How Pharma Can Improve Revenue Streams via Digital Health Strategies

May 12, 2021
January 17, 2024

Digital health has been making its mark throughout the healthcare industry and transforming what we know as patient care. Improved technologies are reducing barriers to care, enhancing patient-provider communications, and are bettering the overall patient experience. However, pharmaceutical companies are lagging, which is impacting their bottom line. Read on to discover how pharma can use digital health tools to improve their revenue streams and boost patient care.

Why Digital Health?

Leaders in the pharmaceutical industry may wonder why digital health is a solution to improving revenue streams. The truth is, to thrive and survive in our new digitized healthcare industry, pharma must implement digital strategies to stand out and to fulfill their goal of maintaining the health and safety of patients. 

Patients Are Empowered

Today, patients are more engaged in their healthcare than ever before. Patients feel empowered to seek healthcare information online and through mobile apps. For example, 85% of patients said they were confident in their ability to take responsibility for their health in a recent survey.  Therefore, it’s only right for pharma to meet patients where they are, which is their phones. We recognize that there is more to healthcare than what occurs inside the four walls of a healthcare facility. Digital health helps bridge that gap. 

By using digital health tools, pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies have the unique advantage of offering more than just pills. Care pathway platforms can provide remote monitoring and track key health indicators. Patients, their families, and providers alike can view  vitals and patient-reported outcomes in real-time, such as blood pressure, blood glucose, and even heart rate. The ability to virtually monitor one’s biophysical signals allows for practically immediate intervention if needed. 

This Is Huge In The World of Value-Based Payments

Our healthcare system has transitioned from a fee-for-service model to a value-based payment one. No longer are providers being paid based on the number of services they provide, but the quality. Therefore, hospitals are more likely to work with pharmacies that can help them improve their 30-day risk readmission measures, which increases revenue for both stakeholders. 

Also, health plans rate pharmacies based on their ability to increase medication adherence, promote medication safety, and medication therapy management. Pharmacies that are scored well by the CMS star rating system are recommended to the health plans customers. In short, highly rated pharmacies will benefit from more patients and increased revenues through these referrals. 

Automation, Efficiency, and Analytics

By not embracing automation, possible profit is missed. Automation can essentially help pharmacies dispense more prescriptions faster, which increases their profitability. Imagine a platform that collects data from your patient’s EMR, consumer wearables, and patient-reported outcomes. This same platform alerts you to recommend an additional product or service based on their health conditions and the types of drugs you’re dispensing to them. While this can be done manually, automation makes it much easier. Now you have a system that not only helps to drive appropriate treatment protocols, but also helps with upselling.

When patients don’t fill their prescriptions, potential revenue is lost. Thus, community pharmacies that incorporate digital health tools also benefit from improved workflows and increased medication adherence.

The Future of Drug Development 

The pharmaceutical development industry also has a unique advantage in utilizing digital health tools. The data collected from patients will allow stakeholders to see how and if certain drugs are improving patient outcomes. Before, this was mostly limited to randomized controlled trials, but this data can now be pulled from a data-driven digital platform. That means pharmaceutical developers will strive to show their drug’s efficacy. Essentially, those with positive results will retain market access and premium pricing

Digital Health Adds Value

The next generation of pharma is one that includes streamlined processes, advanced analytics, and personalized patient portals. Today, pharma companies will need to partner with digital health firms in order to be prepared for the healthcare industry of tomorrow.

Patients want to be connected, payors want to reduce unnecessary resources, and providers strive to provide appropriate interventions both in and out of healthcare facilities. Overall, partnering with digital health firms is a benefit to all stakeholders. Now is the time for pharma to brainstorm how they can implement digital strategies to improve patient care and their bottom line.