How Digital is Transforming PCD Pharma Sector
We live in a digital world. Increasingly today we meet people, interact, inform, transact, and even shop in an online world. Our decisions, lifestyle and preferences are largely decided by what we find online. Not surprisingly, we find that every facility, industry and utility today exists on the world wide web, whether it is paying your utility bills on buying your books.
Yet, we find that the pharma sector has been unusually slow in stepping onto the online bandwagon. Medical treatment and administration continues in the way it has for the last few decades, with just a few changes in digitising record keeping. However, the scope for digitisation goes much deeper. With most users now increasingly preferring digital over other means, PCD pharma companies can no longer afford to ignore this.
The Case For Digitisation
The truth is that we have no option but to digitise. Already the digital tools have significantly changed our life and business practices. India has the largest number of mobile users in the world and it is a figure which will continue to rise as mobile penetration crosses rural areas. Of these, a significant population are smartphone users who are now also avid internet users. Investment in digital healthcare has been on the rise worldwide and the trend continues in India as well.
But the potential for digitalisation of healthcare in India is a massive story in itself with significant impact on public spending, lifestyle and more importantly, rural healthcare. In India quality healthcare is still largely unavailable to people living in remote or rural areas. The adoption of innovative method, hence, has the potential to revolutionise the way we administer medical treatment.
The Indian healthcare market today is expected to grow at the rate of 22.9% to reach $280 billion by 2020. Healthcare delivery accounts for 65% of this market. This includes pharma companies, hospitals, diagnostic centres and clinics. The existing Healthcare IT market is valued at $1 billion and is expected to grow at 1.5 times faster in the same period.
So, what are the fields where PCD pharma should focus? And how can digitalisation transform the pharma sector? Here are some of the major tools we can use it in the pharma sector:
Social: This is a valuable tool for PCD companies. For the first time we have the means to personally reach out to the users and pharma companies have found innovative ways to use this medium. Social media is used mainly to disperse information. This could be regarding a new product or treatment or about our health in general. Companies can establish a direct contact with users, answering their queries and dealing with any issue that may crop up.
Essentially it acts as a valuable brand building and customer relationship medium. We have the opportunity to establish direct communication and showcase ourselves as experts in the field. In the world of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat users it has emerged as a necessary tool to manage our reputation. Remember, each customer today has the potential to reach million others. One negative review can spread like a wildfire and do incalculable damage. This makes social media management essential.
Personal devices: Another emerging trend today is the self-management of health through personal devices like the mobile. Today healthcare is increasingly accessible through apps, carefully designed to calibrate our health and connect it to healthcare providers. Personal devices will also be an essential part of IoT. Through this, we will receive instant diagnosis, doctors can have access to comprehensive medical data almost insantly and best of all, we will be able to track our own health.
Analytics: Some of the best PCD pharma companies understands the importance of data. What are the merging trends, buying patterns, income graphs and social chatter — these are issues that directly impact our own planning. In this context, digital data or Big Data is the biggest and most comprehensive source of information. It is then used by BI in different analytical models for valuable consumer and market insight.
Cloud: This is one tool that will effect the delivery and administration of healthcare. Apart from its access to Big Data, Cloud is essential today in the running and coordination of the pharma sector. With the increasing need for decentralisation and its spread to remote areas, cloud has the potential to revolutionise healthcare.
PCD pharma companies must adapt an aggressive digital drive to stay above the competition. But more than that, digitisation is now becoming essential for their very existence and relevance.