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September 14, 2015

Companies told to cure digital holistically for $100bn market

Internet of Me wearables to boost health revenues by up to $4.6 billion by 2020.

By Joao Lima

Companies must embrace digital holistically to engage with patients and improve quality of life, which will enable the capture of over $100 billion expected in the life sciences market over the next five years.

In its 2015 Tech Vision Report, Accenture Life Sciences has found that nine out of ten life sciences execs believe industry boundaries will dramatically blur as platforms reshape industries into interconnected ecosystems.

The survey questioned over 1000 C-suite and D-suite executives across industries from around the World and more than 100 senior execs from life sciences firms such as the pharmaceutical industry.

The study found five major trends influencing today’s industry and the sector’s future.

Firstly, the Internet of Me (IoM), means that by digitising the customer experience through wearables and other personal technology, businesses could experience a $4.6 billion in incremental revenue over five years.

73% of the life sciences IT and business executives said they are already either using or experimenting with wearables and smart objects to engage customers, employees or partners.

Following on from IoM, Accenture found that in the Outcome Economy, 86% of those surveyed believe that embedded intelligence will generate better outcomes for patients.

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Using this Outcome Economy, total healthcare spending for every diabetes patient could be reduced by $1,074 on an annual basis. Accenture found this reduction to be possible if an increase in medication adherence of even just 20% occurs when converting activities into currency.

This cost reduction would represent a total amount of savings of $1.4 billion in the US alone, the firm has found.

Thirdly, a Platform Revolution could lead to savings of an estimated $19.2 billion each year by using aggregate digital platforms to help monitor, diagnose and treat patients with type two diabetes.

In this environment, healthcare IT platforms capture data from disparate sources, like wearables and glucometers, and connect them bringing a new era of personalised treatment through innovative patient services.

The research has revealed that 80% of the life sciences respondents are strengthening digital capabilities by taking part in open innovation, using APIs to exchange data and technology to deliver better outcomes to partners and customers.

A trend of Intelligent Enterprise is emerging. Accenture said that using treatment algorithms and automation to replace routine diabetes decisions could help prevent misdiagnosis and save up to $1.9 billion annually.

Over 40% of life sciences companies surveyed expect to see data volumes increase by at least 50% in the coming year.

Lastly, a Workforce Reimagined will be part of the healthcare IoT modernisation. 74% of all respondents believe that companies will need to train their machines as much as people, using intelligent software, algorithms and machine learning.

Lee Cottle, director VP global head of sales at Push Technology, told CBR: "There is huge potential for healthcare professionals to improve quality and efficiency of care via internet-connected devices that monitor patients remotely. But, new technology often represents challenges around integration and usability – especially when it comes to the Internet of Things.

"Providing a resilient mechanism to connect emerging healthcare devices to electronic patient record (EPR) systems is challenging enough, but enabling the wireless data connections upon which such devices rely can be extremely difficult due to the physical structure of older buildings."

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