Digital transformation changes not only how life sciences companies operate, but also what they aim to achieve. Better data access and use unlocks hidden insights and sets a new pace in research and development. During the pandemic, the University of Basel was involved in a global “Virtual Pharmacy” project to screen almost a billion substances as potential treatments for COVID-19.
Armed with the right data, physicians and pharmaceutical companies can target their offering to get the best possible outcomes for patients. And it’s increasingly outcomes that count. In an environment of intense cost pressure, payers are embracing outcome-based remuneration models (pay-for-performance). If companies are prepared to share data or collaborate in other ways, product pipelines will be much quicker.
The overall burden on healthcare resources could be massively reduced in a system focusing on predictability, prevention, precision and personalization. Investment will still be necessary, but we’ll see a shift in spending towards predictive analytics, personalized treatments and preventative approaches. Combined with the trend towards greater individual responsibility for health, today’s healthcare landscape could become unrecognizable.
Pharmacies, doctors’ offices and hospitals would also be transformed by an approach that proactively predicts, manages and treats conditions. Direct cloud delivery of healthcare data from wearables could also cut the need for in-person visits. Use of telemedicine spiked during the COVID-19 crisis, when non-essential medical interventions were postponed. If this trend continues, the need for patients to report in person at a hospital or other facility will decrease even further. A more participatory care approach could also accelerate trends toward treatment at home as providers embrace new cost-efficient settings for medical services.