Medical-grade Wearable Technology: Applications and implications for pharma

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Publication Date:
November 2018
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Leveraging clinical wearables and digiceuticals to gain competitive advantage

From smart wristbands and glasses to tiny sensors in pills, the latest advances in medical-grade technology are unlocking new opportunities in drug development, delivery, diagnosis and adherence. Clinical wearables and 'digiceuticals' promise exciting benefits for patients, for HCPs and for pharma. This is no longer the stuff of science fiction and heralds a whole new era in personalisation of clinical care.

The pharmaceutical industry is poised on the cusp of seismic change. We interviewed 3 renowned experts at the forefront of the medical-grade wearable technology revolution to find out their views on how pharma can maximise opportunities and actively compete in this space.

  • Understanding the landscape: What is out there already? What challenges exist? Which key factors are driving demand and usage? What has proved successful so far?
  • Adopting a new perspective on familiar issues: What impact could medical-grade wearable technology have on fundamental problems with clinical trials, patient and HCP relations, adherence, building the value case, and personalisation?
  • Navigating your way forward: Draw on expert insight and evidence when planning your strategy, setting up new partnerships, and turning your vision for the future into reality.
  • Maximising opportunities: Use the SWOT plus 14 expert recommendations to fine-tune your short- and mid-term actions and leverage competitive advantage.
  • Your crystal ball: Understand more about the future challenges, implications and impact of medical-grade wearables, as well as how to integrate changes into your business model.

What to expect from this report

As the pharmaceutical industry contemplates the next phase in personalised medicine, everyone is looking at how technology might resolve many of the current issues for drug companies, patients, HCPs and payers. This report not only offers an up-to-date assessment of the current market, it also reveals the very latest expert thinking and offers practical and valuable recommendations on how to proceed.

Read Medical-grade Wearable Technology: Applications and implications for pharma and take more confident steps forward into this new, technology-enabled and connected era.

  • An examination of 5 key issues that pharma needs to understand and respond to
  • 22 targeted questions put to AI and ML experts
  • Their perceptive responses that provided 25 current insights supported by 67 directly quoted comments

How did we do it?

  • We identified 10 current issues facing pharma as they enter the wearable tech space
  • We explored these via an average of 16 targeted questions put to each expert
  • Their responses provided 38 unique new insights
  • Insights are supported by 42 directly quoted comments plus an additional 79 source references
  • 14 recommendations and next steps were identified

Example insight included in Medical-grade Wearable Technology: Applications and implications for pharma

Leverage the power of remote monitoring devices to facilitate clinical trial recruitment. The use of wearable devices in drug development enables pharma to overcome the geographical obstacles associated with recruiting participants to clinical trials. Since patients can be monitored remotely and do not need to attend a trial site, companies can include more diverse populations such as volunteers who are too ill or physically unable to participate. Wearables are especially valuable for orphan drug development as geographically dispersed rare disease patients can participate. In addition, medical-grade wearable devices can collect more detailed data on the efficacy of new treatments, which enables pharma to quickly identify areas for improvement and accelerate drug development and market access.

Example quote included in Medical-grade Wearable Technology: Applications and implications for pharma

"By developing digital medicines that provide feedback, patient engagement is dramatically improved, and adherence follows. This inherently drives prescription volumes but also enables outcomes-based pricing to promote spending more money on what truly works and avoiding spending on what doesn't."

The expert panel for Medical-grade Wearable Technology: Applications and implications for pharma

  • Waqaas Al-Siddiq is the Chairman, CEO and Founder of Biotricity, USA, a medical technology company committed to improving healthcare by developing solutions that aid in chronic disease prevention and management. Al-Siddiq founded the company in 2014 with the vision of using remote monitoring solutions and connected healthcare systems in the diagnostic and post-diagnostic markets. In particular, he wanted to give individuals more control over self-management of critical and chronic conditions across a spectrum of health applications, including remote chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, foetal, and sleep apnoea monitoring. An expert in wireless communication technology, Al-Siddiq has worked in high-level design positions for IBM and Intel, where he was lauded for his innovative designs in digital, analogue, embedded, and micro-electro-mechanical products.
  • Pierre-Alexandre Fournier is the CEO and co-founder of Hexoskin, Canada, the leading smart clothing and artificial intelligence/analytics company for performance, personal health, research and medicine. A blend of entrepreneur, designer and engineer, Fournier is passionate about changing the way we take care of our health, and using design technology to facilitate the prevention, prediction, and management of chronic conditions to provide better patient outcomes for a given budget. Fournier and his business partners co-founded Hexoskin in 2006 with the vision to create body-worn sensors capable of recording precise biometric data inside comfortable smart clothing, allowing patients to receive care services in the comfort of their home. By collaborating with professional trainers, doctors, health researchers, sport and space scientists, Fournier and his co-founders released the first innovative Hexoskin Smart Shirt in 2013.
  • Scooter Plowman is the Head of Clinical Solutions at Proteus Digital Health, USA, where his focus is on bringing better health outcomes to more people at lower costs using digital health solutions. In his current role, Plowman works with cross-functional teams to advance the use of technology for a range of healthcare applications such as digital medicines that "communicate" when they have been taken; a wearable patch that captures physiologic responses; mobile applications to support patient self-care and physician decision-making; and, data analytics to serve the needs of health system managers. Plowman has over a decade of extensive administrative training in business and healthcare that, alongside the clinical experience gained from working with two of the most successful US healthcare delivery systems (Intermountain Healthcare and Mayo Clinic), has equipped him to excel in his commitment to ongoing healthcare transformation.

Why buy now?

Clearly there's a lot of excitement and buzz about the potential of medical-grade wearables and the race is on to create packages where the treatment comes with some kind of digital service. Every pharma business wants a piece of the action and it's easy to see why. But it's important to exercise a level of caution too when stepping out of the pharma comfort zone. Seeing the full picture is imperative, as is building informed strategies, setting up positive partnerships and recruiting the right blend of skills in-house. Key to all of that is understanding exactly what is possible: this report ensures you are party to the latest thinking.

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