Pharma, HCPs & Patients

Evolving the dynamics with digital

In a previous post, we highlighted why the healthcare industry should embrace digital as a way to enhance their business. Let us highlight a few examples on how digital can change the dynamics between Pharmaceutical companies, HCPs and Patients.

1/ Increase interaction and engagement

Digital technologies can facilitate contact and break down barriers between patients and HCPs, as well as between HCPs and Pharmaceutical companies. Technologies such as online support platforms, social media or mobile apps can facilitate and optimise the exchange of information between key stakeholders and foster trust, and enable real-time reactivity 24/7.

For example, physicians can use a mobile app to be in direct contact with patients, reducing time spent for in-office visits. A survey conducted by PWC (2014) found that 50% of physicians would be open to using more “digital visits” and that it could replace more than 10% of in-office visits. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies can streamline their relationships with physicians through informative online platforms and tailored sales-calls as well as work together in order to increase awareness and drive the recruitment for clinical trials.

Additionally, pharmaceutical companies can streamline their relationships with physicians through informative online platforms and tailored sales calls, designed to give HCPS the information they want,  to increase awareness, and even drive the recruitment for clinical trials.

2/ Increase diagnostic testing

In addition to optimising communication flows, digital technologies could also be used by patients to carry out basic medical tests from the comfort of their own homes. Blood, urine or even DNA tests, with results automatically shared with their physicians, could simplify a patient’s life, speed up treatment administration and effectiveness as well as help pharmaceutical companies identify patients or areas for development.

During a cross-physician survey, PWC (2014) found that 42% of HCPs would be comfortable to rely on basic home testing results to prescribe medications.

3/ Promote self-management of chronic diseases

The lay public is becoming progressively aware of their own health and patients more and more implicated in the management of their chronic diseases. Indeed, 28% of consumers say they have a wellness or medical app on their mobile device, up 16% from 2013. Diabetes patients, for example, are increasingly willing to manage their disease through mobile apps, registering their blood glucose levels and sharing them with their physicians daily. Additionally, HCPs are also taking part in this trend as 66% of physicians say they would be willing to prescribe a management app to help patients manage a chronic illness (PWC, 2014). In the United Kingdom, for example, the NHS has started to publish a list of recommended patient-focused health apps (ATKearney, 2015).


  1. PWC (2014) Healthcare delivery of the future: How digital technology can bridge time and distance between clinicians and consumers
  2. McKinsey and Company (2015) The road to digital success in pharma
  3. ATKearney (2015) New Medicine for a New World Time for Pharma to Dive into Digital