Healthcare Companies Struggle With Implementing Digital Transformation

New research has found that healthcare organizations around the world have big plans for digital transformation but often stumble when it comes to implementing this process.

Global marketing strategy and marketing consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners surveyed more than 120 managers from the pharma and medtech industries in August and September of this year to get a sense of where these companies were headed within digital health activity.

Researchers found that 70% of respondents said that their companies were working to introduce digital add-on services and 38% standalone digital offers. In addition, half of those surveyed were working to collect customer data.

When examining their efforts, the firm found that in 56% of cases, respondents created a dedicated digital team to define the strategy, while in another 42% a new or existing commercial team carried on these efforts.

In most cases, where a dedicated digital team was handling related strategies, companies were happy with the plans they created, but these same groups were often unable to implement them effectively due to a lack of resources and insufficient staffing support. When integrated commercial teams with broader reach handle digital transformation, companies were largely satisfied with the results.

Another factor in how these strategies play out is that almost all (90%) of the digital health efforts were initiated at the respondent companies’ corporate headquarters, which defines the strategy for all business uses. Meanwhile, 66% reported that headquarters planned strategy at all geographic levels.

The consulting firm also concluded that pharma and biotech companies make almost 14% of their investments in digital research opportunities and studies, that the consumer healthcare industry allocated about one-fifth of its investment budget to digital marketing and that medtech firms were investing 20% of their resources in digital products.

Regardless of how they go about integrating digital health into their activities, few of the companies represented in the survey were happy with their efforts to monetize their digital health activities. Seventy-six percent reported that they were struggling to define suitable pricing and revenue models, and over 80% said they didn’t have adequate resources to make these efforts work as hoped.


About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

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