IQVIA: Digitally Transforming the Life Sciences Commercial Model with Connected Intelligence

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Andrew J. (AJ) Ploszay, Ph.D., Vice President, Digital Strategy Consider how often we see ads for products online and via text or email. Now, imagine those communications are not quick one liners or visually interesting graphics but long strings of technical information about therapies and medical products. This is the reality of health care providers (HCPs) today. While the advent of digital communications has made it easier than ever to get in touch, and HCPs have shifted their preference overwhelmingly toward text and email over the years, it has not been without its drawbacks. Commercial representatives with pharmaceutical companies have historically shared a mass of information about their products with HCPs to cover all their bases. Consequently, HCPs struggle to mine for the information that actually matters and could help them best treat their patients while commercial representatives lose the opportunity to make meaningful and lasting connection with their customers.

Nearly 40 percent of pharmaceutical companies admit that they do not understand the HCP customer journey well enough to map digital touchpoints and align them with their digital strategy. Today, the commercial impact of a clinical product can depend as much on the patient or provider experience as it does on the clinical efficacy of that product. With the pandemic almost in the rear-view mirror after a year of fully remote engagement, this reality is more apparent than ever. The overwhelming consensus of the life sciences industry is that an emphasis on creativity and innovation in the way companies externally communicate is just as critical as the creativity and innovation they bring to their product development pipeline – and evolving their technology strategy is the springboard that will make it possible.

Fortunately, as the times have changed, digital solutions are equipped with advanced technologies such as AI/ML algorithms and automation. These technologies aid pharmaceutical representatives in efficiently and intuitively driving customer engagements that are contextualized, personalized, and coordinated based on the preferences and past experiences of the specific HCPs they are engaging with. Like the most recognizable of digital services today, such as Amazon or Netlfix, an algorithm can recognize that an HCP previously found a specific piece of information helpful or has responded positively to a specific product. From there, these technologies can provide the representative with recommended content they might also like. In tandem, companies like IQVIA, with a rich history of information and expertise in the life sciences and healthcare spaces, have built these solutions with consideration for the complexities of this highly regulated industry. Using these tools, pharmaceutical companies are assured that all content that the algorithm recommends is compliant and approved for sharing by regulatory officials in that country and that all data sharing adheres to privacy standards and requirements.

As the leading provider of healthcare data, technology solutions, and contract research outsourcing services, IQVIA has a network of more than 70,000 employees in more than 100 countries who have deep and longstanding industry expertise.
IQVIA Technologies is specifically focused on providing digital solutions to help life sciences companies accelerate their innovation by improving productivity within functions while breaking down silos across their organizations. “Our mission is to help life science companies develop and implement their digital transformation strategy. We develop and provide SaaS-based solutions that can coordinate the activities of our life science customers,” says Andrew J. (AJ) Ploszay, Ph.D., Vice President, Digital Strategy & Chief Digital Officer.


It’s about having a more meaningful relationship with the HCP where the conversation is a two-way dialogue and everybody benefits

The imperative need for a pull-based commercial model

The traditional model of commercial pharma has been primarily push-based, beginning with sales representatives meeting HCPs to talk through scientific information in a face-to-face setting. As HCPs have evolved to the digital age, the preference for these in-person interactions progressively dwindled before halting altogether in view of the pandemic. The industry has shifted to remote methods of communication like most of society. Digital channels have clearly been valuable for their agility and speed, but without the right technology and strategy to back them up, HCPs have been flooded across platforms with information and representatives have a harder and harder time making meaningful connections.

“Our thesis is that the push-based model needs to become a pull-based model, wherein customers are in the driver seat of their own experience as opposed to the sales representative. Information and services that companies are providing physically to HCPs must not only shift to remote methods of communication but become more on demand, much like the rest of technology,” AJ shares. Not every technology that companies use is ready for that new business requirement. AJ elaborates, “Life sciences are going through an evolution, meaning that they were on this path to a digital transformation, but that evolution just went through a rapid acceleration due to the pandemic.”

A pull-based commercial model gives representatives the opportunity to stand out with their HCP customers as a partner who can both retrieve the information they request on demand and share more information strategically based on these requests and preferences. However, representatives cannot be expected to undergo this evolution manually. Pharmaceutical CIOs need innovative technologies to equip their representatives for this often reactive and more data driven strategy while continuously addressing the need to maintain compliance and share only approved, accurate, and up-to-date information.

Towards a more connected and intelligent life sciences ecosystem

At IQVIA, the primary goal for the commercial space is to build on the pull-based model to equip its customers to the future model. At the center of this effort is their flagship suite of customer relationship management and multi-channel marketing tools powered by embedded intelligence called Orchestrated Customer Outcomes (OCE).
As IQVIA defines it, embedded intelligence is the seamless integration of recommended strategy along the customer journey, like a virtual mentor for every pharmaceutical sales representative. As content must evolve the customer journey to match the evolution of communication, embedded intelligence uses their interactions recommend the next best action (NBA) for their representatives – whether that be to provide more information, call them, connect them with a key opinion leader on a product of interest, or whatever the situation might call for.

“Our mission is to help life sciences companies develop and implement their digital transformation strategy. We develop and provide SaaS-based solutions that can coordinate the activities of our customers”

For experienced representatives, this will further boost their productivity for superior outcomes, and for those just starting out, it will similarly guide their productivity and help foster their skills while ensuring they stay in the lines of compliance when it comes for information that is approved for sharing. Commercial teams as a whole will be able to work smarter and faster while making more impactful connections with their customers. These capabilities contribute to the ongoing sense of trust and partnership that will define the success of an HCP partnership for the future. “It’s about having a more meaningful relationship with the HCP where the conversation is a two-way dialogue, and everybody benefits. Embedded intelligence makes that possible and scalable,” says AJ.

In 2020, IQVIA enhanced the features of OCE Remote Engagement to create a more versatile digital method for conducting personal engagements with HCPs. This solution enables sales and medical teams to connect remotely with one customer or many at the same time, capture their consent, share approved content, and present surveys. This solution includes compliance and security measures that were specifically built to meet the needs of the life science industry.

OCE Optimizer equips global commerical teams for superior resource planning, empowering them to intelligently allocate commercial resources where they will have the biggest business impact. Commercial organizations are looking for a new platform that accounts for changing business priorities, HCP affiliations, and prescribing patterns while planning dynamic personal and digital engagements. Aligning allocations with real-time information about HCP behavior can facilitate more responsive decision making to help commercial teams achieve their goals.

OCE Connect is a portal designed for HCPs to allow them to access vital information directly from the life science company when they need it. Built to suit the specific needs of life science companies, it not only provides access to a library of content but also connects them with scientific experts like medical science liaisons (MSLs) as well as a community of like-minded HCPs so they can share information and experiences.

IQVIA has deep expertise in healthcare data, analytics, clinical research and digital technology that uniquely positions them as a dependable partner for life science companies at every step of a digital transformation journey. IQVIA remains committed to investing in the development of scalable, adaptable innovative solutions that will delight customers and ultimately improve patient access to innovative life-saving treatments.

Company
IQVIA

Headquarters
Durham, NC

Management
Andrew J. (AJ) Ploszay, Ph.D., Vice President, Digital Strategy and Ari Bousbib, Chairman & CEO

Description
IQVIA provides advanced analytics and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. As the leading provider of healthcare data, technology solutions, and contract research outsourcing services, IQVIA has a network of more than 70,000 employees in more than 100 countries who have deep and longstanding industry expertise. IQVIA Technologies is specifically focused on providing digital solutions to help life sciences companies accelerate their innovation by improving productivity within functions while breaking down silos across their organizations

IQVIA