Should Pharma Encourage Digital Health More?
February 08, 2017
There is life-saving information waiting to be unlocked.
When pharmaceutical companies have an understanding of the impact of their products across a vast user base, they will be able to optimise their effectiveness. When they have more accurate data in the clinical trial stages, development will be faster, and the final product will be fit for purpose. There may even come a day when nanotechnology can get inside our bodies to give us an unprecedented picture of what is going on.
There is only one obstacle. People have to adopt the technology first.
When we are asking large swathes of the population to change their behaviour, they need to understand why this will make a difference to them and their families. Putting on a band to measure their pulse and a few vital signs is a gimmick for many, but if the diagnostic technology gets to the point where the readings can provide a step change for the science of healthcare, then the pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers will have to step up and champion the benefits of knowing more about our bodies (and sharing that information).
That moment is not so far away given recent advances in digital technology and its use.
I’m not sure that everyone will be happy to know the intimate details of their health, or for those details to be in the public domain. Most of us carry on in blissful ignorance, and many issues resolve themselves without us knowing. But, there are also many, many cases where these data insights could enhance or save lives. They could save the lives of those wearing the technology and also provide insights into improved modes of treatment.
The biggest obstacle will be persuading people to share their data with faceless pharma companies. However, if the right approach is taken, I don’t think that this will be so hard. I’m sure that many of us donate small sums of money to a few worthy charities every month. No doubt some of those charities will be addressing health issues that are dear to our hearts. If pharma companies can explain to people that their data is actually more valuable than their donations, maybe people will be more willing to participate.
Download your data and help to cure cancer. Why wouldn’t you?
The invasive nature of data brings many threats to our modern lives, but it also has an incredible potential for making our world a better place. The better we understand our bodies, the easier we will be able to cure them. Much has been written about the journey of humanity to a-mortality (i.e. you can be killed by a bus, but not by a disease), but just because this seems slightly unnatural, it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a goal.
Pharmaceutical companies are at the forefront of helping to make our lives better and less painful. But they will need our help soon. Will we be willing and ready to share our data with them? I hope so. It will be for the good of our fellow man if we do.
This article was written by Chis Coe, EVP Executive Search.