The pharmaceutical industry has shifted towards personalisation and patient centricity. And digital innovation has been an integral part of this successful repositioning.

The introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) to supply chains has enabled the industry to make huge strides in precision medicine. Embracing new digital methods of communication has meant pharma companies can engage with healthcare professionals more effectively. Plus, digitisation has even resulted in clinical trials being decentralised — driving better results than ever before.

With greater data access and more robust technologies in place, the pharmaceutical industry can focus more on improving patient experience. What’s more, systems of engagement empower companies to connect with customers in whole new ways. Salesforce’s Customer 360 platform can help organisations humanise engagement with patients, which in turn can improve adherence, decrease trial drop outs, and scale access to precision medicine. 

This guide will explore the importance of digital innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, the opportunities ahead for the industry, how PCI Pharma Services champions patient centricity, and what the future holds.


The pharma industry has a constant need for innovation 

Pharmaceutical companies have to be prepared to respond rapidly, and continual innovation helps them stay ahead of changes across medicine and healthcare. The pharma industry has significantly changed over recent years — expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As pharmaceuticals become increasingly personalised, patient experiences improve. But personalisation is not an easy job. To achieve this, organisations need to rethink how they use technology across their entire ecosystem.

For pharma companies to meet today’s patients and healthcare professionals' needs, they must be prepared to leverage the power of analytics and AI-fuelled predictions to drive personalised experiences and results. Without systems that enable this in place, they will fall behind and be unable to serve their patients with the care they demand — and deserve.


What opportunities does this give to pharma companies?  

There are several ways digitisation can be used to improve pharmaceutical experiences across the entire industry, including drug manufacturing, clinical trials, and commercial packaging.

By harmonising data, pharma organisations can drive forward to create stronger, faster, and more cost-effective innovations at all of these stages and more. Utilising data to its full potential is essential for achieving patient centricity.

One organisation that has fully embraced the potential of innovation is PCI Pharma Services — a Trailblazer that has found significant success by doing things differently using Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, and Tableau.

PCI Pharma Services successfully reimagined the clinical trial experience. With Salesforce in place, PCI Pharma Services shortened the creation of clinical trial proposals from five days to just 30 minutes and from ten people to just one person. And this is just one of the many impressive ways PCI Pharma Services has been empowered to embrace change, increase the speed to market for life-changing therapies, and put its patients at the centre of everything it does.


Embracing patient centricity

Pharma companies, such as PCI Pharma Services, are focused on patient centricity as a driver for innovation.

A goal for PCI Pharma Services, and many others across the industry, is to increase the speed to market for life-changing therapies. It currently takes between 10 - 15 years to develop a drug from idea to rollout. But as we saw with the COVID-19 vaccine, which was produced in just ten months, rapid delivery is possible with the right tools and resources in place.

One way medication roll outs can be expedited is by accelerating the speed of clinical trials, as we've already mentioned. And there are other exciting ways this can happen across the healthcare supply chain, too.

Adopting a patient centric approach helps pharmaceutical companies gather the data they need to make intelligent clinical decisions about how best to use medicines and alter drugs for improved results. A number one priority for companies like PCI Pharma Services is getting the right medication to the people who need them at precisely the right time. Pharmaceutical organisations can use digitisation to improve patients’ lives with hyper-personalised data, such as tracking pain episodes or absorption of medicine through the bloodstream, which can then be used to make necessary adjustments to medication.

Patient centricity goes beyond adapting medicine. Consider the packaging of pharmaceuticals. It is a considerable cost to update directions on medication, such as how many tablets are recommended per day. So although we’re constantly learning more about medicine, it’s impossible to easily update information like this or tailor it for personalised nuances without incurring unsustainable costs. Although it’s not yet in action, it’s thought that QR codes or augmented reality (AR) could present a solution to this. If all patients and healthcare professionals could easily access this technology, pharmaceutical providers could provide real-time information on drugs, give personalised directions, and offer translations by scanning packaging. Changes like this don’t just benefit pharma; they benefit patients too.

There are elements of digitisation that may sound futuristic, but the seemingly less exciting basics are just as important (if not more so). But ultimately, digital infrastructure is essential to success. Without this, every innovation will fail. All transformation must be grounded on a solid understanding of what patients want and need, and how businesses can operate to best serve these people.

Building solid relationships with suppliers is also critical for improving the patient experience — ensuring that nobody is let down at any point in the chain. PCI Pharma has 25 facilities globally and numerous suppliers supporting it. Using Salesforce Community Cloud, PCI Pharma Services can talk to suppliers in real-time and get what it wants when it wants. Tools like this increase the efficiency of interacting with partners and ensure that pharmaceutical companies always serve patients the way they need.


What does the future of digitalisation in pharma look like?

We are on the brink of a healthcare revolution that we have never seen before. By understanding data, we can identify trends in the market and have the right people and procedures to serve patients better. 

An accurate view of data underpins every element of innovation and achieving the ultimate goal of patient centricity. It is not simply about data collection but more about data curation. Collecting data isn’t enough; data needs to be selected and free of pollution. Tools like Tableau can help businesses visualise the data they have and understand the stories it is telling.

Digital transformation has never been so important. Accurate data and digitalisation can accelerate the speed pharmaceutical companies can react to patients and their needs. The future is patient centric and now is the time to get ready for it. 

Watch the on-demand session from Salesforce Live to get more insights from the full story: PCI Increases Speed to Market for Life-Changing Therapies with Salesforce