April 29, 2022

The transition to digitalisation

The world is changing. As a result of digitalisation, technology now plays an indispensable role in society, the economy and working world. Let’s put this into perspective…there are over 6 billion people with smartphone subscriptions globally, a number which is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years (Statista, 2022). In line with acceleration consumer adoption, businesses have had to adapt to continue to exploit emerging new technologies to transform their productivity and growth.

Impact of Covid-19 on the pharmaceutical sector

The pharma industry has been relatively slow at adopting new technologies and lags behind many other industries when it comes to digital transformation. However, the Covid-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for change, with many companies accelerating their digital transformation plans, embracing innovation and actively looking for data driven solutions.

One such area which has benefitted from the digital migration is patient intelligence. Pre-Covid, pharma relied heavily on deriving patient insights from healthcare professionals. However, with less reps on the road able to meet face to face with healthcare professionals, there was an evident forced change in the feedback loop. At the same time, as a result of the pandemic, fewer patients were visiting their GPs and more were increasingly turning to social media channels to find peer to peer support, alongside voicing their experiences about treatment, conditions, and medicines.

These significant shifts have opened up a way for the industry to finally realise their commitments of becoming more patient-centric. Patients now expect to be listened to and have all their needs met. For pharma, this means a stronger focus must be placed on data collection to actively seek out the patient voice and discover what they need to do to improve their healthcare journeys.

Benefits of being more patient oriented (Welkin Health, 2020)

  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Better health outcomes
  • Better reputation for organisation as patients feel their care is more personalised
  • Less strain on health resources as when patients are more satisfied with their healthcare journey, they are likely to engage more in their treatments and recover/stabilise faster

Utilising data to provide pharma companies with a competitive advantage?

The changes brought about by the pandemic were the key drivers behind the development of PatientMetRx® – our very own AI platform, which combines machine learning and natural language processing to provide science-based insights on the patient experience which cut through the noise from social media. With the capability of providing such valuable insights into how patients are experiencing their medicines, we are now able to offer pharma and the healthcare marketing industry a valuable tool in their digital transformation journey and, more importantly, a credible way of finally realising their patient-centric ambitions.


Statista. 2022. Smartphone users 2026 | Statista. [online] Available at: <https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/> [Accessed 26 July 2022].

McKinsey. 2020. How covid-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point and transformed business forever. [online] Available at: <https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/how-covid-19-has-pushed-companies-over-the-technology-tipping-point-and-transformed-business-forever> [Accessed 26 July 2022].

Global Data. 2022. Covid-19 accelerated digital transformation timeline for pharmaceutical industry. [online] Available at: <https://www.globaldata.com/covid-19-accelerated-digital-transformation-timeline-pharmaceutical-industry/> [Accessed 26 July 2022].

Welkinhealth.com. 2020. Benefits of patient centered care. [online] Available at: <https://welkinhealth.com/benefits-of-patient-centered-care/> [Accessed 26 July 2022].

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