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Why the next era in pharma and healthcare will be about patient-centric innovation

Pratyush Prakash, Principal Solution Engineer, Salesforce India, elucidates how the remarkable innovations in the healthcare and pharma industry in the past few years are going to be patient-centric in the next era

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While the lifesciences and healthcare industry has always been important to health and wellness, its impact was especially evident during the COVID-19 breakout. All eyes were on pharma companies as they raced against time to develop medicines that would treat the disease, along with vaccines that would control it. Terminology around molecules, biomolecules, DNA and mRNA recombinants became part of our collective vocabulary.

Globally, the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for emergency use was developed by an American pharma giant in collaboration with a German biotech firm. Soon after that, India’s indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine was cleared for use along with another licensed vaccine developed in the UK. The latter accounts for over two-thirds of the vaccinations delivered in India thus far.

For each of the competing vaccines, the success of the molecule-to-market cycle depended on multiple factors. Those vaccine developers who had proactively aligned their people, processes and technology, were able to serve humanity quicker and better than the competition.

Accelerating the pace of pharma innovation
A paper by Intouch Group and DHC Group states that “COVID has presented ‘big pharma’ with a goodwill generation opportunity that the industry has not seen in a long time. Pharma companies have a unique chance to build on this position of trust.”

Innovation, as we saw during the development of the COVID vaccines, requires better data access and stronger technology. A KPMG survey of CIOs in the pharma sector found that the top data priorities include – expanding and integrating data repositories (60 per cent), scaling data analytics skills (53 per cent) and increasing the organisation’s data literacy (47 per cent).

Many of the legacy systems in pharma companies need re-evaluation to meet these objectives, and support a new age of innovation. The need of the hour is to connect better with patients, doctors, chemists and other stakeholders along the healthcare cycle in their channel and time of their preference.

In the current scenario, the molecule-to-market cycle across the globe needs a stack of solutions that accelerates innovation.

New considerations for a new era of patient-centric innovation
Across the molecule-to-market cycle, companies need to consider a stack of solutions to accelerate innovation. Based on the current industry trends and customer insights, there are possibly four areas at a high level of opportunity for the healthcare and pharma industry to succeed in the ‘next normal.’
Humanise patient engagement: Build a single view of the patient, so that organisations can offer them personalised support, resources and advice throughout their clinical trial journey.
Strengthen healthcare provider relationships: Capture the communication preferences of healthcare providers, so that you can engage them whenever, whereever, and however they want to be reached.
Optimise business results: Leverage powerful analytics and AI-fuelled predictions to monitor participation in clinical trials, track medication adherence, project revenue growth and identify new opportunities.
Accelerate innovation: Streamline and automate the ‘ideation to therapy’ journey for optimal efficiency. Build and scale an enterprise-wide integration touch points faster across enterprise applications, so that teams can share data faster and more seamlessly.

With remote and in-person interactions on the rise across the value chain, the need of the hour is to connect with patients, doctors, chemists and other stakeholders in the medium of their choice along the healthcare cycle.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to innovation, there is a clear need to have systems of engagement that can connect all pharma, payer, patient and provider touchpoints. So, one can coordinate processes better to deliver exceptional experiences.

We have witnessed remarkable innovations in the healthcare and pharma industry in the past few years. This breeds the confidence that the next era in healthcare and pharma would be about patient-centric innovation at a pace which has not been seen before.

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