The age of blockbuster drugs has officially given way to precision medicines that are customized for rare diseases and individual patients. We are in the early days of a decades-long trend that will influence changes throughout the entire life sciences industry and lead to groundbreaking cures and treatments.

These new innovations are becoming the foundation of scientific discovery and with them, an explosion of available scientific information and data – from clinical studies to real-world patient information – that are critical in finding patients to treat and keeping healthcare professionals and their organizations informed on the latest medicines. Getting the right information to the right people is critical for physicians in delivering the best possible care.

In 2020, we’ll see organizations better leverage data across their organizations to accelerate the move toward patient-centered healthcare. Our Veeva experts look ahead with their top predictions and the greatest areas of opportunity to improve patient health outcomes.

A connected and collaborative healthcare ecosystem will drive innovation
Chris Moore, president, Veeva Europe

Healthcare spend is rising at an alarming rate, representing a striking 17 percent of total gross domestic product. Total U.S. medical spend as of early 2018 was $2.4 trillion with estimated preventable spending of $500 billion. As the population ages and the incidence of age-related and chronic diseases rise, the spending curve will eventually become unsustainable for societies around the world. Next year we’ll see a more dynamic healthcare environment take root with greater collaboration among biopharmaceutical companies, providers, and payers to drive greater efficiency throughout the industry and meet this growing challenge.

With the rising costs of healthcare, payers are only reimbursing premium prices for innovative treatments such as precision medicines that demonstrate higher efficacy among targeted patient populations. Precision medicines require the ability to identify patients with rare and individualized diseases. As a result, companies are becoming more agile and integrated within the healthcare ecosystems in which they operate to get the treatments to the patients that need them.

This is driving new pricing models such as financial risk-based contracts, health outcomes contracts, and indication-specific pricing that are aligned with the unique characteristics of innovative products coming to market and, of course, the care needs of patients.

Moving forward to operate in this more interconnected and dynamic environment, companies will reduce siloed processes and systems both internally and across the healthcare ecosystem to drive new levels of operational efficiency and collaboration. This will not only enable life sciences companies to compete more effectively, but also to work better with healthcare providers and payers in delivering the right care.

For example, we’ll begin to see a data flow from the patient or a healthcare professional directly through every part of the drug development and commercialization process, from regulatory and manufacturing, to commercial and payment approval packages. This information will also flow to patients, payers, and providers as industry silos break down, giving the industry faster visibility into data so that treatment decisions can be made. Data will also be entered once but used many times, cutting half of today’s redundant processes and most duplicated systems. Companies ultimately will become more efficient and agile in delivering treatments to the right patients.

Once this new operating model is in place, artificial intelligence will be applied to monitor patterns, connect scientific discovery across teams, identify the best clinical trial sites, and match trial populations to treatment populations. This new model will lead to safer, better outcomes, and reduced waste throughout the industry.

Privacy-safe analytics and AI will accelerate the shift to patient-centered healthcare
Tom Schwenger, president and chief operating officer, Veeva Systems

In 2020, we’ll see two key trends collide – the continued shift toward personalized medicine and an increased concentration on data privacy. Successful commercial teams will focus their execution of patient-centered healthcare for specialty conditions in a way that’s privacy-safe and more intelligent.

The advancements in specialty products, including personalized medicine, has led to more effective treatments and improved health outcomes for patients. For example, the use of specialty pharmacy care has provided a significantly lower risk of disease relapse for MS patients than traditional pharmacy care.

However, the patient journey has become more complex, creating an opportunity for pharma manufacturers and hub services to better communicate and support patients and HCPs. Pharma sales and marketers will use privacy-safe predictive analytics to build a communications plan to engage HCPs at key moments along the patient journey. The use of AI will also give teams more detailed, person-level insights to precisely identify and target patient populations and enhance their promotional strategies. HCPs and hub services can then, in turn, reach patients at the right time to drive better diagnosis, treatment, and adherence.

With an increased societal focus on privacy – and corresponding regulations like CCPA and GDPR – companies will need to balance helping patients navigate the complexity of the specialty market while also addressing patient privacy concerns, including allowing optional enrollment and the right level of opt-ins and opt-outs. In fact, a recent survey found that 78 percent of respondents said a company’s ability to keep their data private is extremely important.

Data and analytics will continue to play a larger role in ensuring that life sciences companies reach the most relevant patients and HCPs in a privacy-safe way, and, ultimately, get more patients on the right treatments for improved health outcomes.

AI becomes a real-time coach embedded in commercial processes
Paul Shawah, senior VP, commercial strategy, Veeva Systems

AI has proven extremely valuable in processing volumes of information and delivering insights and suggestions on the next best action to take, dramatically improving commercial effectiveness. This year, AI will become pervasive in enterprise applications and embedded within specific commercial workflows, expanding to become more contextually aware of what account teams are doing as they’re doing it and acting as a real-time coach.

AI delivers intelligence that is helping commercial organizations get the right information to HCPs to deliver the best possible care to patients. With the move toward patient-centric healthcare and more innovative precision medicines and specialty drugs, a wider variety of stakeholders are administering care. This creates complexity in identifying the right patients, treatment, and managing the services needed to drive adherence and patient outcomes.

As AI becomes more contextually aware of what account teams are working on, it will act as a real-time coach helping reps navigate the complicated ecosystem of stakeholders much easier. For example, AI can provide a recommendation on new HCPs to target or suggest account strategies to consider during account planning, helping teams drive better and more relevant engagement with the right people at the right time.

AI will also enable real-time compliance. Commercial teams, for example, will be able to take detailed notes of customer interactions in the CRM system with AI providing real-time guidance regarding potential compliance risks such as off-label topics. With a real-time coach, commercial teams will have the freedom to share unstructured thinking and, ultimately, deeper insights without risk to drive more informed, compliant interactions.

Patients’ active role in their healthcare decisions will transform the industry’s model of care
David Logue, senior VP of strategy, Veeva Europe

In the existing account-based model of healthcare, physicians have traditionally been the focus of manufacturer information, business development efforts, and support. The industry is still in the early stages of adopting a patient-driven model that examines patients holistically, as banking, entertainment, merchandising, and other industries have long since done. From the consumer perspective, healthcare is complex to navigate, fragmented, and exorbitant. In 2020, the industry will continue to modernize and focus on the patient’s experience to enable patient empowerment.

Commercially, companies will better align their marketing efforts and account teams to focus targeted messaging to providers. For example, streamlining the medical/legal review process and use of digital publishing will help ensure timely communication of new discoveries, innovative treatments, clinical trials, and more to providers and patients.
While patients are provider network subscribers and research, treatment, and surgery candidates, they are also consumers in search of value, convenience, simplicity, and comfort. We see the industry adapting to address medical needs and deliver treatments to patients in ways that afford greater personal empowerment.

Delivering better patient outcomes in 2020

The goal of precision medicine is to drive better patient outcomes through tailored treatment approaches. The intersection of scientific discovery, new technology, and patients’ active role in their healthcare decisions will lead to even greater industry collaboration and connectedness. We’ll continue to see life sciences come together to put a holistic model of healthcare delivery in place to enable this new era of medicine for decades to come.