The Rapid Evolution of Health in a Digital World

The COVID-19 crisis underscores the need for healthcare and life sciences companies to move fast, or lose.

In light of our rapidly changing health landscape due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, there are three key areas of concern that are paramount to surviving the disruption. COVID-19 is forcing the healthcare and life sciences industry to immediately reshape our views on how we reach healthcare providers (HCPs) and patients.

At the recent DigiPharma Connect 2020 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Astound sponsored several events and had the opportunity to speak with industry leaders in a very collaborative and engaging environment. While it bore similarities to many other conferences, one key differentiator throughout this event was the heightened level of urgency throughout the industry related to reaching HCPs and patients and the need to rapidly employ digital technology to do so.

Company leaders have been speaking openly in conferences over the last year about their internal teams’ struggles with disruptive technologies, the future of health, assessing social platforms and AI, and how to navigate the regulatory landscape. All these discussions and efforts are focused on ways to find the golden key that will help unlock the ability to deliver the desired product to the appropriate consumer at the optimal time while gathering the cleanest data. Companies undoubtedly want a long-term solution to an ever-changing situation but recognize the sheer impossibility in that desire within their own organizations. Enter the coronavirus, and that desire has become an absolute imperative.

The industry is suddenly clamoring for solutions that are easily implemented, rapidly scalable, resoundingly accepted by patients and providers, and financially leveling. At this point in history, a key to survival is understanding a rapidly evolving world. Leaders must make crisp, quality decisions regarding solutions.

Any solutions deployed must address three key areas of this evolution:

1. Patient evolution.

The Health and Life Sciences industry (HLS) is facing a patient evolution that is unprecedented due to recent global health threats. In a world where patients and caregivers are increasingly demanding more information about and involvement in healthcare decisions—as well as personalized solutions related to their individual needs and deeper connections with brands that care about the patient and their environment—industry leaders must operate with a sense of urgency to reach and retain patients.

Recognizing that patients and caregivers want to be treated like highly valued consumers is the first step. The growing need for technology that opens efficient and compliant communication pathways, conveys compelling, on-label brand stories, and quickly connects consumers with personalized information and product suggestions is no longer a need, but has become the imperative.

2. Competition evolution.

The competitive landscape in the industry is changing rapidly. A strategy of mergers and acquisitions has been the norm. Smaller companies with niche audiences are launching with aggressive roadmaps that outline purchase strategy within their initial three years. Large companies that held substantial market share are being purchased by even larger companies, and tech giants are investing highly in growing their own health divisions.

Gaining market share and surpassing the competition, no matter how large or small the company, starts with a comprehensive and compliant digital roadmap that addresses current regional and world threats to health and the economy, organizational strategy, and a consumer-driven ecosystem that transforms the relationship between brands and consumers.

3. Technology evolution.

The current coronavirus pandemic paired with the rapid evolution of technology and tech-savvy consumers is forcing companies to move or lose. Telemedicine is no longer futuristic. Boomers have become technologically savvy. Millennials are demanding more control due to rising costs of care and world health concerns, and Gen Z are digital natives, having utilized technology from a very young age. To survive, companies must overcome significant internal technological challenges in order to evolve with tech.

A comprehensive digital roadmap is just the beginning. Other technological complexities that should be addressed include the evaluation of multiple platforms and integrations, deduplication of fragmented HCP and consumer data, processing time and synchronization, and an unclear or incomplete view of the customer.

Coronavirus and the urgency related to consumerism are forcing companies to evaluate innovative and compliant ways to touch their target audiences. Clearly, reaching the patient is paramount. Just as important is the need to ensure the experience is transformative and entices the consumer to repeat the journey.

In our current environment, consumer needs are changing rapidly, and the health industry is recognizing the need to move with a compelling sense of urgency and with the individual patient and healthcare provider in mind. We can help. Astound Commerce has partnered with some of the world’s largest health companies to provide creative and compliant groundbreaking solutions. We have deep industry expertise and consistently proven results in the industry. We can help you develop the strategy to navigate the rapidly changing and complex consumerism journey and build a commerce ecosystem that protects your company and your information while providing lasting positive results.

Reach out to learn more.

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Tina Wilson

Tina Wilson is director of healthcare and pharmaceuticals at Astound Commerce.
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