How the Pharmaceutical Industry Can Embrace Digital Healthcare

November 5, 2020 Scott O'Connell

Like many industries in the wake of COVID-19, the pharmaceutical industry is experiencing the need for an accelerated digital transformation. With artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data, and other tech-led healthcare solutions already a core part of the industry's transformation initiatives, the pandemic brought a laser focus to delivering more value to customers throughout a product's or platform's lifecycle. 

Digital health care delivery on a tablet via telemedicine

The pandemic also decreased people's access to care at the peak of infections and helped drive the desire for remote cloud-based health services, such as telemedicine, which were already gaining traction due to their convenience and flexibility.  

Online Medical Resources Are Exploding 

With a growing focus on prevention, we have also seen a boom in online medical resources where medical information on everything from the common cold to depression is readily available to health and life sciences consumers. With just a few clicks, swipes, and taps, consumers can engage with medical professionals and online communities of people with similar health diagnoses and wellness interests.  

Through cloud-based health platforms, patients can also be more accountable by accessing their personal medical histories and seeking meaningful connections and feedback in patient support groups.  

Let's be honest. How many of us are self-diagnosing on the Web or seeking information on wellness and longevity hacks? 

It’s a common practice to look for healthcare info on the Web and by providing reliable online medical resources, patients can learn what their next steps should be in receiving the care they need. 

Rethinking the Digital Healthcare Experience 

Black father and daughter enjoy a better patient experience with telemedicine via laptop

Digital health websites, platforms, and mobile apps have expanded access to data for patients, providers, caregivers, and the medical professional community. As people increasingly adopt desktop and mobile solutions that enable convenient remote cloud-based health services, we’re going to see a stratospheric rise in cross-channel experiences.  
With the digital-first trend, the pharmaceutical industry will have to (re)examine their user experience (UX), user interfaces (UI), e-accessibility standards, search visibility, and multichannel marketing capabilities to shape better products, platforms, and channel-adaptive communications.  

Doctors Embrace Digital Too 

Even doctors who relied on medical journals to stay up-to-date with the latest medical news and innovations are now turning to online research portals.  

The Internet has created new opportunities to enhance customer satisfaction and positively shaped patient-physician dynamics. Rapid digitization and evolving consumer preferences are bringing convenience, choice, and patient-centricity to the forefront — making digital healthcare a priority investment.  

AI in the Hunt for Miracle Drugs 

The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly integrating AI into new drug development discoveries and gaining insights into potential life-threatening diseases by sifting through patient datasets using cloud-based analytics platforms.  

Adopting a digital-first approach has resulted in innovative technology models that will help pharmaceutical companies venture into uncharted medical areas and help physicians identify rare diseases. 

A growing number of healthcare startups are using AI to aid in early-stage drug discovery.  Today biomedical researchers are harnessing AI to mine databases for valuable information, which deep and machine learning tools then use to develop effective new drugs for niche healthcare treatments.   

Smarter Drug Research and Development  

From antibody selection and post-marketing surveillance activities, every stage of the drug discovery process has room for advanced machine learning capabilities.  

 As a result, more pharmaceutical companies are looking to machine learning to cut costs and improve the drug design and development process. 

Infrastructure Consolidation and Cost Optimization  

Takeda, Japan's largest pharmaceutical company, selected Wipro, Appirio’s parent company, to simplify and streamline their operations. To drive value across the entire R&D to care delivery lifecycle, Wipro is helping the organization build and maintain a global platform that will enable the pharma leader to connect data, systems, and insights across its entities through a standardized IT architecture.  

Since 2014, Wipro has provided IT infrastructure managed services across Takeda's entities worldwide, touching 30,000 users in 16 different languages, operating out of data centers in Asia, Europe, and North America. 

Like Wipro, Appirio specializes in helping global pharma companies achieve leaner, consolidated, and simplified workplaces and build resilient business models with patient-centricity at their core. We help the pharmaceutical industry adapt to a digital audience, embrace personalized omnichannel experiences, and infuse intelligence into their operations to free their precious talent to focus on high-value business activities. 

Ready to explore how to level up digital healthcare? 

From online medical resources to comprehensive cloud-based health services, get in touch to learn how to propel your business forward.   


Putting Patient at the Core

About the Author

Scott O'Connell

Scott O'Connell is the Senior GTM Manager of Appirio's Health and Life Science vertical. He is an experienced marketing professional with a successful track record of helping companies bring products to market, improving their brand awareness, and fostering customer engagement.

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