The Retrofuturist Chronicles: I Scream Creating the Platform for Innovation in Health Sciences

The prospect of all-you-can-eat ice cream combined with a volunteer opportunity at a local hospital and a chance to give back to the community—it sounds like a win-win-win scenario for Miranda and Aunt Natalie in Episode 11. But when Miranda discovers the ice cream choices are fish and garlic and the volunteer opportunity turns out to involve 90 minutes in an MRI machine, both Miranda and Aunt Natalie rethink their plans. The high point of the afternoon is Aunt Natalie’s recollection of her experience with Dilshod Moronolov and his delusion-inspiring pills. Tall tale or historical fact? You decide.

Nevertheless, the outing to the hospital highlights how health sciences is a field of ongoing innovation—and how the industry’s leaders are working to overcome long-standing challenges and new market pressures by becoming intelligent enterprises. Following is a quick look at some of the ways they’re doing exactly that.

Improving patient outcomes

As in most industries, increasing visibility into pricing and outcomes and greater access to information has empowered the health sciences customer/patient. With costs on the rise, more patients are questioning the status quo and holding their providers accountable for specific outcomes, and they’re demanding personalized therapies and treatments. For health sciences organizations, this means transforming their current approach to R&D by integrating individual patient information into key business processes. They’re also seeking to apply new value-based models to core operations such as pricing and billing to drive revenue and growth, while creating a more integrated and holistic experience for the patient and helping keep costs in check.

To adapt to this patient-centric area, health science companies must also continually capture feedback from their partners in the value chain, their own customers, and ultimately patients themselves. They also need to tap that data for fresh insight into how therapies, drugs, and services drive the expected outcomes and deliver higher quality experiences at every touchpoint.

Greater ecosystem collaboration

The patient experience isn’t the sole responsibility of a single company or provider. Every company and service provider in the value chain plays a role. Historically, though, organizations haven’t worked together as an integrated unit to ensure a quality experience. But by collaborating with an entire ecosystem, health sciences companies can help create the smooth and seamless experiences that today’s patients demand. To do so, companies must work with their contract manufacturers and suppliers to ensure the quality and consistency of ingredients, packaging, and finished products. To accelerate time-to-market, they need to collaborate on product design across the extended network of research institutions, hospitals, and startups. It’s big job, but the work they do to drive down costs and improve efficiencies ultimately ripples throughout the value chain and is a major factor in the experience of accessing and consuming healthcare services.

Digital supply chains and smart factories

The supply chains of health science companies play an increasingly prominent role in ensuring patient safety and brand protection while supporting personalized medicine segments of one. To keep pace with the evolution of the healthcare market, supply chains and manufacturing networks must become more modular and flexible. Companies need to accommodate the seamless execution of different manufacturing strategies, and they must plug directly into demand signals and immediately execute complex, multiple-attribute customer orders.

At the same time, health sciences manufacturers will increasingly deploy advanced automation on the shop floor—including collaborative robots (cobots), drones, augmented reality, and machine learning — to achieve even higher levels of efficiency. Through IoT technologies, companies will gain increased visibility into their supply chains and manufacturing operations and will improve their ability to synchronize operations on a global scale. In addition to the ability to accommodate a customer lot size of one, they will also have the visibility and reach to track and trace those individual product lots to keep patients informed of recalls and other issues.

Visit for more on how SAP can help you build and maintain market leadership in a new era of challenges. You can also take our self-assessment to see how far you’ve progressed on your journey toward becoming an intelligent enterprise.

SAP and Capgemini:

Making the intelligent enterprise a reality in health sciences

In collaboration with SAP, Capgemini is positioned to support life-sciences companies in their efforts to contend with quickly evolving health-sciences landscape.

Our company is driven by the conviction that the business value of technology comes from and through people and, through this philosophy, we can help your organization meet the demands of the new patient environment. Together we can make this an opportunity for growth.

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