Digital Health C-Suite Series: Sanofi’s Emmanuel Frenehard on digital health’s patient impact

Frenehard csuite

In our latest BrightInsight Digital Health C-Suite Series episode, Emmanuel Frenehard, Global Head of Digital Products at Sanofi, chats with us about using digital to shorten the distance between the patient and treatment, and how BrightInsight helped accelerate Sanofi’s digital solution for Dupixent.

This conversation highlights Emmanuel’s team’s commitment to “chase the miracle of science to improve peoples’ lives.” It also addresses the question of once you have the science, how do you get it into the hands of patients. Watch it here, or read on for some key takeaways.

Focusing on patient purpose

In large companies, different divisions and business units perform several functions, so channeling efforts into one shared purpose can be challenging, says Emmanuel. “We're trying to embrace this culture of one company behind the patient purpose, where from R&D all the way to manufacturing, to distribution, to digital, to HR, you name it, we come together in a culture of thoughtful risk taking. As a company, we aim to be first in class, best in class in our medicine.” This means taking risks, going into areas where nobody has gone yet and working with unproven science, so it becomes proven.

Focusing on the patient purpose means the company name takes a backseat to the treatment value.

“We want them to recognize Dupixent as the right treatment for them. The fact that Sanofi is behind it is almost secondary at this stage. Really, it is that this drug has a potential to improve their quality of life significantly,” Emmanuel says. “We believe in our people. We believe that they live our purpose and there's nothing more powerful than having them build solutions for patients.”

Digital as a propellant

Commercially, Emmanuel says, pharma should focus on leveraging digital as an accelerator with the goal being to help with areas where friction remains—accessing information, patients, diagnostics and more.

Digital can be a propellant, helping with access to information, brokering conversations between the healthcare professional and the patient, educating both sides, and making sure that the journey goes faster. “Healthcare professionals are inundated with new treatments every year, and their days are filled, truly filled.” They don’t have much bandwidth to keep up with what's happening in terms of new treatments, new potential areas of opportunities for the patients. Digital can help cut through the noise.

Digital can also help reassure patients and give them hope. “That is such a powerful thing, give them hope because with true information, you can truly build new hope,” he says.

Sanofi and BrightInsight: Partnering for impact

When embarking on any transformational journey, Emmanuel says, it is important to find partners that understand your goals. Many companies can build apps, but a patient is a different kind of user. Creators must really understand their motivations. Living with a chronic disease is not easy and there are setbacks. BrightInsight “brings their humanity and understanding of the patient into how they develop their apps. There is a competitive uniqueness about that. Working at speed, with people who understand patients and have the same passion that we have for helping patients—I think those are the recipes.”

Partnering with a company with deep regulated digital health experience has accelerated development, Emmanuel says. Working with a startup mentality is different from large companies with multiple divisions who cannot move as fast. “We partner with companies like BrightInsight, and that has been a very unique partnership for us because our goal is to help patients get access to their treatment faster.”

You can find all the videos from our C-Suite Series on our YouTube Channel.

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