With a growing number of communication channels, the need for big data and pandemic-spawned shifts, omnichannel excellence has become the only way to effectively communicate in an overcrowded marketplace. Omnichannel is emerging as the way forward by enhancing engagement across all channels and multiple stakeholders. For pharmaceutical and medtech organizations, the shift to an omnichannel model promises personalized engagement, improved revenues, quality of care and most importantly, patient outcomes.

At the 8th Annual emids Healthcare Summit, Andy Corts, SVP of Research and Digitization at SignalPath joined Calyx CEO Gavin Nichols for an in-depth discussion on how pharma has eliminated long-standing silos and adopted holistic engagement models that puts patients first.

The Shift to Omnichannel

Over the past several years, digital transformation has proliferated and opened new mechanisms – including online portals, text messaging and telehealth – to support remote interactions. Pharma is shifting to an omnichannel model that promises a rising quality of care, patient outcomes, revenues and innovation.

“The omnichannel approach creates both a challenge and an opportunity for pharma,’ said Nichols. “Now, no matter what channel you interact with there will always be context on the patient and their needs. This puts a responsibility on organizations to properly communicate with patients in an accessible way.”

To adapt to changing preferences, the way people consume information and improve decision-making to benefit patients, new tools, resources and efficient communications are required. Pharma and medtech organizations are ushering in new leadership focused on patient engagement and being deliberate about investments. Simultaneously, technology companies are entering the arena to drive the omnichannel experience.

“Technology [in pharma] is now in the scaling phase and more than a novel idea; but rather, a common way we do business. There’s a new level of breadth and depth of research thanks to a digitally scaled model,” said Corts. Recognizing that they have lagged behind other industries in deploying digital solutions, both constituents – technology and pharma – are making incredible progress to remedy this gap.    

The Value of Data

Panelists agreed that in the shift to an omnichannel world and decentralized trials, one of the greatest success factors will be data. Walls are finally coming down around data liquidity and fragmentation, making data analytics equally as important as security and compliance. Because without extracting any meaningful value, data is just data.

On one hand, thanks to the advent of wearables and other tracking technologies, mechanisms exist to capture and support the terabytes of data needed to gain meaningful insights. Investments in tokenization will enrich data sets and connect valuable stakeholders like physicians and pharmacies. Articulating what does and doesn’t work will help pivot resources and accelerate the development of personalized medicine. For most organizations, it’s paramount to rely on both internal and external partnerships to develop an integrated data analytics strategy.

The Patient

The patient will always be at the center of healthcare. Healthcare doesn’t exist without them and the industry wouldn’t be learning, advancing or discovering new drugs without them either. Moving forward, organizations must undertake an agile transformation of their people, processes and technologies to embrace a patient-centric reality.

As a bright side of the pandemic, patients are equally savvy and more open to remote monitoring and care delivery at home. They are also vastly attuned to their individual needs and forging digital connections via online support groups, discussion boards or other forums. With a successful omnichannel model, pharma can empower patients through trial recruitment and education, broadening accessibility to treatments and methods that exist. In the end, decreasing the complexity and go-to-market time for new drugs will positively affect the patient experience.

Omnichannel engagement is about embracing a new model where agile teams combine human-centered design thinking, digital engagement and analytics to help deliver the right message at the right time through the right channel.

Getting Started With emids

As pharma pursues the omnichannel experience, emids is uniquely positioned to enable data and help accelerate value. By leveraging a wealth of experience specific to healthcare, emids helps clients improve the lives of patients by enabling data insights and executing a data infrastructure ready for value creation. 

 Sriraman Nagarajan leads the Life Sciences business unit at emids. He brings more than 28 years of industry experience leading high-performing teams responsible for driving digital transformation in the life sciences industry. Previously, he was the vice president at Cognizant, helping grow the life sciences business to the second largest in the industry. He led a significant portion of North American business that delivered solutions across technology, operations and digital business, including defining the strategy for medical devices business. Sriram’s entrepreneurial spirit was also recognized when he was named as one of top 100 inspiring leaders in the industry by PharmaVOICE in 2019. Be sure to connect with Sriram on LinkedIn.