Wellness-focused platforms of care linked to the development of fitness and nutrition solutions have already emerged, and we are beginning to see the emergence of platforms to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma. Outside these indications, there has been a proliferation of interesting, but confusing technologies that don’t integrate seamlessly with each other. When platforms start to achieve the scale needed to transform health delivery, we’ll see a significant shift in value generation.
Laying the foundation
At least initially, multiple care platforms for the same disease area or health purpose will be created. Over time, leading platforms in specific disease categories will emerge as users gravitate to platforms that provide greater value. As organizations build data and analytics capabilities, supra-platform aggregators will connect data generated from discrete disease-specific platforms to help individuals and health systems address larger health goals.
Multiple stakeholders across multiple industries will contribute resources to create functional platforms of care. Collaborations must span public and private entities and include organizations from health care, consumer products, technology and life sciences.
Creating tomorrow’s care platforms
To better understand where companies are partnering to build capabilities or access resources, EY interviewed more than 25 life sciences leaders and analyzed more than 150 digitally focused partnerships announced between life sciences companies and other stakeholders since 2014.
No single external database tracks partnerships of a digital nature, so EY created its own digital deals database (pdf), searching company reports, news releases and third-party analyst reports for relevant partnerships. Our study reveals a complicated web of relationships emerging between biopharma, medtech, digital health start-ups and technology companies.
EY also analyzed the findings to understand the growth in partnerships over time, the therapeutic areas commanding the greatest interest and the types of capabilities being accessed. Of the nearly 90 partnerships with a clear therapeutic area of focus, 50% of them involve platform capabilities in the diabetes or respiratory arenas, while 14% involve oncology-focused products or services.
The importance of being brand-agnostic
Currently, product developers interested in accelerating customer-centric care platforms will consolidate capabilities in given disease areas to further extend market reach and know-how. As product developers join forces with innovators, payers and physicians to develop more integrated solutions, emphasis will shift to the creation of more holistic care platforms that manage complicated disease conditions across the care continuum.
To be most successful, these holistic platforms shouldn’t be designed to drive sales of certain therapeutics or devices. There are regulatory, ethical and practical reasons why life sciences companies must embrace brand-agnostic platforms that address wider issues related to the customer’s day-to-day experience with his or her disease.