as pharma and healthcare. Big data and artificial intelligence empower pharma companies to ingest heaps of empirical data and build predictive models about their clinical trials, supply chains, drug discovery and many other use cases. This also helps the companies launch targetted drugs based on deeper insights about a specific population and health condition. The companies can even identify the right partners for marketing and selling their drugs, without having to direct huge chunk of their manual resources into research and scouting. In short, big data and AI helps pharma companies make insightful decisions for all business aspects and be more competitive and effective.

Digital sales enablement for increased efficiency of MRs

Like every industry, pharma companies depend on skilled teams to drive sales. However, due to learning barriers, complex problems and consumer needs, these teams often fall short of meeting the expectations. Pharma companies are bridging these gaps by introducing digital learning and onboarding tools for MRs especially. Such sales enablement tools offer personalised recommendations for relevant coaching and assistance to MRs and the workforce who is directly interacting with the end customer. They can practice their sales pitch in smart AI-based simulated scenarios and seek expert feedback. They also have access to an artificial intelligence-based digital briefcase that provides all the required details as per situation and customer profile. This helps pharma companies reduce their product launch time by as much as by 57 per cent and achieve better control on their revenue and brand building.

Strengthening the online footprint to driving mass awareness

Today, consumers are more health and wellness conscious as compared to any time before. They seek reliable and easy-to-understand information about healthcare. They also tap the digital world when they need information about nearby medical resources. Technology is helping pharma companies increase their online footprint and be closer to such consumers. People can now identify online forums, e-books, mobile apps, blogs and websites which provide them with relevant information about various health conditions and medicines. Thus, creating and sharing valued-added content helps pharma companies grow their audience. Having this targeted base of customers also helps the companies grow their sales and brand loyalty in the longer run.

The list of digital tools and strategies which help pharma companies have a better connect with consumers is long. The above aspects are merely a small representation of the entire white space. Using these strategies help companies to improve the entire patient journey and gain their trust. This also goes a long way towards contributing to improve public health.

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