New Technologies for the Healthcare and Pharma Sector

New Technologies for the Healthcare and Pharma Sector

Provided by GBI Research

A wide range of innovative technologies have emerged in recent years to help pharmaceutical companies deal with some of the industry challenges discussed in Wednesday's blog. Many of these technologies come from innovations in digital healthcare, and the integration and leveraging of Big Data in the provision of healthcare.

Moreover, the majority of these technologies and associated strategies are focused on empowering patients, increasing access to healthcare, and streamlining drug development processes. Two emerging technology areas that are helping to transform the provision of healthcare are described below.


Telehealth and Telemedicine Technologies

The terms telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably to describe the delivery of healthcare, health information or health education at a distance, using technology. Telehealth encompasses a broad variety of technology-enabled care services, and includes telemedicine, as well as services such as assessment, monitoring, communications, prevention, and education. Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services that focus on the curative aspect of care. These technologies have created a significant paradigm shift in the provision of healthcare in both developed and emerging markets.

Telehealth technologies have the potential to improve patient outcomes and access to care, and to create significant cost savings – for example, it is estimated that telemedicine could potentially deliver more than $6 billion per year in healthcare savings in the US, once the technology is widely adopted. These savings can be achieved through the provision of remote analysis services, which enable low-volume healthcare providers to provide continuous coverage at a lower cost. The use of eVisits with nurses, for instance, has reduced unnecessary and expensive emergency visits in many cases. Through telemedicine-based appointments, healthcare providers can also reduce the amount of wasted capacity.

The mHealth sector has been growing at a very fast pace within the telehealth market, and involves the use of mobile information and communication technologies, such as health apps, for improving health and preventing disease. These monitoring technologies have been reported to reduce the cost of complications, as they can avoid re-admissions linked to chronic conditions. With the shift towards a patient-centric, outcome-based delivery model, mHealth technologies will certainly be an important aspect of healthcare transformation.

The value of telehealth technologies is being increasingly quantified, and healthcare providers are developing integrated strategies for adopting these solutions in an effort to manage costs, broaden access and improve patient care.


Leveraging and Integrating Big Data into Healthcare Applications

As in many other fields, a significant number of bio-research and healthcare areas are becoming increasingly data-driven. Technological advances in both the pharmaceutical and overall healthcare sectors enable the quick generation of huge quantities of complex and heterogeneous digital health information from patients. For example, the advent of high-throughput genomics – particularly next-generation sequencing – has reportedly increased the rate of biological data generation in the last few years at an exponential rate. Advances in mass spectrometry, medical imaging, patient management systems and microarrays have also enabled massive amounts of healthcare data to be produced at a rapid pace. The large quantities of data collected are widely referred to as Big Data.

The integration of Big Data techniques and associated technologies into biobanking systems has enabled scientists to recognize patterns in disease pathogenesis at a molecular level. Furthermore, these technologies are expected to enable investigators to leverage a wide variety of scientific data stores – including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics – more efficiently. This in turn will result in a more precise understanding of diseases, and the potential development of novel diagnostics and therapies.

Big Data can have a significant impact on all aspects and functions of the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, from RWD collection by studying the effects of drugs and enabling improved patient segmentations, to optimizing sales and marketing efforts by helping companies predict prescribing behavior and forecasting demand.

A large number of pharmaceutical companies are reported to have made significant investments in technologies and capabilities to leverage Big Data possibilities more effectively.



Innovations in digital healthcare are helping pharmaceutical companies overcome industry challenges to improve services and increase access for patients. Telehealth is empowering patients and reducing costs, while Big Data is providing scientists and doctors with the data needed to further their understanding of diseases, drugs, patient segmentations and related markets. Advances in technology are greatly benefiting the healthcare sector, and as a result we should expect to see continued investment in this area from a growing number of pharmaceutical companies.

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About GBI:

GBI Research provides meaningful, innovative and evidence-based analysis to help inform key decision making. GBI Research leverages extensive proprietary databases and employ novel data interrogation methodologies to generate new and meaningful analyses and insights for clients across the entire pharmaceutical lifecycle. Their multi-regional in-house team of researchers and analysts provides expert and insightful commentary to support evidence-based analyses of established and emerging markets.


Analyst Biographies:

Rodrigo is a managing analyst in the UK team. He has a wealth of experience in pharmaceutical business intelligence, having previously worked as a consultant advising leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies on a range of technological and strategy issues. He has led and supervised business intelligence projects on a range of technologies and therapeutic areas, including CNS, ophthalmology, gastrointestinal conditions, dermatology and medical devices. Rodrigo has a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and Molecular Genetics from King’s College London, and an MSc in Biotechnology, Bioprocessing and Business Management from the University of Warwick.

Fiona is an analyst in the UK team. During her time at GBI Research, Fiona has developed a keen interest in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine drug discovery and development. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences from Durham University.

Adam is an associate analyst in the UK team. During his time at GBI Research, Adam has specialized in oncology, and the molecular mechanisms that underlie disease pathophysiology, as well as how these may translate into novel therapeutics. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from Royal Holloway University, and an MSc in Human Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London.

Published by Research and Markets