The Galien Forum USA 2019

Digital Health Transformation – Orchestrating patient-centricity from molecule to market


Digital devices and applications are shaping nearly every aspect of the life sciences business model, from molecule to market.  More importantly, digital is orchestrating the industry’s relations with the patient through a better understanding of the motivations and behaviors of those patients in the real-world clinical setting. The result has been an advancement of patient-centric applications to monitor patient response and adherence to therapy, resulting in better outcomes from treatment.  Digital technology also offers significant potential to reduce treatment costs for chronic or rare diseases by improving connectivity throughout interactions within the health system and with the patient.

Despite the optimism displayed in many quarters of biopharma, overall, the industry has been slower than other business sectors to adopt a digital mindset. While digital health applications represent a significant opportunity for the industry, acting on the premise depends on quantum-level shifts in organizational design and cultural resilience to disruption.  The consensus seems to be that while industry progress towards a digitized future varies, the necessity to act is definite.

At the same time, with more than $12 billion invested in digital health ventures in 2017-2018 (source: PricewaterhouseCoopers), digital health is one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. health care industry.  According to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science’s recent report, The Growing Value of Digital Health, more than 300,000 health apps and 340 consumer wearable devices are now available worldwide, most of which are designed to help patients stay well or proactive engage in their health. However, some 40% of these apps and devices are intended for managing a patient’s condition and experience with a current illness, a more ambitious task, with sensor-based technology leading the way.

This focus on active patient management, combined with continued rapid improvements in technology design and capabilities, should have an enabling effect on the acceptance of digital interventions at every stage of the drug product development cycle. Recognition appears highest at the drug development stage, where digital can be applied to many aspects of clinical trials.  However, the potential is high – and growing – in areas like communicating directly with patients; incorporating real-world evidence (RWE) in clinical decision-making, and connected “intelligent” adherence and symptom monitoring of chronic conditions seen as ideal for demonstrating how such tools improve treatment outcomes and patient engagement.

In the session discussion, our five panelists will:

  • Examine the adoption, progress, and best practices in digital health applications at various stages of the life science product cycle, from discovery, development, and registration to uptake and market access, post-marketing surveillance and LOE.
  • Identify how digital health can optimize the transition to an outcomes based system in health care, through changes to a biopharma’s internal processes and by changes in the regulatory processes including their interest in embracing big data and understand when real-world data like this is actually reliable enough for decision-support.
  • Recommend actions to improve the adoption of digital health technology from molecule to market in order to enhance the effectiveness of current and future methods to better support the patient in fighting chronic or rare conditions. How can the life sciences industry adopt a more digital mindset?
  • Describe technology’s potential to support the patient care journey. What will the digital health space look like a decade from now for sponsors, CROs, caregivers, and patients?