In the past decade, the pace of technological change has been accelerating. The digital revolution offers tremendous opportunity for tomorrow’s medical landscape. As technology meets biology, we develop new insights into disease treatment.
Digital solutions offer new advances in care that improve the patient experience. Digital touches all areas of our business and is making us rethink and adapt our model.
2 Questions to Heather Bell
Global Head of Digital and Analytics
How is digital transforming healthcare?
Digital is transforming healthcare in fundamental ways. First, digital technologies are empowering customers. Smartphones and other wearables are now powerful medical devices that patients control directly.
Second, digital enables automation of core processes. Machines can now do things that previously only people could do: for example, differentiate between a benign skin lesion and a malignant one.
Third, digital is generating new insights into disease. Today, as technology meets biology, we are getting an explosion of data. And we are able to integrate very different types of data, from the genomic to the behavioral. Incumbent healthcare players and new entrants like startups and tech companies are using digital to increase efficiency and offer new, customer-focused solutions.
What has changed for Sanofi in this fast-moving environment?
Digital is now a top priority for Sanofi. We have defined a focused, competitive digital strategy.
Our 7 priority digital initiatives use digital to create value in two ways: they help us to run our business better, faster, and cheaper, or they pursue new business models. But in a digital world, it is not enough to change what you do: you have to work differently. So we are partnering with and investing in digital startups. We are working in a more agile way.
We have attracted new digital talent from companies outside our sector, including Google, Amazon, GE, P&G, and L’Oréal. And we are building digital capabilities: we have trained close to 4,000 colleagues through our in-house digital clinical and digital medical bootcamps, and multi-channel engagement workshops.
Our main focus now is implementation. This is how we will win in digital: by getting things done, fast, and by learning constantly from the experience.
Digital clinical trials
Reduce time to market
Sanofi rigorously studies the effectiveness and safety of our drugs through clinical trials. Digital technologies offer the promise of speeding up our trials and getting our drugs to market faster.
We check our trial protocols against actual electronic health records to accelerate patient recruitment. People spend large amounts of time online each day so we are tapping into that channel to help recruit patients for our trials. We currently have online recruitment campaigns active in 13 countries. We have started to run distributed studies, where patients can participate in a trial from their home, and are working towards optimization of this innovative model. Our first trials with wearables are starting, helping us to better measure disease progression. And a trained machine is now helping us to write our clinical study reports.
Digital factory 4.0
Improve manufacturing productivity
At Sanofi, we are using digital to accelerate the on-going transformation of our industrial network. The factory of the future will embrace digital and enable higher levels of productivity, flexibility, and agility.
Sanofi is building a portfolio of digital products and deploying them across the industrial network over the next 3 years. Our plants will be connected with data flowing automatically from equipment sensors, providing us with a real-time view of performance. Data-driven enhancements to our quality standards will help us deliver products “right first time”, every time. Advanced analytics on supply chain data will enable real-time optimization. And digital twins of new facilities – virtual 3D models connected to the real world through sensors – will enable teams to simulate manufacturing changes, and train operators, before a production line is even built.
Better engage our physician customers
Sanofi is reinventing its customer engagement model, using multiple, integrated channels and strong data and analytics to better engage our physician customers. The aim is to provide physicians with the information they want, how and when they want it – increasing our effectiveness while strengthening and personalizing our customer relationships.
We call this multi-channel engagement and we are deploying this capability globally. In lead countries, we are now orchestrating engagement through Adobe campaign management, with an initial 120,000 physicians reached already. We are engaging physicians through a variety of channels including email, WeChat, remote detailing, and MedVox, a new electronic platform that allows physicians to interact with Medical Science Liaisons, engage in two-way dialogue and readily access medical content.
Consumer precision marketing & ecommerce
In Sanofi’s consumer healthcare (CHC) business, smart use of digital marketing and data allows us to tailor our interactions to delight consumers – we call this precision marketing. Following a structured program of pilots which have proven significant business value, we are now building precision marketing capabilities globally in CHC: adapting messages based on environmental factors such as seasons or time of day and targeting narrow and specific consumer segments.
The growth of ecommerce has transformed the way people shop around the world. In consumer healthcare, it provides a direct relationship with consumers and the ability to satisfy their needs in a timely way. And it opens up new opportunities such as subscription models. We have developed and are starting to implement a comprehensive ecommerce growth strategy.
Data & Analytics
Real world evidence
One of the promises of digital transformation is to become a much more data-driven organization. At Sanofi, we are investing in real world evidence. This is the use of real-world data (e.g., in an electronic health record, an insurance claim, or a patient survey) and advanced analytics to discover, develop, and deliver insights into healthcare interventions. We want to understand how our drugs work outside the clinical trial environment and demonstrate their value to our customers, so that we can improve patient outcomes.
DARWIN is Sanofi’s new big data platform, integrating anonymized data from 345 million patient lives. Independently, and in partnership with leading analytics companies, Sanofi’s growing team of data scientists is analyzing these data to answer specific questions about the determinants of patient outcomes in the diseases we treat.
Sanofi is using digital technology to support patients, beyond simply providing them with our drugs. Our digital medicines team is systematically creating drugs+ solutions: non-pharmacological solutions – hardware, software, services – that when combined with a drug, improve patient outcomes. They may do this by enhancing efficacy or safety, promoting adherence, and/or giving patients a better experience. These improved outcomes will increase the value of our drugs.
Our pipeline of new drugs+ solutions is under development in a range of therapy areas, through a disciplined innovation process. We expect the first set of new drugs+ solution launches before the end of 2018.
The effective management of diabetes goes far beyond the medicine itself. It also means taking extra care with food and exercise, monitoring blood sugar levels throughout the day and taking time to prevent or manage related health problems. For many people, the burden of disease management is a 24/7 job and impacts quality of life.
Sanofi is pursuing new business models to integrate drugs, devices, data, and services, and bring innovative solutions to people living with diabetes. These innovations include titration algorithm solutions such as MyDoseCoach and Diabeo (developed jointly with Voluntis); connected delivery devices such as the gPump (developed jointly with Verily and Sensile); and Onduo, our pioneering joint venture with Verily Life Sciences. Onduo launched its virtual diabetes clinic in the US earlier this year.