We hear all the time about how data analytics is going to disrupt and innovate entire industries. That is largely true, but it’s especially true in healthcare, and the impact is acutely felt in the pharmaceutical industry.
Before getting into the why, just consider how deep this impact runs. The forecasters at McKinsey expect data-driven initiatives to add $100 billion in value to the pharmaceutical industry in coming years. Even for an industry as expansive as pharma, those figures are eye-popping.
Data analytics promises to be so transformative because it’s a natural fit for the pharmaceutical industry. At its core, dispensing drugs is a massive logistical effort that depends on precision and consistency. Collecting, storing, organizing, and analyzing data is too. Now that automation and other smart technologies are online, and that software for pharmaceutical companies has reached new levels of reliability, healthcare analytics is more accessible, and the entire industry benefits as a result.
The number of examples illustrating the intersection of pharmacy and analytics is vast and varied. Here are a few specific ways the industry will benefit from turning information into insights:
Cultivate Loyalty with Personalized Services
Consumers can choose between lots of different pharmacies. Or they can simply go online to find the best price. That makes it hard for today’s pharmacies to cultivate loyal customers and encourage repeat business. Data analytics makes it possible to understand consumers/patients on an individual level, and engage with them as such. Consequently, pharmacies can offer a broader range of services to address someone’s specific health and wellness needs. Said differently, pharmacies are empowered to expand their revenue stream beyond the distribution of medicines.
Find Opportunities for Optimization
There are countless opportunities for any pharmacy to boost efficiency, productivity, and revenue. Unfortunately, identifying these opportunities is elusive. Important insights are buried in a reservoir of data about customers, supply chains, insurance payers, and others. Since modern data analytics handles the heavy lifting of data science, it’s much easier for today’s pharmacies to begin diving into data. For instance, they could compare what products get sold the most to customers who also pick up a prescription. Then apply those insights to improve the in-store inventory.
Collaborate with Payers and Providers
Pharmacies play an important role in the recovery and treatment process. Historically, however, they have occupied the lowest rungs on the ladder of healthcare. That is not good for pharmacies or patients, and data analytics points towards a resolution. Advanced automation makes it easier for payers, providers, and pharmacies to share information with one another. It also empowers pharmacies to leverage that information to better understand patients/customers and their needs. Over time, pharmacies are able to evolve their product/service offerings to play a bigger role in healthcare overall.
The global pharmaceutical market is projected to reach $1.12 trillion by 2022. But that does not mean every pharmacy will prosper equally. Those who rely on data analytics are going to enjoy a larger piece of the pie. More importantly, they are going to secure their future in a pharmaceutical industry that is changing fast and jettisoning old ideas.