2016: The Year of the Data-Driven Healthcare and Life Sciences Organization

Guest post by Ramon Chen, CMO, Reltio.

Ramon Chen
Ramon Chen

Patient-centricity , patient centered thinking, and the rise of the “p-suite” in pharma companies continued a trend established over a year ago when Sanofi broke new ground by hiring Dr. Anne Beal, former deputy executive director of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), to the newly created role of chief patient officer. Her new responsibilities included elevating the perspective of the patient within Sanofi and finding better ways to incorporate the unique priorities and needs of patients and caregivers.

Yet as life sciences companies continue the pursuit of a 360-degree view of “customers” typically classified as healthcare professionals (HCPs), a view of patients has been even harder to come by. Partly because of HIPAA and privacy requirements, but also because, unlike healthcare providers and payers who have regular contact with patients, life sciences companies engage primarily at the level of clinical trials and consumer marketing.

Better understanding of the patient is top priority in life sciences for 2016, and executives will continue to push cultural change facilitation, enhanced cross-functional collaboration, and increased employee engagement. But what would a life sciences company consider to be a key patient engagement metric and a measure of ROI?

With data about patients spread across a significant number of sources, including internal, external and social, merely identifying and collating that data can be a challenge – let alone deriving insights that can support patient-centric strategies and programs. Technology exists today to turn patient data into actionable insights for better R&D and commercial efficiency, as well as to deliver better services to the patient. In order to rapidly analyze data and target audience needs with products and services, life sciences will need to close the loop by tracking and monitoring the effectiveness of their offerings. In other words, they have to be both patient-centric and data-driven.

Healthcare Providers and Payers Will Take Data-driven to the Next Level

Healthcare providers and payers have approved access to member and patient data, as compared to life sciences companies, so are able to develop a new breed of data-driven solutions built to serve individuals, employers, providers, brokers and more. These tools, products and services bring value to every stakeholder, and ultimately benefit the patients themselves in the form of better care, lower premiums and improved efficacy.

However, being able to do so requires a significant step up in data management capabilities. Today’s modern data management platforms are not just cloud-based, but include a reliable data foundation that in generations past, used to cost IT teams millions of dollars in hardware, software and implementation resources alone to produce.

That foundation seamlessly blended with big data scale interactions from social, third-party provider, and increasingly devices, provides an ever expanding comprehensive view used to drive relevant insights, and ultimately, recommended actions used to improve the efficiency of healthcare organizations’ operations – and achieve better outcomes for patients.

The Voice of the Patient Will Continue to Grow with Collaboration and Data Sharing

PatientsLikeMe, the company that operates a patient-networking website, enjoyed a great year in 2015 signing deals with AstraZeneca to cull data from its network to help guide drug development. Even the FDA has joined in seeking insights within the 110,000 adverse event reports filed by PatientsLikeMe’s 350,000 members.

Examples such as this highlight the ever-increasing value of data outside the traditional structured sources of prescriptions, clinical trials and study groups. Through networking and collaboration among patients with similar conditions, data is generated that can be analyzed to improve care and provide additional insights into the efficacy of drugs and treatments.

Collaboration also continues at TransCelerate BioPharma Inc., the 3-year-old initiative started by 10 top pharma companies to share data simply and enhance the research and development of innovative new therapies. In 2015 TransCelerate announced the Placebo/Standard of Care Data Sharing Initiative with the goal of creating a framework for data sharing that offers the potential to reduce the patient population needed to be enrolled in a clinical trial, by leveraging data from previous studies respecting boundaries of informed consent.

This year will see growth in the use of data as a service (DaaS), which supports the real-time sharing, and licensing of data. Initially the trend will continue from 2015, where third-party data vendors are already offering their data on a real-time basis, making data available for purchase through an Amazon one-click approach. Increasingly companies on a modern data management platform that include DaaS will use it to share data internally between groups within their own company. The future will possibly see DaaS used to safely share information with partners in a fully audited and compliant manner. Such capabilities could allow for pharma manufacturers, providers and payers to finally offer each other improved insights and transparency. This data-driven triangle has huge potential to benefit all constituents, while reducing the friction and mystery associated with such relationships within pharma managed markets.

There are many reasons for optimism as innovation in healthcare technology continues to try and keep pace with the tsunami of data being generated. More than ever IT and business are partnering to meet the company’s goals. It starts with ensuring that IT has the right modern data management foundation to blend data of any type, size and scale while keeping the information compliant and reliable; this way, businesses can use their seamlessly data-driven applications to gain relevant insights and recommended actions they need to succeed.

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