digital transformation in commercial pharma


The volume of data processed by pharmaceutical firms shows no sign of slowing down. Pharmaceutical companies are acting quickly to build core internal digital capabilities to transform research and development, manufacturing and the end user. How is digital transformation in commercial pharma most commonly occurring?

Clinical Decision Support

Pharma marketing used to be about educating physicians by providing them an information channel but allowing them to exercise their clinical judgement. In the non-life threatening illnesses it became a promotional function versus an education function.
By utilizing artificial intelligence pharma companies can help physicians make better therapy recommendations for specific patients based on a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s health status from ALL the data and knowledge available. A set of algorithms  characterizing the patient and treatment options, and presenting a set of evidence-based optimized choices becomes an option. The physician’s role becomes that of a reviewer and approver and the sales role with the physician is reduced, if not eliminated. A greater focus has to be on the publishing and providing of information in a credible way so that the algorithm capturing all the different sources of information, medical literature, standards and guidelines, documented standards of practice and formulary documentation, is accurately trained.

Digital Channel Marketing

Pharmaceutical companies must build and strengthen their relationship with both providers and patients. Disseminating relevant content through a digital channel can utilize social media to improve both points of contact. A strong digital channel can respond to queries, develop informed content, engage end users through interactive content like quizzes, polls, questions and surveys, and improve brand awareness through influencer campaigns. A significant contribution to digital transformation in commercial pharma.

Pre-Authorization and Claims Adjudication

Artificial intelligence can help insurers make decisions based on the policy conditions and riders for a particular patient’s healthcare policy. The standards of care and procedural guidelines within the payer and provider organizations, the formularies and the nuances of the patient’s health status and medical history can all be incorporated digitally.

These are just a few of the ways digital transformation in commercial pharma is happening. Interested in talking about your career in this exciting arena? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Commercial Analytics Executive Recruiter, Eda Zullo at


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