Mobile & digital health
SummaryDuring the Covid pandemic, digital has transformed everything from patient engagement and recruitment to continuous health monitoring and remote treatment. Kathleen O’Brien of Amplexor Life Sciences reflects on the challenges and considerations.
- Author Company: Amplexor Life Sciences
- Author Name: Kathleen O'Brien, Director of Business Development
- Author Email: Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Author Website: http://www.amplexor.com
Process digitalisation is one positive development that has emerged from the Covid pandemic. Reliance on digital channels for conducting consultations, managing treatments and measuring outcomes has allowed many services to continue almost unhindered and the way has been paved for a more digital future.
Life sciences companies must now lean into the trend and make the most of the bigger part that remote care and monitoring will play in ongoing treatment models.
The FDA’s Digital Health Center of Excellence in the US sets out many of the opportunities for digital healthcare transformation and is actively encouraging stakeholders to share the latest insights and define ways to accelerate access to effective treatments.
We’ve already seen the power of data for discovering important new correlations/indications during the pandemic: harnessing data lakes, data cleansing tools and cloud-based analytics is enabling life sciences teams to spot new trends and stay ahead of medical risk.
Digital is also transforming drug development and trial activity, as well as patient engagement.
Digital recruitment, patient form-filling and process automation have accelerated candidate recruitment, patient reporting, and regulatory risk management, while online forums are giving patients more of a sense of involvement in their own treatments and outcomes.
The pandemic has also focused regulators and life sciences companies on the wider benefits of using data to speed up processes, from securing full health authority approval for a product, to improving drug formulations.
Logistical and strategic challenges.
To maximise the benefits of digital process management on a global level requires a holistic viewpoint but a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works across international boundaries. Approaches and content must be adapted to suit each market, culture and language, so that services are consistent and reliable.
There are regulatory considerations, too: non-medical device manufacturers such as smartphone companies will need control and approval if they are handling health data from patients, and regulators will need to maintain an environment that ensures patient safety and privacy.
In the meantime, the challenge for healthcare innovators is how to manage and make sense of all of the content coming in. This content must also be handled and processed in line with local expectations, as patient engagement can vary considerably around the world.
Knowledge of the local market, coupled with strategic use of digital platforms and/or mobile apps, can help to improve patient engagement and build confidence in drug safety. For example, digital enables drug companies to encourage patients to ‘follow’ a drug online, join a patient forum or community, share their experiences, and meet people with the same condition.
As life sciences organisations take their digital initiatives forward during the pandemic, they need to seek appropriate guidance and support in order to maximise their potential and make the most of both global opportunities and the intricacies of individual markets.