“Google, what’s my glucose level?”

You read that correctly. Diabetes sufferers may utter this exact phrase in the not-so-distant future. Google - yes, the tech behemoth - is developing a ground-breaking glucose monitor. Their non-invasive ‘smart’ lens detects glucose levels through moisture in the wearer’s eye.

Together with pharmaceutical giant Novartis, Google intends to elevate healthcare and consumer fitness to a new technological level. But these two disparate, forward-thinking organizations do not stand alone in their tech/healthcare coupling. Other tech companies are working with pharma and other life-science companies to usher in an era of greater customized, preventative, and patient-centric care.

"Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people.” ~ Google founder, Sergey Brin

Lines between technology and personal healthcare have been blurring for quite some time, and growing fuzzier just in the past decade with wireless medical devices and monitors, and wearable technology, such as heart rate monitors. Previously, most of the medical and healthcare-related products were native to the pharmaceutical company without tech company input. Never had the two sectors collaborated so closely in business ventures. That’s changing.

Once defined industry boundaries are now dissolving and shifting, forming new business ecosystems: Apple Watch, which tracks a user’s heart rate, activity, and nutrition was borne from its acquisition of a start-up dedicated to user health data recording and storage; Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase are partnering to form an independent healthcare company for employees; Uber Health coordinates with health facilities to transport patients to and from appointments. And many of these unions are focused on long-term, broad-spectrum innovation, rather on a single product.

“However you look at it, there’s a problem with value creation.  We need to change, or we will disappear.” ~ Bernard Munos, FasterCures

Though these alliances are expected to cultivate great value to both the businesses and their consumers, pharma companies are finding they must reconstruct their business models. They realize the need to dispose of their big-disease/big-dollar product focus and embrace a more personalized, outcome-based scheme. Faced with increasing competition from life-science start-ups that launched with that approach, big pharma can reinforce its relevancy and resiliency by joining forces and emulating those business models.

But this new business environment demands competencies and mindsets not inherent to the current pharma model. The industry will need to step outside its resident abilities and welcome outside support.

As the two sectors merge their powers and expertise, they must also be mindful of new risks, and modify and update their business continuity programs (BCPs) to preserve compliancy and resiliency.

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Topics: Healthcare| Technology| Pharma

Angie Longacre

Written by Angie Longacre

As a writer for Assurance Software, Angie devotes her craft to promoting business continuity and disaster recovery awareness, and trumpeting Assurance Software’s invaluable benefits for both. When she’s not commanding the keyboard, you can find her outside for a run, searching for her next antique treasure, or lost in a good book.

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