Digital health leaders who are seeking to invest in innovative solutions are often asked the following question: How does this solution provide value? Even when the value of digital health for patients and clinicians is clear, digital leaders often struggle to articulate how digital health investments directly translate into value for biopharma.
This is hardly surprising—it can be difficult to justify the cost of innovation. Most pharmaceutical companies have only recently begun to invest in software as a medical device (SaMD) in earnest, and there are few concrete examples of pharma-backed digital solutions that have been on the market for long enough to show a return on investment.
As such, demonstrating value remains a key barrier to investing in digital for some companies. We have seen many digital leaders delay digital health investments by over six months because they failed to get internal buy-in on the value story. In some cases, digital leaders were unable to launch any digital solutions. These delays carry significant opportunity costs, both for the biopharma company’s bottom line and for the digital leader’s reputation in the organization.
At BrightInsight, we know through experience that a digital solution must have a compelling value story—not just to justify the initial investment but to ensure that the solution is set up for long-term success on the market. For example, many of our customers, along with 61% of respondents in a recent survey conducted by BrightInsight and HealthXL, believe that disease management is the most promising use case for SaMD. BrightInsight works with our biopharma customers to ensure that their disease management solutions address key market needs and provide clear value.
In our experience, digital products, such as disease management solutions, provide significant value for biopharma if they:
Digital solutions can directly drive therapy sales in a multitude of ways: impacting physician prescribing patterns, improving patient access, increasing adherence or persistence, and optimizing dose delivery, among others. When crafting a value story, digital leaders should consider the specific pain points in the user journey that the digital solution is addressing, as each will have a unique impact on therapy sales.
For example, most of our biopharma customers have suboptimal patient adherence to their therapies. Nonadherence is common and is associated with negative healthcare outcomes, including an estimated 125K deaths annually and about $100B in preventable healthcare costs. Moreover, nonadherence costs pharmaceutical companies
over $600B globally each year in lost sales.
If adherence is a key pain point for your therapy, a digital solution that addresses the root cause of nonadherence, such as complicated dosing, fear of side effects, lack of symptoms or cost can significantly increase therapy revenue.
Biopharma increasingly relies on insights from real-world data (RWD) to optimize both R&D and commercialization. Real-world data can inform clinical development strategies, improve access and enable outcomes-based contracts with payers, enhance sales and marketing strategies, and substantiate the value proposition of your therapy. For example, Pfizer’s breast cancer therapy, Ibrance, recently gained approval for use in adult men on the basis of real-world evidence. AstraZeneca and J&J also leveraged RWD to demonstrate the real-world effectiveness of their diabetes therapies in reducing death and hospitalizations, differentiating their drugs from other classes of diabetes therapies.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging and expensive to acquire high-quality, longitudinal RWD. Common data sources, like claims data, often lack the level of detail needed for clinical and commercial use cases. When useful data sets do exist, they can often cost upwards of $1M per year. These challenges are pronounced in rare diseases, where data are particularly scarce or expensive.
Digital solutions address these challenges by enabling biopharma companies to generate proprietary, longitudinal patient data, which provide significant value for your clinical and commercial teams. Through digital, biopharma can access deidentified data across various sources, including ePROs, patient diaries, and connected devices, to create an unparalleled 360 degree view of the patient. These data not only hold intrinsic value and confer a competitive advantage—they can drive therapy revenue by unlocking market access, differentiating your therapy from competitors, and even enabling opportunities for indication expansion.
Unsurprisingly, the value of a digital solution is contingent upon successfully bringing the solution to market. We have seen digital leaders invest in building digital solutions with compelling value stories only to cancel the programs because their technology partner was unable to navigate the technical and regulatory complexity of launching SaMD. These digital leaders set out to create value, but ended up losing time, money and credibility.
By choosing a proven partner that has launched multiple SaMDs globally, digital leaders can minimize the cost and risk of failure and maximize the value from the solution. Moreover, rather than worrying about security, privacy or compliance, digital leaders can instead focus on optimizing the value of the solution by adding innovative features or scaling to new countries.
Value stories for digital solutions should highlight the benefit of addressing key pain points that negatively impact sales and generating real-world data. At the same time, they should also highlight the qualifications of their chosen digital health platform to instill confidence in the technical approach. Using an unproven partner without a track record of delivering successful SaMDs puts the value of your digital solution at risk.
At BrightInsight, we recognize that compelling value stories are powerful tools to gain internal buy-in for your digital health aspirations, whether you are looking to launch a treatment selection, dose management or disease management solution. BrightInsight has developed a framework to help our customers refine their value stories and position themselves for success in the market. We enable customers to address key questions critical to any value story, such as:
Having successfully launched multiple SaMDs, we understand that crafting a value story is a key first step to ensuring that a digital solution achieves robust adoption and unlocks value for your organization. As you approach the launch of your solution, BrightInsight can also help you define success metrics so that you can be sure that your digital solution is consistently delivering against your value story at each step of the digital health journey.
For more, read our white paper, How Digital Disease Management Delivers Value for Biopharma.
And reach out to learn more about how you can work with BrightInsight to help build the value story for your digital solution.