Wearable technologies have the potential to transform medicine and the delivery of healthcare more significantly than any other component of the digital revolution – or indeed than many other scientific advances.
Wearables will change the execution and economics of drug R&D, expand the definition of “therapy,” and transform patients’ roles in healthcare.
Wearable technologies have the potential to transform medicine and the delivery of healthcare more significantly than any other component of the digital revolution – or indeed than many other scientific advances. By offering new, richer, and more nuanced sources of real-time data directly from patients, wearables can enable a greater understanding of disease and the factors that influence its course, both at the individual level and collectively. Wearables will transform how clinical trials are recruited and run, and which kinds of endpoints are measured. They will also change the economics of R&D, allowing faster recruitment, more reliable data collection, and shorter trial times.
For pharma, wearables provide not just an opportunity to reduce R&D costs, but also to improve outcomes and enhance relationships with patients, providers, and payers. They also bring new kinds of partners and competitors, and require a shift in mindset: to accept that future winners will not be those with the best molecule, but those who most effectively marry their scientific innovation with the appropriate technological innovation to ensure the best results.
5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
5 What are wearables, and why should pharma care?
5 Wearables makers: pharma partners or competitors?
5 Wearables’ early impact in R&D and beyond
5 Drivers and resistors of wearables in healthcare
5 Case studies involve a range of players, devices, and therapy areas
5 Wearables are part of digital health investments
7 WHAT ARE WEARABLES, AND WHY SHOULD PHARMA CARE?
8 Wellness and medicine: blurring boundaries
9 Enabling patient centricity; lowering costs
11 WEARABLES MAKERS: PHARMA PARTNERS OR COMPETITORS?
11 Who is making wearables?
14 Fostering and funding digital health innovation
17 WEARABLES’ EARLY IMPACT IN R&D AND BEYOND
17 Most wearables trials to date have been feasibility studies
23 DRIVERS AND RESISTORS OF WEARABLES IN HEALTHCARE
30 WEARABLES CASE STUDIES
30 Wearables are used along the value chain and across stakeholders
32 Biogen-Google: uncovering the course of multiple sclerosis
33 Novartis-Qualcomm: building the foundations for mobile trials
34 Novartis-Microsoft: measuring multiple sclerosis
34 UCB-MC10: improving diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease
34 Johns Hopkins-Apple: using Apple Watch to predict seizures
35 UnitedHealthcare-Qualcomm: paying for steps
36 Medibio-Medtronic: diagnosing depression
36 Google (Verily)-Dexcom: stick-on glucose monitors for diabetes
36 Otsuka-Proteus Digital Health: digital medicines may improve outcomes but first must pass regulatory muster
40 WEARABLES ARE PART OF DIGITAL HEALTH INVESTMENTS
40 Unquantified investments
40 Efficacy gains expected
40 Who will pay for wearables in healthcare?
44 The technological future
47 About the author
LIST OF FIGURES
8 Figure 1: Wearables’ impact on drug development and marketing
42 Figure 2: Return on investment from wearables may be realized by supporting higher reimbursement
43 Figure 3: Patients’ out-of-pocket purchases of wearables could also feature in future business models
44 Figure 4: Wearables can also benefit the bottom line by improving R&D efficiency
LIST OF TABLES
11 Table 1: Makers of wearables
13 Table 2: Examples of pharma’s partnerships involving wearables
23 Table 3: Drivers and resistors of use of wearables in healthcare
31 Table 4: Selected case studies of wearables’ use
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