While life sciences companies continued to make inroads towards patient-centered thinking, the main pursuit of a complete, 360-degree view of customers typically classified as healthcare professionals (HCPs), still dominated the investments and thinking of the majority of organizations. To that end, great strides were made by taking a significant step up in data management capabilities. Life sciences companies from startups all the way to F500 giants have shunned and started to shed the anchor of heavyweight, on-premise software that used to cost IT teams millions of dollars in implementation resources.
By leveraging modern data management platforms that are not just cloud-based, but include a reliable data foundation seamlessly blended with big data scale interactions from social and third-party providers, and increasingly devices, companies were able to get an ever-expanding comprehensive view which they used to drive relevant insights, and ultimately, recommended actions to improve the efficiency of operations, while better serving their customers.
2016 also saw growth in the use of Data as a Service (DaaS), which supported real-time sharing and licensing of data, with many third-party data vendors such as QuintilesIMS and LexisNexis offering their data on a real-time basis. Companies finally obtained data as easy as they shop for their products through an Amazon “one-click” approach. Sharing of data through DaaS wasn’t just limited sourcing data from external third-party vendors—many used this method to share data internally between groups within their own company.
All-in-all, the most progressive life sciences companies laid the foundation with modern data management in 2016. This will position them to be even more data driven in 2017 and able to execute on some or all of the following:
1. Doubling down on building a compliant culture
With distributed data sources, the commercialization of IT, increasing mobile use, and demands to get faster access to data, compliance teams are more challenged today than ever before. In 2017, we’ll see more life sciences organizations using technology to manage, enforce, and build a compliant culture, so that all employees adopt best practices in handling sensitive data. Allowing teams to share and collaborate on data while keep it safe and secure results in a significant competitive advantage.
2. Certification in support of patient centricity
The rise of the “p-suite” has been a continuing trend, but technology capable of managing sensitive data, while attaining a single view of patients has still been a challenge. 2016 saw increased use of modern data management platforms to protect patient and consumer data. 2017 will see cloud data management vendors offering HITRUST certified platforms, while bringing together the reliable data across a variety of sources that make a 360-degree patient view, and subsequent personalized engagement, a reality.
3. Shrinking time to market
Life sciences organizations are facing growing pressure to differentiate disease treatments, and speed and agility are essential. 2017 will bring more data management technologies, helping them further shorten time to market. Additionally, innovation in mobile, predictive analytics, machine learning, and new data-driven applications will provide easily accessible complete views of stakeholders, so users can better orchestrate customer engagement to achieve commercial and R&D goals.
4. Evolving with personalized medicine
While precision medicine, as outlined by President Obama’s initiative in January 2015, is a boon for the industry and patients, it’s been viewed as either an opportunity or threat to life sciences organizations. In 2017, we’ll see personalized medicine become a reality, with modern data management platforms distilling information down to what really matters for each patient. This will lead to better efficacy, outcomes, and justifiable value, and the associated level of transparency will improve the entire healthcare ecosystem for all parties involved.
5. Taking an integrated approach to data
Various business units within an organization typically access, use, and manage their own data sets to solve their own business challenges in sales, marketing, and compliance. CIOs and CDOs at leading pharmaceutical companies have already implemented technologies that enable a single, complete, and reliable pool of data accessible by all employees. With cloud data management platforms dramatically lowering typical cost and resource barriers in 2016 to achieve shared data nirvana, many more will follow suit in 2017.