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How pharma and life sciences can meet major challenges by differentiating service offerings

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Monoclonal antibodies, stem cells, biotech, messenger RNA vaccines: over the last 10 years, advances in life sciences have led to exciting therapeutic innovations. The unprecedented alliance of genetics, data, imaging, and robotics is contributing to the emergence of ever more agile innovation ecosystems, grouped under the same objective: provide patients with new methods of diagnosis and effective treatments. While the role of the pharmaceutical industry remains crucial in this new paradigm, it must also reinvent itself to remain competitive and in tune with the needs of doctors as well as the ones of their patients. Continuum of care, prevention, personalization of healthcare offers and differentiation strategies: it is by using products and services developed by the new e-health players that the pharma and life sciences industry can effectively meet the challenges implied by a more efficient or a more complex and connected healthcare world.

Encourage continuum of care

More and more, patients will have to be cared for outside hospital walls. Therapeutic effectiveness and compliance programs that were traditionally “controllable and monitored” by health care institutions during hospital stays will become less common. In this context, with shorter hospital stays and patients constantly on the move, pharmaceutical groups will want to have real-life data on patients to better assess the therapeutic effectiveness of their treatment, particularly when it will come to price negotiations. Connected and digital healthcare tools adapted to each therapy and use case can optimize the continuum of patient care between healthcare establishments, cities, and patients’ homes. It really appears as an additional opportunity for laboratories to strengthen their connections with the various stakeholders around the patient.

Differentiate from other laboratories

The expiration of patents and the rise of generic medication will lead pharmaceutical companies to offer new services around medication to strengthen their relationship with healthcare professionals.  By focusing only on medication, it will be difficult for a laboratory to distinguish itself from others. The solution lies in “beyond the pill”, in other words it lies in the ability to take advantage of new technologies to offer new services that go beyond basic medication. Several laboratories have therefore understood this specific issue by creating their own entity to develop e-health solutions, or by forming partnerships with IT companies.

Personalize the care offer by combining products and services

To gain efficiency and to create value, laboratories will have to increasingly become part of the inevitable development of e-health and the opportunities that go with it: medication, medical devices, connected devices, or even healthcare applications. One of the best ways to create value is to offer healthcare solutions that combine products and services. In this way, laboratories will be able to:

  • Facilitate the work of practitioners, by providing them with more information on the health condition of their patients, the effectiveness of prescribed medication and by equipping them with decision support tools.
  • Improve the doctor-patient relationship and help patients to take better care of themselves, while at the same time addressing issues of non-compliance.
  • Promote home management of increasingly serious patients at an early stage with the help of private practitioners. 
  • Respond to the challenges that healthcare institutions will have to face, and furthermore reduce the congestion of hospital services, by equipping patients with remote monitoring devices enabling them to remain at home in a familiar environment.
  • Provide real-life data to payers based on the effectiveness of funded products and services
  • Benefit from differentiated brand image, by communicating more on the service provided to healthcare professionals, as well as on the improvement of the patients’ comfort of life

In this new value chain, all the products and services that are offered are designed accordingly to the customer journey of each of the players implied in the medication industry, with benefits designed for the long term. Personalizing the healthcare offer by combining products and services is a real opportunity for laboratories to provide a global service to practitioners, and to create a new relationship between them and the pharmaceutical companies as well.

Integrate prevention, monitoring and prediction into service delivery

Chronic diseases represent an annual cost of 115 billion euros to the countries of the European Union, or 0.8% of GDP. Given the aging of the population, it is inevitably a major challenge. In this context, it is not surprising that health authorities are increasingly insisting on the importance of prevention, which could save several billion euros every year in Europe. Even though the Social Security budget allocated to prevention has remained unchanged for 15 years, but that is another story.

Completely in line with actual predictive, preventive, and personalized healthcare, which is organized around evidence and care pathways, many innovative players are now offering patients a better understanding of their state of health. This paradigm shift requires laboratories to diversify their portfolio, by including more therapeutic education, telemonitoring and prediction for patients with chronic pathologies to limit or to anticipate any kind of recurrences. Here again, digital technology represents a crucial source of help for laboratories. As part of what could be called a more “around the pill” approach, it can be used to improve the effectiveness of medication by setting up associated services. As part of this strategy, digital technology will make it possible to find additional sources of revenue apart from using medication itself.

Thanks to its expertise in the integration of sensors on wearables, Chronolife has come up with a portfolio of patented technological tools, enabling laboratories to offer a new generation of medical devices that meet health and safety certifications. These solutions allow the pharmaceutical industry to position itself on a differentiating service offer, to be one step ahead of the competition, and of course in compliance with security protocols with respect to patient data.

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