The days where life sciences organizations target broad traditional demographics and segments are numbered. In the new era of ‘hyperpersonalized’ products and services, we’re seeing a shift towards patient needs driven by the individual; fine-tuning the approach away from traditional patient pathways to where the healthcare system travels ‘to’ the patient – truly placing the patient at the centre of the healthcare ecosystem. Anchoring upon a vision of patient centricity in Asia Pacific, the APAC MedTech Forum 2022: Patient Futures 2025 hosted in Singapore explored how stakeholders in the regional healthcare ecosystem can collaborate, adopt and scale new business models in patient care.
1. The new oil: Health data
Like oil that is left unrefined, under-processed healthcare data provides limited value. However, we’re witnessing a new era of big data in healthcare where stakeholders across the ecosystem are leveraging its value, and relationships are traded on data.
1.1 Patient empowerment: As patients become more aware of the value and associated risks of their data, they are no longer ‘passive’ in making decisions about their healthcare. From patients accessing information regarding their own health to the rise of Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), and precision medicine and diagnostics, healthcare providers are now dealing with more highly informed patients. Yet, with the diversity and complexity of the Asia Pacific region (e.g. digital acumen and access), how does the sector ensure equity of information and access?
1.2 Data democratisation: Patients are no longer willing to part their data for ‘free’ nor allow it to be disseminated in a disaggregated manner across the healthcare ecosystem. They expect timely and reliable access to their own data and that their data is secure when being shared across the ecosystem. With the increasing awareness of patients on the value of the data, it is only a matter of time before patients expect not only health-benefits but potential financial benefits; expecting remuneration in exchange for their data being used in the health care and life sciences ecosystem.
1.3 Cyber secure branding: With rapidly increasing awareness of the value of healthcare data, there is an ever-expanding cyber threat arising from external actors. With patients hyper-aware of this threat, cyber security is not just a compliance procedure but also a brand differentiator.
2. The digital era: Digitalisation of healthcare and life sciences
There is a shift in care models, bringing the ‘hospital to the patient’ (with the rise of SaMD and Telehealth). With an overwhelming percentage of people in Asia Pacific having access to mobile broadband, new remote care models provide a great opportunity for health equity and access in the region which is exposed to diverging levels of healthcare access and affordability. Furthermore, healthcare specialists can tether to local support (such as nurses or carers) as the ‘boots on the ground’, enabling greater reach of experts and reduced patient burden. As the hospital begins to merge into the home, it may not be long until it’s “healthcare on-demand”.
2.2 Health digital twins and the metaverse
Access to big data provides the opportunity for life sciences leaders to create a digital ‘copy’ of a patient where they can focus on enhancing precision treatments and hypothesising outcomes without physical intrusion.
The metaverse is entering the ecosystem, with players starting to develop ‘digital health cities’ for patients and healthcare providers to traverse and interact across the region, without physical boundaries.
3. Ecosystem enablement: New business models
When placing the patient at the centre, new ‘around the patient’ models are required to collaborate seamlessly across the ecosystem and enable patient-focused outcomes.
3.1 Interoperability and usability
With the rise of the digital era, life sciences companies and healthcare providers need to better collaborate and co-design for the future. This goes beyond ensuring digital interoperability for data exchange and digital enablement, to considering the ‘human’ aspect and usability of new age digital technology to ensure healthcare system adoption and that the digital age is reductive in the healthcare burden and not additive.
3.2 Digital supply chain resilience
With supply chains adjusting from globalisation to localisation and shifting patient needs (precision treatments, consumerization), supply chains are rapidly being digitised; from real-time analytics on supply shortages to intelligent and predictive consumer-behaviour triggers, including artificial intelligence and machine learning for demand forecasting, and robotic process automation for reduced operational burden.
These themes are consistent with KPMG’s recent ‘Future-Ready Supply Chain: Life Sciences’ report, which explores the trends in more detail and outlines how life sciences leaders are transforming their businesses to be ‘future-ready’ for the patients of 2025, and beyond.