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2020: The year of the patient centricity

Deeper patient engagement requires greater communication and collaboration, both between the patient and healthcare providers and pharma companies, as well as between different functions with life science organizations.

Asian female assistant taking blood pressure of male patient at doctor’s office

The concept of patient centricity has been around for some time, but traditional product-based approaches have persisted, especially within pharma companies. However, life science organizations are increasingly understanding that they can’t deliver tomorrow’s innovation today if they are still using yesterday’s business models. Focusing on product doesn’t enable the responsiveness and agility needed to meet changing patient expectations. Instead, we are witnessing a much deeper patient engagement that requires greater communications and collaboration both between the patient and healthcare providers and pharma companies as well as between different functions with life science organizations. We’re already seeing an explosion in the mobile health market. In 2020, we’ll see more advances in the connected patient, where mobile and wearable devices and healthcare apps not only share data, but give patients direct access to their treatment regimes. 360-degree patient view: The growth of the interoperable data platform There is no way to achieve any of the goals of patient centricity unless you can create a complete view and understanding of the patient. This requires being able to take data from any source and deploy it effectively within your operations. Deloitte sees this as healthcare’s major digital challenge in 2020, saying: “Exponential advances and interoperability in digital technologies are helping clinicians deliver healthcare services in ways that consumers prefer to receive them.” The interoperable data platform will come to prominence this year, gathering all the data from people, systems and devices needed to establish a complete view of the patient and share it securely within the life sciences ecosystem. Patients in clinical trials: From subject to partner In the past, clinical trials have been designed around the most effective means to gain medical knowledge rather than the personal experience of the patient. Even regularly attending the trial site can be a huge burden for many people with serious conditions. In addition, trials in the past could become too focused on the outcome of the drug under trial without taking into account other physical and environmental factors affecting the patient. The trend towards patient-centric clinical trials will accelerate as companies deploy digital technologies—especially AI and analytics—to radically improve the recruitment and operation of clinical trials. In particular, trials will increasingly be designed to enable patients to take part remotely. Pharma pipelines: Focusing on the patient before profit In its 2020 Pipeline Report, Pharma Exec notes that developing new drugs that will bring value and benefit to patients continues to be difficult, and the prospect of failure is still very real. As patients become more informed and have more access to their health data, they want to be more involved in all aspects including drug development. Taking a patient-centric approach to drug development offers advantages for the pharma companies as it helps to target niche diseases and smaller patient populations. In addition, regulatory frameworks and guidance, such as from the FDA, mean patient centricity will become central to the future pharma pipeline as companies focus on rare diseases and personalized medicines. Self-managed healthcare: How IoMT is putting the patient in control Patient expectations of how they manage their health and access medical services are changing. Today, there are more than 97,000 healthcare apps in circulation. Estimates suggest that, in 2020, 40 percent of all IoT devices will be health related. Their impact has been quick and profound. Recent research showed 53 percent of patients are more likely to choose a primary care provider who uses remote or telemonitoring devices. The challenge as Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) adoption grows is twofold. The first is to build trust between the patient and the physician and pharma companies so they are happy to share their data. The second is to be able to capture this real-world data and blend it with other medical data such as EHRs to improve treatments and outcomes. More life sciences organizations will adopt enterprise IoT platforms to properly manage patient data from apps, wearables and other devices. Tackling cybersecurity: Building patient trust in IoMT and life science data sharing The growth of IoMT places an even greater focus on cybersecurity. When you put connected devices into pace-makers or artificial limps, the patient must trust that both the device is safe, and their data is secure. The healthcare industry is already far and away the most vulnerable to data breaches, and the proliferation of IoMT devices dramatically increases the risks from hacking. In 2020, all life science organizations must focus on implementing an identity-driven approach to securing and managing their IoMT endpoints. Understanding the patient: How growth in AI puts focus on integrated data management Deloitte suggests that artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the biggest technology trend in 2020, helping to transform almost every part of the life science and healthcare sectors. McKinsey suggest that there could be $100 billion in savings for medicine and pharma each year by adopting AI tools. Yet, in 2019, only 4 percent of all interactions between patients and physicians involved AI. To reap the benefits of AI, life science organizations have to begin to treat data as a business asset, which requires an interoperable data platform that can make sense of vast amounts of data from different sources and quickly turn it into actionable insight. The old business models will bring diminishing returns in today’s life sciences. Organizations have to build their solutions and services around patient experience. While we have been moving towards patient centricity for some time, in 2020, we’ll see patient-centric approaches finally take root throughout the life science and healthcare sectors, empowering patients to take more control and become partners in their own healthcare.

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