Healthcare technology and pharma, moving forward together?

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“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford.

The healthcare industry is certainly witnessing market sectors convening together – pharma, payers, providers, patients, and system vendors – to move towards improved patient outcomes. Pharma, in particular, has emerged recently as an impactful force with an aim to support development of novel solutions.

So much so that HIMSS 2019 held its inaugural Pharma Forum, showcasing several pilots that demonstrated collaborative successes in effective patient monitoring, medications management, and data analytics for clinical research. Having attended the conference in person, I was encouraged by the increased involvement and collaborations on display by pharma and payers and systems, and the aligned desire to support value-based care and patient outcomes.

But many questions still float through my mind having been in this industry for decades. How sustainable is it for a new, beastly entrant to come into this already complex market? Where are the successful business models that can demonstrate value across all stakeholders? Is there trust amongst all players? Is there enough talent and skillset to execute on the innovations and ideation? Are these offerings – mobile, data analysis, virtual trials, etc. – scalable and repeatable and profitable? Even amongst the pharma industry the needs and goals of individual players vary. Is there enough momentum and broad reaching goals sharing to effectively disrupt the market with other industry behemoths? And, of course, the legal constraints that may hinder lean development and swift advancements: regulatory, compliance, and privacy matters still need to be overcome.

Nonetheless, there is hope. Initial pilots have yielded positive results. Momentum has surged. Leadership positions have been created at many large pharma companies to focus on the HCIT space. Forums and specialized conferences are being formed.

After all, if we don’t move forward together, we get in the way of our collective success.

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