The changes brought about by advancements in digital technology, the cloud, advanced analytics, and the Internet of Things are among the innovations that are transforming the healthcare industry. Technology is fundamental in the way the business interacts with its employees and its customers. The recent pandemic has accelerated the pace of this change.
Every technology requires translation, to be understood by the users. This is where UX design comes in. A customer-centric mindset in business strategies and a human-centered design approach to achieve that is necessary.
Trends reshaping the industry
We believe disruptive trends indicate where digital technology will drive the most value in the pharmaceutical industry, and the leaders should guide companies as they build a strategy for digital success. Let’s look at some of these trends –
Telemedicine, Digital therapeutics
Getting into telemedicine is a new trend. With unique go-to-market strategies trying to reach a wider patient-base and differentiating themselves by the experiences they provide. Digital prescription is another area being explored by many. This can prove to be advantageous to patients in terms of resolving less critical consultations in a shorter time digitally, and also gaining access to more specialized medical personnel.
Digital companion apps, that set reminders for medications, observe and assess health patterns of the patients, gather data, provide connections within the community with similar patients, etc. This is giving rise to new jobs being created. From digital marketers to digital officers.
Preventive medicine and Resilient manufacturing
Mobile and connected health services, connected supply chain, and automation of operations – RPA are a few examples more and more people are talking about. The use of Big Data & Analytics to analyze data for predictive, diagnostic, and prescriptive analytics is on the rise.
Accelerating the time to drug-discovery phase and development using AI/ML is a pivotal trend. Real-time responsiveness will be achieved through automated processes to improve cost, reactions, and agility. Data-driven insights and advanced analytics can also be used to increase pipeline and commercial value.
Extended reality – AR/VR and wearables, location-agonistic interaction among research teams are some of the exciting developments. There is no dearth of data in the pharma industry, it’s all about making the most of it. The real-world data collected from hospitals/ wearables/ test labs will inform businesses to innovate systems to provide innovative health care solutions.
Personalized care is the Next Big thing
Patient centricity is becoming the key for businesses moving towards growth. Patient care is evolving, customization to patient’s needs and personalized distribution, sensors, and digital services for tailored, 24/7 treatment are among a few upcoming trends. Omni-channel conversations with physicians and patients will prompt a fuller engagement benefiting the business. Customer-centric designs will be all the rage now.
De-risking products to deliver the right solution first time
Leading pharma companies are turning to enhance the experience they provide for their customers – both patients and prescribers as a way to differentiate themselves. Knowing personas and continuous change in behavior of patients becomes crucial at this stage. Thorough user research for its deep probing of customers’ needs focus on customer journeys rather than isolated touch-points, and the use of agile iterative processes is essential. UX experts can help businesses with digital product design to create the market-fit products.
Putting customer experience at the heart of the launch strategy will give the business an advantage over competitors. This data then informs the customer journey to help organizations deliver an enhanced experience that cuts across multiple functions and channels. Inflexible legacy IT systems and processes, talent, and knowledge of digital capabilities are additional challenges pharma companies face when undertaking digital initiatives.
Pharma companies will need to leverage digital innovation to make products and services more personalized, physicians and patients more engaged, decisions and product evidence more data-driven, and business processes more immediate.
Each company will need to consider how its business is set to be affected by the digital changes and then proceed accordingly. A better understanding of what digital success looks like will help companies achieve their goals to deliver improved innovation and commercial models with better care for patients.
The pharma industry has always been farther from its end-users-patients, neglecting the customer experience in their approach. By addressing pain points along patient and prescriber journeys, companies can increase customer satisfaction, and boost revenues. Creating easy, distinctive, and rewarding customer journeys can unlock enormous value. Designing world-class customer experiences have the power to transform entire industries.
Experience-led innovation is a golden opportunity.
Improving human experience should guide every digital transformation effort.
UX design can transform digital products that would help in –
- Remote monitoring and tracking of the end-to-end process from manufacturing to supplying to retailers and increase reach from distributor to pharmacy
- Customization to patient’s needs, personalized distribution, patient-care apps, and digital therapeutics
- Sales enablement app, assets management, performance management – product/ project management/ workforce enablement app, etc.
- Telemedicine, ePharmacy, and connected mobility – driver/ service stations/ Dealers/fleet owners/ service providers/ fuel stations etc.