As in many other areas, also in the field of health the emergence of new technologies poses significant disruptions. Experts from this and different related fields increasingly propose significant changes in the kind of health models we have considered normal during the last decades. The new normal in health could happen sooner than we think.
Digital transformation is about to blur the traditional boundaries between medical technologies, drugs, devices, therapies and ICTs. Patient data management will be key in the resulting new health models. For instance, in the case of the increasingly mentioned model in which companies developing drugs are paid not for the number of pills or injections but for the results of their medications.
“Data economy” will rule, a scenario in which technological companies and not the pharmaceuticals are the ones to play with a competitive advantage. A battle for the future health business has already begun. Large technology companies have long shown their interest in this market. Pharmas not aware today of the new role that ICT companies will play in the future will risk being left behind.
The right move might be, once again, collaboration.
Combining resources to build a virtual diabetes clinic
Onduo is one of the many examples of the growing ties between the pharma and tech sectors. Two years ago, French drugmaker Sanofi and Google’s health care arm Verily, combined resources to form this $500 million diabetes-focused joint venture. The new company leverages Verily’s experience in miniaturized electronics, analytics, and consumer software development, with Sanofi’s clinical expertise and experience in bringing treatments to people living with diabetes. According to some analysts, the move responded to Sanofi’s goal to revive declining sales in its diabetes division, hurt by sustained pricing pressure.
Earlier this year, Onduo delivered its first product in the US, a virtual diabetes clinic that offers patients a way to collect and analyze data from their glucose meters and other sensors. Combining that with data from the health care system results in a better understanding of patient’s health and health risk factors. Patients can interact with a remote care team, measure outcomes, track their progress, and ultimately receive personalized care more frequently independently from where they live, and improve their ability to have diagnoses even before symptoms appear.
How virtual clinics like Onduo will work with the traditional healthcare system is still an unanswered question. But this kind of uncertainties are not stopping similar alliances and joint ventures. Just some cases of many: