Chasing innovation to drive digital acceleration: Day 2 of the Indegene Digital Summit

By Michael Cook, Aneta Geistová and Samuel Anker

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Innovation is nothing new in the pharma world, so much so that one might argue the entire industry was built off the back of innovation. But today pharma is looking to foster an additional innovation commitment and culture within its organizations, one centred on digital acceleration. This was the overarching theme of day two of the Indegene Digital Summit 2020. However, innovation is not necessarily something that pharma is yet comfortable with, or as one exec stated, “In the scientific world we understand the experimental mindset, but we haven’t done this in the digital world.”


The age of the digital native has been here for some time and therefore accelerating digital adoption is vital to build closer ties between pharma, HCPs, payers, and patients. The current pandemic has been a catalyst of this in many pharma organizations we work with. Speed, customer relevance and intention will be the guiding lights for many executives moving forward.


Three key take-aways from various sessions speak to this, including:

  • Look outside of pharma. Identifying best practice from across different industries to enhance digital transformation can give impactful direction and inspiration. The open ecosystem development in the financial services industry came through as a strong example. Cross-pollination of ideas can prove as useful case studies to win over internal stakeholders.
  • Empower your customers. During a panel we heard of one pharma organization teaching healthcare professionals ‘python’. Sounds extreme, but in an age of data, having customers that truly grasp how to interpret and deal with complex data sets will ultimately speed up adoption of technologies that rely on data interpretation.
  • Get the talent to get the job done right. Culture is half of the battle when it comes to agility in delivering digital innovation. Making sure you have people who can learn, grow and adapt will be critical in accelerating a digital journey.

The question remains what should organizations focus on when driving a digital agenda?  The key note during the Summit was clear: the focus needs to be on the customer. Designing and implementing technologies because they’re “on trend” and hyped cannot be the focus and a dangerous distraction. Instead, pharma organizations need to truly understand the pain points and concerns of both patients and HCPs and then design their digital agenda accordingly. Failure to do so will result in large investments in digital assets been lost as adoption fails to take off.  


Samuel Anker

Samuel has four years of experience as a digital analyst using data to tell stories and solve key client customer experience and digital challenges.

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