di , 19/01/2024

The challenges posed by aging populations, the impact of chronic diseases and the shortage of healthcare professionals; together with the pace of ever-evolving technology innovations, serve as the backdrop for a pivotal moment of change in terms of current and future health.

The challenges are noteworthy, with healthcare systems worldwide becoming increasingly unsustainable in the face of rising demands and needs. The global population aged over-65 years old is expected to grow by 40% between 2020 and 2030; in Europe, already 37% of people aged 65+ suffer from at least two chronic diseases. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization estimates a 10 million potential shortfall of health workers worldwide by 2030 and chronic conditions already account for approximately 80% of healthcare expenditure.

If we look at the situation in Italy, where the intersection of the lowest birth rate in Europe and the highest dependency rate paints a stark picture of demographic shifts. The repercussions of this reality are not confined to demographics alone; they reverberate through our GDP and have profound implications for healthcare funding.

In this context, policymakers are called to innovate care models, leveraging digital health to cost-effectively enhance access, quality, equity and sustainability of care. Regulators are also called to define how to safely leverage the vast amount of health data generated to improve current and future care.

The challenges we face in healthcare demand innovative solutions that go beyond conventional approaches.

Reimagining Pharma to Continue Value Generation

Amidst these challenges, the pharmaceutical industry also stands at a crossroads, requiring a reimagining of its role and strategies. The vulnerability posed by the patent cliff and the need to enhance customer experiences, demands for strategic innovation. It is in this context that digital health emerges as a fundamental strategic enabler. Beyond the conventional realm of medicines, the integration of digital innovations becomes imperative to enhance the value of the drug itself, the experiences of Healthcare Professionals (HCPs), patients and caregivers, and allowing all stakeholders to become a partner of healthcare systems throughout the ever-evolving digital health transformation.

Digital health technologies can enhance awareness, access to a timely and accurate diagnosis and referral, as well monitoring, follow-up and continuous care capabilities – shortening, personalizing and improving the care journey.

The Digital Health & Digital Medicine Opportunity

The broad realm of digital health and digital medicine presents an opportunity for transformative change. Governments, recognizing the need for innovation, are paving the way with enabling platforms. The integration of large telemedicine platforms and technological infrastructure supporting interoperability sets the stage for a new era. The true potential lies in seamlessly integrating this system-level infrastructure with safe and accurate software able to generate a demonstrable positive impact on patient’s health. Indeed, within the broad realm of digital health technologies, software certified as medical devices backed by sound clinical evidence are particularly promising.

Safe and effective Digital Medical Devices, both around the pill and stand-alone, are set to drive new value, positioning, and enable digitally enhanced experiences for both HCPs and patients.

Challenges in Adoption, Value & Growth

However, the journey is not without its challenges. Adoption of digital interventions, value generation, and sustainable growth present formidable hurdles. Cultural shifts are needed for widespread adoption, and market dynamics require careful navigation. The landscape of medical devices, despite growing evidence, requires strategic and multifaceted approaches for successful systemic integration.

Success lies not just in digital innovation per se, but in digitally enhancing the standard of care. For all.

Our Digital Health & Innovation “Gateway”

As we navigate this transformative journey, from building engagement and empowering activation; to optimizing treatment dosage through digital means; to enhancing continuous and personalized care, the role of pharma extends beyond traditional medicine, and we partner to help scale opportunities, impact and value.

Our digital health & innovation strategy supports from co-ideation to commercialization, addressing unmet needs, enabling cultural shifts, driving adoption and creating enduring value.

This article is part of the Innovation as Strategy series.