Digital strategies drive a new innovation model in the pharmaceutical sector – #BHHMembersInitiatives

Companies in the pharmaceutical sector advanced their digital models in 2021, resulting in a 73% increase in digital revenue. Most laboratories will continue to promote their digitalization strategies in 2022, with a larger budget allocated to advance their digital strategies. In this sense, 53% of those who participated in the Multiplica study “Digital Priorities 2022” increased their budget items to develop their digital strategy, 26% say it will remain the same, and only 21% say they will allocate less money for this purpose.

Regarding their digital investment priorities for this year, they emphasize developing digital strategies focused on patients and health professionals, for which a deeper knowledge of the client is required by integrating data to generate decision-making and predictive models based on it. All of this with the aim of offering more personalized experiences.

Experts in the digital field from Gebro, Ferrer, Angelini Pharma and Merck laboratories took part in the event “Innovation: a New Reality in Pharma?” organized in collaboration with Barcelona Health Hub, where they shared their perspectives on how the pharmaceutical industry is approaching innovation to create competitive advantages for its ecosystems in technology.

All participants agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic has served to promote a new innovation model, in which digital strategies are based on adding value to health professionals and patients, as well as generating a positive impact in people’s lives. Sergio Cortés, director of the Business Unit at Ferrer, has stated that “we are adding to the traditional innovation of this industry, a new model of innovation that is more collaborative, more inclusive, and more focused on the patient and the professional.” And this is where the digital comes into play, because when we put this type of innovation at the forefront, digital solutions are key.

The last two years have been critical in accelerating Gebro Pharma’s digital transformation, and “It is important that we do it well because we help people live longer and better,” as Ricart Castellet, Head of Digital Transformation at Gebro Pharma, explained. According to him, it represents a paradigm shift for the entire industry. “This has been a very B2B-focused sector, and now that we have exponential technologies, we can break this dynamic and go B2B2C or B2C.”

Improve patient experience

According to the participants, the patient, who has been digitized for years, is the driving force of the transformation, and it is impossible to stop the digital transformation of a sector when the end user changes. As a result, the patient’s and health professional’s experience is at the top of pharmaceutical’s laboratories’ priority list.

Regarding how the user experience that is offered it “must be personalized, respectful of privacy, providing them choice bringing the treatment and the health professionals closer to the patient,” pointed out Sergio Cortés.

To accomplish this, pharmaceutical companies are working to gain a better understanding of their customers through data. “First you have to listen, and companies that do not take this into account will not be successful,” said Bárbara de Benito, from Merck Group’s Business Operations & Innovation.

Concerns about privacy can be an impediment to personalization in this area. Although users may be hesitant to provide their data due to previous experiences in other sectors, “The moment in which the industry demonstrates that, thanks to new technologies, new applications, and new digital services, we improve their user experience, the privacy barrier will clearly disappear,” Ricard Castellet stated.

Throughout 2022, the pharmaceutical sector will continue to enhance its digital initiatives by integrating data to generate data-driven decision-making models and optimize the delivery of relevant and personalized digital experiences.