For the more than six years that MobiHealthNews has been covering the world of mobile and digital health pharma has always been one group that seemed just ready to break in. While providers and even payors have publicly gotten their hands dirty experimenting with telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and patient engagement apps, pharma has largely been moving in the shadows through investments, or dipping their toe in the water with small, autonomous innovation groups.
Not anymore. Whether it’s the mounting pressure of the coming outcomes-based payment structures, or just the slow train of pharma development catching up with the times, most of the experts, consultants, and stakeholders MobiHealthNews spoke with in recent weeks believe that pharma has finally reached a turning point, and we’ll begin seeing serious investments in digital health this year. In fact, a few have already happened, including two major pharma companies — Roche and Novartis — teaming up with Qualcomm Life to make use of Qualcomm’s telehealth 2net Hub in research projects.
“When we launched the business, December of 2011, some of the first folks that came through the door were pharma, and we spent a lot of time with them very early on,” Qualcomm Life SVP and General Manager Rick Valencia told MobiHealthNews. “But it was typically innovation teams, and teams without a real specific charter. … So we’re not working so much anymore with the innovation teams. Now we’re working with commercial teams. We’re working with people who have a title that indicates they have an area of responsibility, they have budgets, and in several cases they have projects with very specific timelines that we’re helping them execute on.”
Eddie Chan, the head of search and evaluation at Sanofi, echoed Valencia’s take on the recent shift in pharma thinking on digital health. Keep reading>>