To round out our spotlight series on medical affairs in digital health, we’ve launched our latest HealthXL report: Pharma Medical Affairs: Digital Health’s Next Strategic Enabler.
Earlier this year, we wrote a report about the evolution of digital health in pharma and outlined a framework to help pharma reframe their digital health initiatives for success. Interviews with a number of former and current executives from the world’s leading pharma companies highlighted that much of digital health in pharma focuses on the commercial, post-launch realm. Consequently, a function within pharma that is often absent from the digital health discourse is medical affairs.
Few would argue that medical affairs plays a strategic role for digital health in pharma, despite their strategic positioning between commercial and R&D. This new report reevaluates the role of medical affairs in pharma and asks what may be holding them back from a greater role in digital health.
Digital health tools can empower medical affairs teams’ core mandate
Medical affairs are the eyes and ears on the ground for pharmaceutical companies. It is tasked with gaining a deep understanding of customer needs, fostering collaboration, and shaping the company's evidence generation strategy.
Digital data collection is quickly becoming a cornerstone of clinical and scientific research, and digital health tools from consumer wearables to implantable devices are now a reality of patient journeys. Yet, many medical affairs professionals lack enthusiasm for digital and continue to have a molecule-first mindset. Digital health can and does provide exceptional tools that will help medical affairs teams understand and empower patients better than ever, while still focusing on the core molecule.
Can medical affairs unlock digital health’s full value for pharma?
This report looks at why medical affairs must increase focus on and unlock the value of digital health. As the owners of data generation strategies in pharma companies, medical affairs have a strong imperative to develop a deep digital health domain knowledge. Innovation conscious organisations will need to upskill and expand medical affairs core digital capabilities in areas including:
- Digitally-enabled patient journeys
- Digital measurement technologies
- Real world evidence
- Multi-functional orchestration and end-to-end decision-making
- Technology scouting and assessment
- Personalisation and automation of engagement
The future success of medical affairs relies on this function becoming a strategic enabler of digital health activities in pharma. Interacting with HCPs and working closely with R&D and commercial means no other function within pharma is as ideally situated to push for a greater uptake of digital health and align key external stakeholders for adoption.
All of this, however, will be in vain if teams cannot catalyse a greater mindset shift and buy-in for digital health projects across their organisations and beyond.
Download the full report for more on:
- How Digital Health Technologies Can Support Medical Affairs’ Core Mandate
- What’s Holding Medical Affairs Back from Taking a More Strategic Role in Digital Health?
- How Medical Affairs Teams Can Optimise Data and Patient Support with Digital Health
- Catering to Evolving Patient and HCP Needs with Digital Health Technologies
- Upskilling and Expanding Medical Affairs teams’ Core Digital Capabilities