Top 10 transformative trends

(This is the fourth in 10-part blog series on industry trends that are shaping the future of healthcare. To see a report on all ten trends click here)

At Quintiles we have long been committed to the idea that the best approach to gaining efficiencies and solving problems is by working in strategic partnerships with other industry leaders. Through these partnerships all of the players bring a unique set of skills, knowledge and resources to the table to the mutual benefit of us all. This approach is now being embraced across the U.S. healthcare system, as the overarching principles of interoperability become an important factor in the way we develop and share information and best practices. As the health care system transforms to one shaped by shared goals the need for enhanced connectivity between the various players is amplified.

We’ve already seen the early outcomes of this trend in the increased investments in health information technology, and the development of quality-based payment and stronger care coordination models to improve the quality and efficiency of care. These structural system changes may have originated in the public sector — with CMS/ACO shared savings programs, for instance — but they are now rapidly cascading down through the private market, where they are precipitating increased data sharing on the cost and quality of care.

For the next decade at least, industry leaders will be focused on finding new and more innovative ways to connect key stakeholders with information sources that will enable them to further drive efficiency, effectiveness and equity throughout the system. At the same time, regulators and policy-makers will continue to define out new standards for integrated data sets that will enable us all to more readily define risks, benefits and costs of care for various treatment paths. An example of effort is the work of the is the work of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), whose charge into comparative effectiveness research hinges on a vision of a national infrastructure of clinically rich data captured in standardized and interoperable formats. 

How should Biopharma respond?

From a biopharmaceutical company perspective, the window of opportunity is open to help shape the market in which they operate during this watershed moment in U.S. health care. But in order to adapt, they will need to embrace a systems thinking mindset through which they engage the market as a network of interconnected components – including each product and related services – all centered on the patient, to achieve lower cost and higher quality in healthcare.

Thinking in systems requires framing the market as a dynamic network of interconnected components, including life science products and services focused on the patient. When stakeholders embrace this model, they harness the expertise of the system to more easily identify patterns, map interactions and influence the crosspollination of knowledge, thereby creating a closed loop of data exchange to catalyze a virtuous cycle of value. 

Takeaway: By helping to optimize the structure and processed involved in the system, life science firms can improve their return on innovation in concert with the other contributors to healthcare. But to achieve these benefits, they have to be willing to participate in true partnerships with other players, and to operate at multiple levels in the system. This exercise of “zooming in” at the patient level and “zooming out” at the population level will allow them to not only survive but to thrive in the new health ecosystem that rewards close collaboration and integration between healthcare stakeholders with a patient centric focus.

Topics in this blog post: Systems Thinking, Biopharma, Healthcare, Population Health