Now is the ideal time for all health sciences and wellness companies to act, and to take advantage of the now proven willingness of all groups to more openly accept and even embrace technology as a mainstream part of care provision. This willingness applies not just to end users (that is, patients or consumers), but across the whole value chain, including the health care practitioners (HCPs), who are instrumental in providing quality care.
COVID-19 has accelerated the move toward care delivery outside the four walls of a traditional health system. But the changes we have seen, such as adding a video interface to consultations, represent a great start—but not an end point. Companies now need to make a real and permanent change in how care is delivered, to address the increased expectations of patients and care providers.
Meeting these expectations will mean expanding the traditional definitions of innovation in health care, which historically have focused on the safety, effectiveness or efficiency of care. Of course, these remain important, but patients and providers alike now expect and demand more: a more seamless health experience, delivered where and when it is wanted.
The bar has been raised and we expect it will only move upward going forward. The industry needs to seize the opportunity at this inflexion point, because the reality (as seen with other industries) is that products and services alone, no matter how effective, will not be enough in the future.
Welcome to the age of “Health Experience.”
As companies increasingly take responsibility for improving the Health Experience, they will also have the opportunity to build richer and more meaningful relationships with all parties in the value chain. These relationships will no doubt strengthen customer loyalties and at the same time also build trust.
To be leaders in the future, we urge companies to closely examine the following five trends as they consider their strategic focus and the deployment of their human and financial capital and effort:
- Put humans at the center of health care and deliver patients integrated solutions of products, services and data that can give them the best personalized health outcomes. The health infrastructure has to change to revolve around the patient, rather than the patient having to navigate a static and largely physically based system.
- Partner to build the transparent, integrated and resilient agile supply chains that can support personalized care models. Even complex oncology treatments are now being considered as potentially deliverable at home.
- Demonstrate value by combining and using clinical and non-clinical data to improve health outcomes. The combination of clinical and non-clinical evidence will make a huge difference in how we assess value (and ultimately, price points).
- Make the data superfluid: that is, make it possible to share data easily and securely across different organizations, with value creation linked to data use and access (not data ownership). Value is generated by the insights resulting from asking better questions of data, whether it belongs to companies themselves or to others with whom they can partner . Information governance is one of the major hindrances to innovation in the health sciences and wellness industry today.
- Commit to sustainable practices, and to measuring the long-term value these activities deliver. Investors will increasingly demand this commitment, measuring the impact being created and scrutinizing companies’ behavior more closely in the future than ever before. Companies’ ability to access capital markets in the near future will increasingly depend on the measurable impact from their sustainable practices.
We explore each of these five trends in the context of four different business models, each of which comes with a different strategic intent and faces different operating model considerations to achieve optimization. Companies need to identify the business model that can best deliver them a competitive advantage in the future.
A key aspect of this challenge is to identify their real customer, which may change as companies pivot to address the need to improve the Health Experience. While the current regulatory environment prohibits direct-to-consumer marketing in many countries, individual patients are becoming more influential in their care experience and will play a greater role in the future.
In some cases, care providers in the health system or commercial payers and governments will be the most relevant customer. In other cases, high-net-worth individuals or the mass market will be the primary buyers. Each of these buyer groups will have different needs and will want and expect different experiences. To capture value from these different customers, companies must build products, services and solutions that accurately target those demands. Because of the capital required to add capabilities, it will be increasingly expensive and complex for companies to play in multiple business model areas.
The four types of business model we define are:
- Breakthrough innovators: those who will capture value by innovating best-in-class products demanded by high-net-worth individuals and health care systems that come with high price points.
- Disease managers: those who will create value through a deeper understanding of and relationship with the patient/consumer, focusing on managing disease through best-in-class services and behavioral science.
- Efficient producers: those who deliver efficient operations and supply chain processes, generating value by giving health care systems the means to deliver population health at lower/more affordable prices.
- Lifestyle managers: those who supply wellness products and services for the mass market, with the aim of keeping us well (pre-disease) and capturing value by tailoring their offerings to the consumer.