13 February 2020

7min

Levers for transforming the world of healthcare

After a century of stability around allopathy, the world of healthcare has never seen so much change in terms of the typology of actors involved, the expansion of activities concerned or the services offered.

RISK BEHAVIOURS, AGEING POPULATION, CHANGES IN LIVING ENVIRONMENTS AND TERRITORIAL DIVIDE

Public health issues are becoming more complex with many factors such as invisible pollution and the development of allergies or the global mobility of populations and the rise of viruses (coronavirus) for example. These public health issues are also becoming more widespread in the context of an ageing population, the accumulation of pathologies or the development of chronic diseases. The territorial divide is also a major issue for access to healthcare in sparsely populated areas.

The objective for those involved in healthcare and wellness is to respond to the increasingly demanding requirements of the individuals concerned while offering new integrated solutions to populations with risk behaviours.

PATIENTS NOW ACTORS OF THEIR OWN HEALTH

By 2030, the population’s relationship to health will evolve heterogeneously between:

  • Citizens monitoring their ‘health capital’, with a personal investment in disease surveillance through dedicated devices,
  • Citizens who are out of touch with their health, particularly those with risk behaviours (addictions, sexually transmitted infections, delayed vaccination, etc.).

The accessibility of information and the imposed collective refusal altered the paradigm that doctors were the sole authority on health matters. Subject to regulatory aspects, this is a great business opportunity for health and wellness players. They can now multiply their product and service offerings to encourage autonomy, reassurance and compliance by patients, their close relatives or caregivers.

THE END OF BOUNDARIES BETWEEN HEALTHCARE AND WELLNESS ACTORS

Driven by new public health issues and changing patient expectations, players in the healthcare and wellness sector are broadening and combining their value propositions. The actors involved by area of activity are as follows:

  • Pharmaceutical laboratories, biotech and medtech companies for the pharmaceutical industry
  • Manufacturers of functional foods and operators of services for wellness actors
  • Hospitals, clinics, health centres and nursing homes for healthcare facilities
  • Companies and mutual health insurance companies for personal insurance
  • Not forgetting public administrations or associations linked to healthcare.

This sector of activity is also marked by the emergence of newcomers who are developing secondary activities around healthcare. Among them are the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and the BATX (giants of the Chinese Web).

Social media and other forums that have become one of the primary sources of information for patients who are actors in their own health reinforce this porosity.

MORE PATIENT VALUE PROPOSITION, A CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION ON THE SAME STANDARDS AS OTHER SECTORS

By specialising in groups of pathologies or therapeutic areas, particularly for rare or chronic diseases, healthcare players can provide more uniform patient follow-up. This facilitates the analysis and targeting of their needs for a more efficient customer engagement.

Patient-centred or insurance-centred approaches have become the main concern of players in the sector. This issue is part of integrated care or predictive health, a potential source of additional value if regulatory constraints are respected. The objectives are as follows:

  • Personalisation
  • Transparency
  • Accessibility
  • Continuity

In the same spirit, healthcare institutions are installing devices to improve the patient experience and the development of additional revenue streams. The services extend beyond the actual place of hospitalisation, in the logic of the development of outpatient care, home care, or more simply of a city/hospital continuum.

Mutual health insurance companies also want to get to know their policyholders better to be able to develop tailor-made offers based on preventive health, as opposed to curative health. For example, all initiatives to promote wellness and prevention result in savings on hospital reimbursements.

FROM LABORATORY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TO HEALTH INNOVATION

Pharmaceutical companies invest 15% to 20% of their sales on average in Research and Development and, in particular, in the search for molecules to compensate for the patent cliff. In 2018, French biotech, medtech and e-Health start-ups raised nearly €500 million. These figures illustrate the value of linking Research and Development efforts to the search for new active ingredients at the intersection of several scientific disciplines such as chemistry, biology and nuclear physics.

However, new forms of innovation are also needed to develop new products coupling administration system and active ingredients or new services connected around e.g. compliance devices.

These Beyond-the-Pill solutions make it possible to go beyond drug treatment by associating a medical device and a software solution with the drug.

PRODUCE DIFFERENTLY

Just as the supply of services and R&D must evolve, so production methods must be rethought.

The tools and production processes of health and well-being actors must adapt to the evolution of economic models and new patient experiences. They must also take into account the growing regulatory constraints. Finally, globalisation and the increasing complexity of the industry’s distribution channels are forcing the end of the paradigm: a factory dedicated to the production of a drug from start to finish.

It is now necessary to control the flows (raw materials, finished products, coordination of the system/active principle, etc.) while adapting as far as possible to market constraints.

