Patient Experience: How MedTech Benefits from Digitization2018-10-18T10:40:23.000Z 2018-10-18T10:40:23.000Z Even if you are not an expert in the pharmaceutical business, you might already know that it is one of the most actively developing and profitable industries in the world economy.
Even if you are not an expert in the pharmaceutical business, you might already know that it is one of the most actively developing and profitable industries in the world economy. According to EvaluatePharma’s “World Preview 2017, Outlook to 2022”, in the period of 2017 and 2022 global pharmaceutical market will grow for about 6.5% annually and is forecasted to reach tremendous US$ 1.06 trillion turnovers in 2022.
Compared to many other industries, pharma is a surprisingly stable sector showing gradual growth for years and avoiding sudden downfalls or sustained stagnation. What is more impressive, the positive dynamics of pharma are observed both in economically successful countries and in the ones struggling for a better place in the sun, which is a good sign for investors, indeed. Yet, as long as the pharmaceutical business results are ascending, the companies are keen on cutting-edge software development opportunities to secure stable growth and increase profits in the future.
Globally speaking, patient experience is a set of approaches and behavioral patterns by using which the customers communicate with the medicinal services they are provided with. Since digital technologies are becoming more advanced and distributed, the patients expect to get tighter and more frequent access to healthcare-related processes. These days the customers start perceiving the medical services within a similar scope of convenience and automation as e-commerce or online payment transactions. Thus, consumers become a determinant factor in inpatient experience digitization.
Focus on Patient Experience
In today’s world of dynamic digitization, the pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare services seem to be identified among those segments where the consumer takes less initiative comparing to other sectors such as, for example, online hotel booking applications. For instance, when you are looking for suitable accommodation for your summer vacation, there is no doubt you will visit plenty of online services, check the location, price, method of payment, other clients’ reviews, etc. to render a reasonable decision. In other words, you take the lead in the process of interaction with a digital service provided.
Quite the reverse, in the modern pharmaceutical industry, the patient experience patterns are more unpowered. The thing is patients often forget what medicinal products they have to take, when, and in which dosage. Moreover, they might sometimes forget the details of their health status accompanied by doctor’s prescriptions and recommendations. Thus, when it comes to health care services, namely medication administration, the patients tend to remain unengaged or slightly engaged in the interaction process.
To help the patients to adhere to the treatment plan, the medical service vendor has to maintain a sufficient level of an initiative such as the issuance of instructions, reminders, status updates, and notifications. All these requirements demonstrate that pharma is characterized by a well-trodden interaction model where the consumers allocate fewer efforts towards healthcare treatment, leaving a broad space for the digitized initiative to be applied.
Making allowance for the reactive nature of patients’ behavioral patterns observed in the pharmaceutical business, the software vendors explore the huge potential of introducing digital innovations to transform the situation. Thanks to solid expertise collected by software development companies in multiple other industries for years, now the vendors and investors are equipped with the most innovative tools to face the challenge of pharma digital transformation aspiring for better communication and user interaction.
Current Status of Pharma and Software Convergence
Similar to multiple other sectors, healthcare businesses have already explored the effectiveness of using SaaS, Software as a Service, to navigate and control marketing and sales data. On the other hand, lots of ventures prefer adopting CRM systems to administrate patients, treatment courses, prescriptions, and so on. The regular CRM systems are capable of collecting patient data and enhancing communication between medical companies and their clients.
What about patient experience, main pharmaceutical companies have already demonstrated successful use of mobile applications to facilitate interconnectivity and involvement of patients in healthcare services supplying process. For instance, world-known pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has launched its application Quitter’s Circle. This digital solution is aimed to assist those patients who want to quit smoking by complexing customer’s responses and reactions to accentuate the problem and to drag the patient into the intensive communication process. This application is nonprofit, but still, the company is leveraging getting deeper insights into customers’ preferences when interacting with digital patient experience.
Clinical trials are another field of software adoption in the pharmaceutical industry in order to get approval from the regulatory authority on medication’s efficiency and safety. Typically, clinical trials are characterized by lots of requirements and limitations, including precise timing, reinforced personal data security, and continuous medical monitoring of the health of patients. Since the human factor is the most probable cause for making an error, the specific software will help to aggregate clinical trials in-process data, perform swift data analysis and secure confidential pieces of information in the safest way.
In a likely manner, software development can be promotive of pharmaceutical business digitization by observing patients’ health status, recording abnormal deviations, and systematizing obtained information in well-organized electronic databases. Thus, the doctors and the pharmacists will be able to design individual treatment courses and to issue necessary prescriptions based on multiple parameters analyzed. Such digital diagnostics enhanced by using the Internet of Things and Machine Learning will increase the productiveness of personnel working as well as mitigate the risk of administering wrong medications caused by a human factor.
As long as some pharmaceutical businesses are dragging their heels in adopting digital solutions, other companies are in overdrive. These days we are observing boosting myriads of startups focused on digitization of healthcare and pharmaceutical services by introducing cutting-edge software products to manage patients’ in a better and faster way. Over the long term, more medical businesses are expected to invest in digital innovations since they ensure the disruption of common patient experiences and entering a new phase of interaction between a pharmacist and a patient.
Digital Pharma Perspectives
According to StartUp Health’s Year-End Insights Report for 2017, the digital health startups surpassed US $11.5 billion in 2017. The vast share of this investment was made by the biggest pharmaceutical market players, such as Novartis as well as Merck and Johnson & Johnson. This fact proves the forecast that since pharmaceutical giants place a stake on digitization course represented by specialized software generation, smaller pharma businesses will catch up with the rest.
By acquiring the most promising digital pharma startups or by investing in exclusive specialized software solutions, the pharmaceutical companies perform necessary groundwork for establishing innovative communication channels with the patients for many years ahead. They transform patient experience patterns by alloying new business approaches with comprehensive digital tools such as Big Data processing, cloud technologies, Machine Learning, chatbots, and virtualization. Indeed, when investing in pharma software, the businesses may count on dramatic profits increase.
Digital Software Forecast
Besides pharmaceutical businesses and patients, software developers and testers play a crucial role in delivering top-notch quality pharma applications. Developing pharmaceutical web or mobile applications is not a novel area, and the current level of developers’ expertise is more than adequate for these tasks. Yet, skeptics signalize the difference between patient data and other types of data being digitized like online payment transactions and e-commerce records as the medical records require a higher level of privacy, and the damage because of this data leakage may be much worse. Therefore, special attention has to be paid to data security features, for example, by using blockchain technology.
In addition, when talking about software integration in the pharmaceutical business, patient’s convenience is a top priority, which is why the development of mobile applications for healthcare needs plays center stage. Being equipped with the power of Artificial Intelligence and IoT, soon, we might be observing a dynamic drift to mobile platforms in order to deliver exceptional quality of innovative patient experience in the pharma industry.