BioSpectrum Asia: Evidence-based medicine and digital health go mainstream

Jan 31, 2018

Digital health will be mainstream for most healthcare organizations

Key trends governing the APAC pharma industry - I believe there are two major trends, each transformative and interrelated. First is evidence-based care and precision medicine. The former relies on advanced analytics and massive healthcare data sets; the latter on disease-modifying medicines targeted at specific patients based on their genetic makeup. This represents a paradigm shift. We're moving from primarily treating symptoms to targeting the biological systems behind disease. This will have a resounding impact on patients - the right patient, the right therapy, the right dose, the right result. 

I believe it also will require significant changes in how biopharma companies interact with stakeholders. They must help move scientific breakthroughs through the system faster to benefit patients and deliver greater value. In addition, the volume of data involved in this new paradigm is large and complex; these large data sets will need to be effectively protected and shared between stakeholders.
Which leads me to the second major trend: digital health. A new IQVIA Institute report (The Growing Value of Digital Health, November 2017) says there are more than 318,000 health apps available now - 200 are being added each day. Wearable devices and remote sensors are creating new possibilities for research, replacing bulky clinical devices, to monitor health parameters and vital signs with accuracy. Healthcare organizations are investing heavily in digital health; about 20 percent of large health systems are shifting from pilot programs to full-scale rollout, the report says. It predicts that within 10 years digital health will be mainstream for most healthcare organizations. Again, this has huge implications for biopharma and all healthcare stakeholders in collecting, protecting, using and sharing such data.

-Dr Anand Tharmaratnam
President, IQVIA Asia Pacific, Singapore