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Novartis aims to disrupt healthcare with ‘digital ecosystem’

Novartis has recently created a digital ecosystem named Novartis Biome, a global network of digital innovation labs, with an aim of disrupting healthcare by empowering several health-tech start-up companies. This is one of the most recent examples of how the pharmaceutical industry is starting to embrace new models of healthcare that would play hand-in-hand with technological advancements.

According to Bloomberg’s interview with Novartis’ chief digital officer Bertrand Bodson, the company is collaborating with Mekonos, which develops stem cell and gene therapy technologies, as well as Medable and Hitlab, digital tech firms.

Novartis is also contributing funds to StartUp Health, a company that invests in a ‘global army of entrepreneurs’ to solve 10 Health Moonshots, such as Access to Care, Cost to Zero and Cure Disease, to name a few.

With China being the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world, Novartis is also pursuing a number of deals in Chinese digital space. The company recently signed a partnership agreement with Tencent Holdings, a Chinese tech giant.

Pfizer has already been embracing technology to help predict potential new drug targets by partnering with IBM Watson to use big data approaches that would help identify promising research and drug targets that may lead to new therapies.

The majority of large pharma companies are increasingly focusing on mobile apps development with an aim to reach patients directly and to get access to a huge amount of data. Within the coming decade, a great proportion of the pharmaceutical portfolio will be part of a large digital ecosystem that can monitor patients’ health and provide immediate feedback.

Digital revolution in healthcare has arrived and is speeding up. We are seeing many digital transformations, such as artificial telemedicine/big data, predictive diagnostics, wearables, Internet of Things and mobile apps, starting to penetrate the healthcare space and heavily influence the patient journey. Patient empowerment is also gaining momentum and contributing further to the transformation of healthcare. The smartest pharma industry players are paying attention to these trends and are trying to stay at the forefront of the revolution.

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