WITH digital therapeutics set to become a $18 billion global opportunity by 2027, it’s time for the pharmaceutical industry to make the most of its potential.
“Digital Therapeutics” (DTx) are software-based interventions with proven clinical benefits that aim to prevent, manage, or treat medical conditions, often using tools like mobile apps and sensors to drive behavioral changes in patients (https://edps.europa.eu/press-publications/publications/techsonar/digital-therapeutics-dtx_en). This innovative field within digital health has seen rapid progress over the years, offering customized health services to improve patients’ quality of life and clinical outcomes.
Fueled by the latest innovations in medical apps, wearables, tech platforms, data gathering and artificial intelligence-led real-time analytics, DTx are rapidly changing how pharma companies and health care providers deliver and personalize healthcare and fill in essential gaps.
DTx are creating huge opportunities for the industry to cover blind spots and under-serviced areas within the patient journey and realize new revenue streams. Establishing a solid digital foundation today is imperative for the long-term viability of pharmaceutical players in the future.
However, while consumer-centric digital health is an important topic for most pharma players, the DTx landscape is far from pharma’s core business and the challenges of getting everything up and running are many and shouldn’t be underestimated.
In a country where healthcare accessibility remains a concern like the Philippines, the integration of DTx could lead to improved patient outcomes, increased patient adherence and reduced burden on healthcare infrastructure.
According to KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. Head of Deal Advisory and Healthcare Sector Head Michael Arcatomy H. Guarin, “with the potential to address gaps in patient care and revolutionize the patient journey, digital therapeutics could help bridge the existing healthcare disparities in our country.”
“The Philippines, characterized by its diverse geography and population distribution, stands to benefit immensely from digital interventions that could extend healthcare access to underserved areas,” Guarin added.
As the Philippines continues its journey towards achieving universal healthcare coverage and improved patient outcomes, embracing digital therapeutics holds immense promise. The Philippines’s unique healthcare landscape presents both challenges and opportunities for the integration of DTx. By aligning with global best practices and tailoring strategies to the local context, Philippine pharmaceutical companies (Pharmacos) can play a pivotal role in advancing healthcare through digital innovation.
CREATING a strong and successful DTx portfolio that enhances or complements Pharmacos’ current drug or solution portfolio means tackling a range of internal and external challenges.
What then must be looked at? We categorized company internal challenges into six areas:
• A lack of vision and ambition, especially regarding financial expectations and how to best realize business opportunities and how to clearly define actionable and measurable goals.
• The decision on the market region, size and segmentation needs to be well thought through (e.g., a not-too-restrictive market or indication selection).
• The DTx not being compatible with the overall portfolio.
• People and capabilities are not set up to develop, test and market DTx.
• IT and innovation processes are not optimized.
• Underestimation of the huge transformation and change requirement.
Integrating new technologies and encouraging a fundamental culture shift is essential if you want to create innovative solutions, optimize processes and provide greater value to your patients. The following are key aspects and success factors for a successful transformation:
Vision and ambition. Now is the time to set and communicate your vision and goals for your DTx portfolio in alignment with your overall transformation strategy and business plan.
Market. Carefully consider your key markets, competitors and the regulations and reimbursement schemes that are specific to each region.
Product. Start with what you know. Focus on your area(s) of core expertise, closely matching your drug or solution portfolio.
People and capabilities. Arguably the most important element for your DTx transformation is people. The right team is a vital driving force for your mission.
IT innovation, IT security and data privacy. When discussing IT, it’s important to create and maintain an environment that encourages innovation and emphasizes a digital-first mindset.
Change. With all the above-mentioned, we hypothesize that a crucial factor for successfully establishing comprehensive and successful DTx portfolios is to recognize and appreciate the magnitude of the transformation involved.
The full version of this excerpt is at: https://hub.kpmg.de/digital-therapeutics-in-pharma.
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This article is for general information purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice to a specific issue or entity. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the BusinessMirror, KPMG International or KPMG in the Philippines.