When it comes to the pharmaceutical industry, the media tends to focus on the negative: rising drug prices, prescription wait times, controversial healthcare reforms and so on. However, there’s plenty of positive news out there, too. New developments in science have streamlined the way many pharmacists go about their business, and new tech products are changing the game. In this post, I have compiled three future pharmaceutical trends that you need to watch out for this year.
1. Big Data
Big data provides you with the latest intelligence about your business. The result? You make faster decisions, solve problems and improve the patient experience. As a pharmacist, you have access to more data than at any point in history. Patient information, pharmaceutical trends, the newest analytics — all of this information is available wherever you are in the world. Pretty impressive, right? What’s more, experts predict that big data will continue to grow in 2018 and beyond.
Big data is essential to the success of your pharmaceutical business. It generates useful insights into patients as they progress through the sales pipeline, enables you to manage your inventory and fine tunes your marketing campaigns.
Biotech is booming. This year, expect more of your patients to own wearables — devices worn on the body as accessories or implants — as the price of this technology decreases. In fact, experts predict that wearables will generate more than $53 billion in global sales by next year.
What does this all mean for you as a pharmacist? Wearable tech provides you with unparalleled insights into patient data, and you can use all of this information to predict trends and identify medical-related problems before they happen. You can also monitor the health of your patients and make sure they are using medications properly and safely. Before, patients had to visit your pharmacy in person to talk to you about their prescriptions. Wearable tech automates this process and reports valuable patient data in real-time.
Elsewhere in the pharma industry, wearables monitor patients who are testing new medications on clinical trials. “This ability to have instant access to patient data allows trial designers to very quickly identify trends and anomalies, or to spot, and act on, a drop-off in a patient’s use of a drug,” says Tim Hoctor, writing for PharmaTimes. “These trends would, at best, have been a lagging indicator through traditional clinical means.”
3. Mobile Apps
People, on average, spend 87 hours per month on their smartphones. As a result, many businesses have created mobile apps that provide them with ample marketing and customer service opportunities. Now you can create your app and engage with your patients more efficiently. It is a lot easier than you think, and once you are up and running, you can communicate with patients via their smartphone or tablet.
The big chain pharmacies have already rolled out mobile apps for their patients — take Mobile Pharmacy in the Walmart app, for example, which lets patients manage their subscriptions on their mobile device — and it is something you should invest in if you want to continue to provide your customers with the best service.
Here are just some of the benefits of developing a mobile app for your pharmaceutical business:
- Increase the visibility of your business and generate new customers.
- Save time by letting your patients manage prescription refill orders on their device.
- Send marketing communications via your app when you have a particular promotion.
- Send personalized health-related news and information to patients.
These three trends will revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry in 2018. As technology continues to develop, you will be able to communicate with patients more efficiently, get access to more data than ever before and facilitate many of your day-to-day business tasks.