Are pharma companies starting to add digital tools to their therapeutic products?
According to this story in MedCity News, it looks like a number of pharma companies are doing just that. According to General Manager Rick Valencia of Qualcomm Life:
These companies are focused on integrating digital technology into solutions and clinical trials, among other areas. They lead teams with a dedicated head count, a budget and a clear charter. They know what they want to achieve in the space. This is occurring within each of these organizations. … He added that next year we’ll see some interesting collaborations between pharmaceutical companies that involve a digital health component, for treatments such as COPD.
This expansion of therapies and trials to include a digital component makes sense when brand managers need to convince increasingly resistant payers to fund newer and better products. Any advantage for the ROI story needs to be considered.
An important question for these companies will be whether they allow their therapeutic users to opt-in to communications from the brands or whether they try to be arms-length. Consumers now expect a much closer digital relationship with brands and attempts to keep the two separate may backfire.