In response to these challenges, health actors must transform their production tools around data. Industry 4.0 type approaches, ensuring the value of digital twins, new PLM approaches, etc. provide real time alignment between supply and demand as well as a continuous improvement of competitiveness.

AND ABOVE ALL CAPTURE THE DATA

As in other industries, all these initiatives are based on a transformation centred around the requesting party data:

  • Accessibility of data, i.e. locating their sources but also being able to understand their nature and definitions
  • The ability to identify data that can be used to extract or create high value-added information
  • The tools and skills needed to process and use data then to represent the results
  • The adoption of a data-driven strategy with the implementation of processes to extract relevant information despite an exponential increase in the volume of data
  • The development of new data processing models based on artificial intelligence

Regulation continues its groundwork between the need to control everyone’s privacy while adjusting to the ever-growing desire for the use of patient data by health actors. These actors must adapt to ever more security and associated procedures. The regular updating of these regulations, which often differ from one country to another, generates additional costs that are difficult to anticipate and estimate.

THE DIFFERENTIATION AND COMPETITIVENESS LEVERS PROPOSED BY ONEPOINT

The sector has never been confronted with so many issues in a century: What models and strategies should be adopted to remain competitive? How do the changes made ultimately impact on the organisation, processes and culture of health actors? How is information technology (IT) accelerating these transformations?

Several actors in the field of health and wellness have become aware of the interest in transforming themselves. These steps require between 18 and 36 months of scoping and implementation, if only for the simple ‘customer experience’ part. The resources to be used and the mobilisation of the entire organisation are also decisive factors.

At Onepoint, we believe that the five levers below are the key to a successful transformation. Each of them is supported by our communities of expertise and market to accompany our customers from the framing to the implementation.

1. DEVELOP CUSTOMER OR ‘PATIENT JOURNEYS’

The establishment of a seamless, continuous, global perspective makes it easier to prioritise work based on the value it brings. As an example, the patient journey of a diabetic often includes underestimated steps such as the search for initial information when symptoms appear, the first training sessions when protocols are set up or questioning when using certain devices.

2. OFFER INNOVATIVE AND INTEGRATED SERVICES

Beyond the creation of services, this requires the implementation of new resources, pilots or operating modes, processes or even dedicated departments. The strengthening of external partnerships also is often recommended. Telemedicine, telepresence, robotic-assisted surgery, deep learning applied to medical imaging, in silico treatment research, management and anonymization of patient data, health market marketing analysis, drug traceability, health chatbot are all innovations based on hybrid partnerships between historical laboratories, Health Start-Ups, GAFAs, Academic Research and Digital Service Companies.

3. LEVERAGE DATA

Product data, patient databases or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) databases integrating information about pharmaceutical sales representatives, medical sales representatives or healthcare personnel lack integration. It is rare for them to be the latest technology.

As an example, closed loop marketing concepts still suffer from their weak deployment. The United States is an exception, having a lead in these areas due to weaker regulatory constraints. On the operations side, serialisation projects (i.e. drug traceability), for example, complement data collection.

4. INDUSTRIALISING DIGITAL LEVERS

Benefiting from a strong media effect and the ability to study what has been set up by pioneering sectors, many projects are flourishing despite the expectation of initial results. The digital transformation is a tremendous opportunity to secure or accelerate the global transformation of these companies, whether in terms of business model or productivity.

The transformation process must be based on a project portfolio approach to adapt to the maturity of each of the players in the health and well-being sector. It requires the prioritisation of projects to be carried out and the implementation of relevant operational actions.

Technologies (promising as they may be) must be used to solve high value-added use cases and not the other way around. Optimising the ratio of value created to technological cost requires a strong strategic vision coupled with a thorough knowledge of the existing technology and its future.

Given the speed at which technologies and mentalities are evolving, the implementation of a ‘pivoting’ logic, to balance target and trajectory at all times, is one of the success factors of the transformation.

5. CHANGING CULTURE AND GOVERNANCE

Pharmaceutical companies are still based on the traditional structure behind their historical success. At the crossroads of the fourth industrial revolution (data revolution) and the expiry of patents, they encounter four major pitfalls:

  • Many job skills (doctors and pharmacists) and few data skills
  • Restricted projects within silos (by function, therapeutic area, scientific specialty, etc.),
  • Unsuitable processes (too heavy and too slow)
  • Obsolete tools and technologies

The challenge lies in the ability to make practices evolve, disseminate a data-driven culture, overhaul processes and tools by relying on collective intelligence, the enhancement and governance of information and the resolution of the strategic challenges faced by business activities.