With the advent of home health monitors and wearables, companies have unprecedented access to patient data. Yet many life sciences companies do not yet have the digital infrastructure and—most important—the talent to use these data well.
As data-first tech companies enter the life sciences arena, the search for data-savvy talent will intensify as incumbents fight to remain competitive. McLaren—best known for its Formula 1 racing team and high-end cars—built its success in part on its advanced capabilities in streaming and analyzing real-time sensor data. Now the company is bringing this data-centric disruption capability to life sciences through a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline.2 The initial focus of the partnership is consumer health care, with a long-term goal to fund more clinical research. For instance, McLaren’s sensor and telemetry expertise has been adapted to monitor recovery in stroke victims and people suffering from severe arthritis, allowing clinicians to record when and to what degree patients are mobile.
Such partnerships and scenarios are increasingly commonplace and will likely disrupt life sciences companies’ talent strategy. How? Look no further than the real-world analytics mindset that is now key to finding the value hidden in the data. And it’s about much more than crunching numbers within controlled settings. As data collection moves from the lab to patients’ everyday lives, the skill set required to process, analyze and plan care also changes, as do the roles and functions within companies.
Some have already moved in this direction. Sanofi created the role of chief patient officer, and hired a clinician for the job. And Biogen has hired an executive vice president of technology and business solutions, reporting directly to the CEO, to lead what the company calls “efforts to leverage advanced analytics to inform the drug discovery process, unlock new insights from clinical data and improve patient care through tools such as wearable and ingestible devices.”3
Digitally savvy talent with experience in patient-care settings bring the disruptive influence necessary to turn brick-and-mortar-based operations into responsive—even anticipatory—scalable enterprises with vastly lower cost structures. No less is required to create positive, value-based patient outcomes.