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How Digital Interactions Are Expanding the Horizons of Healthcare

Steve Roden is the General Manager of Conduent Commercial Healthcare Provider, Pharma and Life Science.

For pharmaceutical companies, payers, and providers alike, the future of healthcare is all about outcomes. In the new landscape of value-based care, reimbursements and drug approvals will demand insights into how therapies impact (and improve) human health.

Yet when it comes to improving human health at scale  let alone measuring it companies continue to face costly challenges.

Clinical trials are a case in point. Drug studies require in-person participants, which limits the sample population to patients who can make it to a trial site. That makes R&D difficult and expensive for rare diseases, contributing to high drug costs (or incomplete, unapproved therapies).

That's just one of the reasons we're exploring solutions that will accelerate approvals and outcomes in the future.  Digital technologies are already helping forward-thinking healthcare organizations expand the horizons of patient care — driving down costs and improving human health in the process.

Broader, better clinical trials

Making drugs cheaper and more accessible is key to achieving positive outcomes going forward. But that can't happen without swift, successful clinical trials on large patient populations.  Digital interactions can foster that and help companies conduct trials with the right patients.

For example, digital clinical trial solutions experts are helping pharmaceutical companies recruit, screen and register trial participants using digital media. As more healthcare leaders leverage digital capabilities, data for all kinds of health studies will be efficiently gathered across geographies — delivering analytics-driven intel into populations “target rich" for R&D.

Trackable adherence and interactions

The solutions I've mentioned so far can help reduce onboarding costs, optimize patient selection and get drugs to trial faster. But for drugs to be approved (and have any eventual impact on human health), trial participants have to take them… and sometimes, they don't.

Virtual monitoring solutions can help pharma leaders gain better insights into therapy adherence, as well as adverse events, in clinical trials.

Coupling the same technology with more sophisticated patient management and care coordination can help healthcare companies understand adherence to treatment after hospital discharges too — improving outcomes for real-life patients and decreasing costly readmissions.

Drugs to market faster

With robust digital intelligence around population health, adherence and outcomes, pharma companies will have better resources to collaborate with regulators and speed life-saving drugs to market. And as the FDA and other agencies get more comfortable with digital approaches, an era of virtual, borderless drug discovery — powered by interaction data and value-based metrics — may become a reality.

Advancements in other areas of technology will extend the benefits further. For instance, infection surveillance solutions will help hospitals understand readmission causes more specifically, and natural language processing (NLP) may eventually support truly global approaches to digital healthcare.

Borderless healthcare innovation

As NLP technology improves, it will help today's leading companies discern nuanced differences of culture and language to launch healthcare products, services and solutions in new markets. And as more and more patients interact with digital solutions abroad, companies will gain comprehensive medical information across geographies — helping them quantify international outcomes in a regulator-friendly way.

Ultimately, putting patient outcomes first (regardless of geography) will help healthcare leaders sustain profitability for their organizations while they positively impact human health. As the era of value based care continues to accelerate, harnessing digital interactions will be key to keeping costs low and ensuring that everyone — patient, pharma company, provider or payer — engaged and empowered.

About the Author

Steve Roden is the General Manager of Conduent Commercial Healthcare Provider, Pharma and Life Science.