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3 Trends in data driven healthcare: Chronomics at the BioData World Congress 2018

We look at the the top 3 trends in data driven healthcare from the BioData World Congress 2018 in Basel, Switzerland. What happens when the giants of pharma, healthcare, genomics, and tech come together under one roof?

1. When patients become users, UX is King.

It’s all about the end person nowadays, and increasingly that person is no longer a patient, but a user. Digital health expands the reach and influence of healthcare, but it also dilutes it and reaches further up the spectrum of healthy.

The arms race is no longer just about deep science or new drugs, but for the most engaging, simple, and sticky platforms that keep users coming back.

That is all well and good for the smartphone enabled, but during her keynote Dr. Indra Joshi, NHS clinical lead for AI, called for basic access like increased wifi access to be sorted out first.

Assuming basic access, user centric design comes naturally to likes of Google and Apple who are moving not so stealthily into healthcare.

The Roche tower dominates the Basel skyline, faced down by the Novartis building on the opposite horizon.

2. Big Pharma is trembling as tech giants deploy Big Digital with light speed agility.

Risk averse pharmaceutical companies like Novartis and Merck are struggling to keep up with the modern pace of the likes of Google and Amazon facilitating end to end drug dispensement, and health analytics.

The mantra of fail hard, fail fast has not yet reached the big drug companies, no matter how often they say digital health and innovation matters.

Big Food is another question mark, with research programs at Unilever and Nestle, will they be staking out some part of the healthcare landscape soon?

With a lean mentality and unparalleled reach into and analytical capability of their consumer base, the tech giants have a deep pocket of cards to play.

As everyone is watching closely for the big move of tech into healthcare, one thing is for sure, things are about to get shaken up.

A little guy pitching big ideas.

3. Bring in the little guys.

If you can’t risk change yourself, get someone else to do it for you. Innovation and incubation programs are springing up in each of the pharmaceutical household names.

Roche/Genentech were keen to display the digital innovation companies they are nurturing including touchscreen enabled mental health monitoring Mindstrong, and patient reported outcome platform Kaiku Health.

For the first time, the Biodata World Congress brought in a start up zone to shake up the grey suited pharma execs with some hungry start up founders.

It is clear that innovation, particularly in applied AI, spurs growth. In the not-so-little-anymore guys club companies like InSilico and WuXiNextcode, have become powerhouses in AI driven drug discovery and big genomics analysis respectively.

And despite the move into multi-omics markers of disease and ageing, epigenetics still gets barely a mention. Watch this space for next year when Chronomics becomes a not-so-little guy.

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