Developing a drug? You’ll need more than just data

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By Michael Muskus 

In the market for a quick win? A career in biopharma drug development probably isn’t for you.

Drug development takes lots of time, money, and resources. The biopharma market is highly competitive and fast-paced, and even the most revolutionary, life-changing drugs aren’t guaranteed a successful launch. 

A single bad decision can set your development process back years—or even spoil it entirely. This isn’t an industry where you can rely on intuition alone. Robust, reliable data is a must for providing insights to guide your decision-making throughout the journey to commercial success. There’s just one catch: You’ll need to sift through an overwhelming amount of claims data, electronic health records, marketing performance indicators, and sales data to find the elusive and valuable insights you need.

Unless you enjoy finding needles in haystacks, you should consider analytics that can centralize the most relevant information and put answers to your most pressing questions front and center. Of course, the market is full of analytical tools promising great results. So how do you know which tools are best suited to the challenges you face throughout development and commercialization?

Start by looking at tools that reduce your workload—not contribute to it. A lot of analytical tools rely on manual (and fallible) intervention. Artificial intelligence (AI), however, is a game changer. Analytics that employ AI technologies are helping life sciences companies identify opportunities, accelerate new drug discovery, and improve productivity across the board.

In this blog, we’ll dig into some of the challenges that life sciences companies face when analyzing data, and how AI-equipped analytics tools are helping to overcome them.  

Don’t tie yourself to traditional data analysis

As the amount of data in the universe increases, so do the challenges associated with using traditional methods for analysis.

Traditional analytics tools are tailor-made for use with one data source, limiting users to a narrower view of their “universe” and delivering a smaller number of insights. These tools are usually manually maintained and may require additional analytics to deliver the right insights, which increases up-front expenses and necessary labor hours.

Plus, many business intelligence tools on the market just aren’t designed with life science users in mind. Their focus may be too broad or generic to deliver the necessary healthcare commercial intelligence and perform useful patient analytics.

As if higher costs and resource requirements weren’t frustrating enough, these tools’ limitations may force you to rely on expensive consultants who provide one-time views of static cuts of data. This drives expenses up and wastes your time with lackluster insights. Why put yourself—and your team—through such a gauntlet if the intelligence at the end doesn’t even meet your needs?

AI is paving the way for innovation

Luckily, the industry is starting to expect more, and some vendors are rising to the occasion. The explosion of data in recent years is driving the next wave of innovation in drug development and commercialization, and biopharma organizations are discovering powerful applications for AI in commercial settings, from ensuring that the right patients are granted access to the right treatment at the right time, to predicting clinical outcomes using precision medicine data.

AI-powered analytics are helping biopharma companies like yours to:

  • Identify eligible patient populations including those with rare conditions
  • Recognize eligible patient groups who could move to a new drug
  • Understand a patient’s treatment pathway and work recovery timing
  • Dynamically target physicians who treat a patient demographic
  • Accelerate clinical trial enrollment
  • Determine specific histology for specific cancers
  • Discern patient segments within a disease group
  • Build and optimize brand promotional plans
  • Predict marketing channels for next best actions to grow patient market share

Find a flexible, functional dataset

The best entries in this new class of analytical tools leverage AI to seamlessly combine data from any internal or third-party source and uncover the healthcare commercial intelligence needed to drive revenue and growth. These tools gather a variety of datasets together into a single, integrated source of truth and feature scalable, configurable modules that address your unique needs.

With these tools, you can explore large amounts of data from any angle and optimize the entire drug commercialization process, from early business planning to post-launch performance. But AI isn’t the only important factor: Such robust analysis demands a patient-centric data model, which normalizes data from all sources.   

Your ideal analytical tools should include features like: 

  • A cutting-edge visualization platform that allows users to dynamically slice the data in a variety of ways, ensuring real-time analytics without time lags  
  • No-code/low-code platforms to lessen the burden on data analysts, expedite development, and increase speed via real-time access to SaaS applications
  • Unique algorithms and methodologies to describe patient journeys and maximize the impact of promotional tactics
  • Assembles, configures, and securely organizes data from a variety of sources to automate and parallel process complex statistical, optimization and machine learning (ML) algorithms
  • Scalable infrastructure and sophisticated modeling to process terabytes of information in near-real time

Speed matters, too. The right tool should deliver the healthcare commercial intelligence you need in minutes—not days or weeks. That intelligence should make it easy to see the data from multiple angles, so you can remove data silos and reduce time spent analyzing, ensuring greater alignment and efficiencies throughout the commercialization process.    

Put potential solutions to the test

Once you’ve found a tool that checks all these boxes, be sure to give it a test run. Remember: Intuition alone isn’t enough in this industry.

A solution with the right feature set on paper might not match your needs in practice. Definitive Healthcare offers free trials for our entire healthcare commercial intelligence platform, including our Passport Analytics Suite.

Built by a team with deep data science and life science experience, the SaaS-based Passport Analytics Suite contains multiple, scalable, and configurable modules that allow you to assess and select the right opportunities, accelerate clinical trials, and dial-in optimal promotional mixes.   

Want to get a hands-on look at our AI-powered analytics suite? Request a free trial today.

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