Should we rethink ‘insight’ in healthcare?

Martine Leroy|20th January 2016

The role of insight is to align businesses and their internal and external customers with products and services that meet the needs of both in a sustainable way. Insight is rooted in customer understanding and feedback, and shapes the foundation of strategy and its execution.

As such, it is a validated and considered understanding of how to achieve that desired alignment, and to translate it into successful business for the benefit of all involved. Business needs, nurtures, and relies on insight. 

Like other sectors, healthcare relies on insight. Therefore, it isn’t immune to the factors that affect the likelihood of a business to reach meaningful insight. Insight should inform strategy and its execution in a way that is going to sustain market change, differentiate the brand, and also deliver optimal commercial success.

Healthcare faces unique challenges gathering meaningful insight

Reaching insight in healthcare can feel like a set of successive challenges, some of which could be considered ‘wicked problems’. From over-arching considerations on evolving regulatory constraints, payer challenges, and adherence, to commoditisation spreading across therapy areas, relentless change affects healthcare. This is not new. What is more recent is that the change is multi-faceted, multi-factorial, and can be peripheral to traditional healthcare, yet still powerful. New players from other industries are entering the healthcare sector with products and services developed with new technologies, evolving the demands of consumers and governments and changing the landscape of healthcare more broadly.

The domino effect is at play, amplified, and can feel like Brownian motion at times; change is happening via a series of seemingly random interactions. The meaning of ‘brand’ itself is not immune to change. In the changing landscape of healthcare, strategy can feel like a prism in motion, both in its fabric and in its execution, and should perhaps be conceived as such.

And so insight is:

  • At the meeting point of business, customers, and technology
  • Multi-functional
  • Multi-layered
  • Networked
  • Evolutionary in essence

The role of insight in the changing landscape of healthcare

Change is pushing and redefining the boundaries of the space that insight operates in. Insight ‘Big Data’ can be used in several ways to affect brand, portfolio, and business strategy in healthcare via initiatives from new technology sector players:

  • Understanding and demonstrating treatment outcomes
  • Guiding development
  • Design of service to support treatments
  • Dissemination and adoption of connected technology

For example, the challenge of co-positioning within portfolios or fixed drug combinations, with the aim to address Loss of Exclusivity or multi-pronged competition, requires a fresh perspective on which information to seek, how to cross-analyse it and understand it, and what reaching meaningful insight looks and feels like.

It is time to rethink ‘insight’.

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