Multiple stakeholders from the Indian pharmaceutical and healthcare industries are calling for increased digitisation, arguing that a trend towards ‘digital pharma’ is fuelling the sector’s growth.
“To understand how the digital transformation is occurring in pharma marketing, we would need to look at both the patient’s side and the healthcare professional’s side,” asserted Atul Sharma, the managing director and founder of Healthscape Consulting, according to an ANI report. “A survey has revealed that over 85 percent of patients were confident in their ability to take responsibility for their health and knew how to access online resources. In a digital world, the ability to engage with patients as they make such evaluations could be key to the success of a pharma company.”
Sharma cited data that “over sixty percent of physicians are now digitally driven who routinely use digital mediums for engaging with the pharma industry. Hence, the digital transformation is an opportunity to reduce cost [and] improve efficiency in work.”
Similar sentiments concerning the merits of and need for ‘digital pharma’ were echoed by Dr Hashit Jain, chief executive officer of Doceree. Jain argued that “most pharma companies are embracing artificial intelligence and digital platforms in their processes.” He called on the healthcare publishing to reflect this trend, arguing “healthcare marketing also needs to be revamped. Healthcare publishers need to realise their potential and come together to provide digital healthcare marketing — the much-needed impetus.”
“For organisation to survive and thrive in a digitalised healthcare industry,” writes the Digital Marketing Institute, “pharma and healthcare companies must start generating ideas and implementing digital strategies immediately to develop a business model that allows them to transform their capabilities and strengths.” Indeed, the push for increased digitisation in healthcare is gaining wider recognition and acknowledgement in India with the Government of India intensifying its push for digital healthcare. ‘Digital pharma’ can play a key role in this.
Last year, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan unveiled a digital blueprint for healthcare. “[The] Government of India is committed to ensuring high quality healthcare, accessible to all upto the last mile,” Vardhan – who holds the portfolios of Health and Family Welfare and Science and Technology in the Union Cabinet – said at the time. “The digital health interventions are accelerating this transformation and have a huge potential for supporting universal healthcare.” Urging the collaboration of stakeholders, Vardhan said “the need of the hour is to create an ecosystem which can integrate the existing disparate health information systems and show clear path for upcoming programmes.
“There is a need to ensure convergence across these IT systems to monitor and provide health services in a robust and efficient manner.”