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August 28, 2014
Social, Mobile and Cloud Capabilities are Transforming the Future of the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries
By: Anne O'Riordan

The recent webinar co-hosted by and Accenture on how social, mobile and cloud are transforming health and pharma was attended by over 200 executives. With healthcare costs and product innovation at a crossroads, the subject of how digital technologies can change in the industry is clearly a hot topic. The attendees’ interest in the subject was palpable during the 45-minute discussion.

The discussion kicked off with some of the remarkable changes taking place today in the industry that are reshaping the life sciences landscape and most particularly how the industry is beginning to galvanize around delivering better patient outcomes in cost-effective ways. As we watch and participate in this pivot to the patient, it is hard to deny that this is one of the most exciting times of innovation, collaboration and technology advancement that we have witnessed. A few interesting facts:

  • Since the peak of the patent cliff in 2012, product launches are on the rebound and the ratio of replacement revenue to sales lost due to expired products is rising and on track to exceed previous levels by 2020.

  • Brazil, Russia, India and China continue to increase in market size and will drastically alter the geographic focus of the industry with all four countries expected to be in the top 10 markets by 2017. (The Global Use of Medicines: Outlook through 2017 –IMS Health Nov-13)

  • The population represented in the top 10 Pharma markets by Sales, is expected to rise approximately 60% between 2012 and 2017, and the number of doctors increase by 31%, however, the average spend per patient is expected to decrease by 24%. (Accenture Research based on Economist Intelligence Unit Jun-14 and IMS Health Nov-13)

Meanwhile, customers and patients are expecting more from the healthcare industry in specific ways:

  • 76% of patients think pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to provide information and services that complement the products they sell.*

  • 63% of patients want rewards programs, while only 10% receive them.*

  • 64% of patients are willing to provide information on their health in exchange for free information or services.*

  • 75% of US Physicians are using their smart phones at work and 60% use social media for professional purposes. (Kantar media Nov-13)

  • 9% of the US population owned a wearable fitness device in 2013, three times that of 2012. $1billion in revenue is expected in 2014. (Consumer Electronics Association Dec-13)

To take advantage of this shifting landscape, Accenture and Salesforce have joined forces to develop a suite of solutions that help healthcare companies significantly improve customer and patient engagement in new ways that leverage cloud, social and mobile. One example of these new solutions is the Accenture Connected Physician Solution which offers physicians a ground-breaking, simple way to access disease, treatment and product information. In addition, this solution provides training and the ability to collaborate with fellow doctors and medically trained pharmaceutical experts. Built on a Salesforce1 based application, it is mobile enabled across multiple platforms, providing health care professionals access to the information they need on any device, anytime. It also gives life sciences companies the opportunity to build customer loyalty while capturing additional information that allows them to better understand how to provide physicians with the data they need to best serve their patients.

Just think of it - a physician has a new treatment he or she is considering. With a few easy touches, no matter where he or she is, they can access this portal, get all the information they need on this new treatment, see what other physicians think about it, access recent articles about the new treatment and the disease it treats, and even schedule an appointment to meet someone from the pharmaceutical company to talk in further detail. That is the kind of well-informed and networked physician I want to consult with about my health, what about you?

*Great Expectations: Why Pharma Companies Can’t Ignore Patient Services, Accenture, 2014

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