Pharma and Medtech companies: 72% Hope to Launch New Business Models with Digital Solutions

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Sabrina Mueller

Sabrina Müller

Communications & Marketing Manager
Cologne, Germany

What does the healthcare industry aim to achieve with digital solutions? Which types of digital solutions are the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries focusing on? Which factors contribute to digital success? Simon-Kucher’s recent survey of pharma and medtech executives provides the answers to these questions.

Cologne – Digital know-how is decisive for business. A recent survey* conducted by the global strategy and marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners found that 72 percent of managers in the pharmaceutical and medtech industries believe digital solutions are the basis for new sustainable business models. For 63 percent of respondents, the main goal is to gain significant competitive advantages by adding digital features to their products or offering additional digital solutions. Only 41 percent want to market their digital solutions separately, and the same number said they hope these solutions will generate new sources of income or provide an opportunity to work with regional and local payers.

“This shows that the healthcare industry expects a lot from digitalization,” says Dr. Gerald Schnell, Senior Partner and Life Sciences expert at Simon-Kucher. “However, in order to see long-term and sustainable results, companies must first clearly define overarching strategic goals for their entire portfolio as well as for individual solutions.”

The rise of connected care, remote monitoring as well as integrated Health IT solutions

Pharmaceutical and medtech companies place particular emphasis on connected care solutions, solutions that transmit patient data between different service providers to enable better integrated care. In addition, they focus on solutions that improve patient monitoring to ensure irregularities are addressed quickly. Approximately 55 percent of respondents stated they are focusing on these two areas. Integrated health IT solutions that, for example, make processes and data exchange more efficient within the healthcare provide area ranked third with 45 percent.

“Our project experience in the healthcare sector underlines these findings,” says Jan Bordon, Senior Director at Simon-Kucher. “Better data availability and data transparency are key drivers for developing and using new digital solutions in the most effective way. However, there is often still a need for advice on fundamental issues, such as defining the overall vision and strategy for digital solutions or designing the optimal direct or indirect monetization strategy. Many companies invest without thinking about how these digital solutions will fit into their overall portfolio and what potential these solutions have for patients, service providers, and payers.”

Close cooperation for long-term success

Demonstrating economic savings plays an important role in the complex healthcare system with its various players. Nearly two thirds (65 percent) of respondents stated that one of the main success factors in commercializing digital solutions lies in generating cost savings. For 58 percent, identifying and actively cooperating with innovative payers with strong digital agendas are key to ensuring the successful launch of new digital solutions, while 54 percent value closer cooperation with national, regional, and local payers to jointly generate “real-world evidence”.

“These three topics are closely interlinked”, says Jan Bordon. “They are among the most important success factors for pharmaceutical and medtech companies in the field of digital solutions. Within the current market access structures, companies need to ‘search’ for the relevant payers to engage into a cooperation. Most payers are facing cost pressure, generating cost savings is therefore an important aspect to convince them to partner and to create real world evidence.”

*About the survey: The short survey “Digital Health” was conducted by Simon-Kucher in the fourth quarter of 2018 as part of several webinars. More than 30 executives from the global pharmaceutical and medtech industries were surveyed.

Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants: Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm with around 1,300 professionals in 38 offices worldwide focusing on TopLine Power®. Founded in 1985, the company has more than 30 years of experience providing strategy and marketing consulting and is regarded as the world’s leading pricing advisor.