Embracing the challenges and opportunities of digital health

pharmaphorum podcast episode 93a

In this new instalment of the pharmaphorum podcast, web editor Nicole Raleigh speaks with Dominic James, global head of digital health innovation and alliances at MSD on the topic of digital health.

They discuss the importance of pharma embracing digital health, the challenges and opportunities that surround that, and generally pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in digital health.

Coming from a non-traditional background in out-of-industry innovation consulting, James has widespread global experience that includes data science. With an indomitable curiosity, he is well placed to answer the question of why pharma and healthcare are so poised to embrace digital transformation, yet lagging behind other industries.

People - patients - expect to be able to engage in all aspects of their life through digital, James says, so it is an obvious roadmap to a digital health ecosystem, and pharma needs to know how to operate within that. There are a lot of hurdles; the external environment is, for good reasons, highly regulated and every country is different. Therefore, scalability of digital in pharma and healthcare is a lot more difficult.

From the UK to the US, and from Europe to the disparate regions of Asia – what is done in one geography is greatly different from another. Creative thinking is a must, then, when it comes to digital innovation. There are tangible signs of progress and, with digital health projected to become a $1 trillion industry, the future value is clear.

Disease prevention and early diagnosis, as well as earlier treatment and promoting healthier lifestyles, ‘from sick care to health care’: advancements in digital health come down to a convenience aspect to health as well, James says, not forgetting the issues of accessibility and health equity. And collaboration - partnership - is essential.

You can listen to episode 93a of the pharmaphorum podcast in the player below, download the episode to your computer, or find it - and subscribe to the rest of the series - in iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Podbean.