Pharma-BAT Digital Health Tango In China: Will It Pay Off?
China's internet giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, collectively called BAT, are increasingly tapping into digital health to benefit from recent policy changes, and 2017 saw pharma companies eagerly jump onboard to share the potential gains.
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“Winning the war without fighting. Using five types of fire attacks.” Sounds familiar? Sun Tzu's 2,000 year-old wisdom on the art of war is echoing down the ages, and winning in China today means that pharma needs to embrace a digital strategy more than ever before.
Leveraging the internet and big data to improve healthcare, regulatory efficiency and cancer treatment are among the priorities singled out by the Chinese Premier at the annual National People's Congress meeting. Some delegates say drug approval and coverage challenges remain, while industry observers point to commercial insurance as a solution to drive the specialty market such as cancer care.
Armed with massive amounts of data, China is poised to make a dent in big data-driven innovation and artificial intelligence applications including smart health. A policy push to encourage the development of novel drugs also means there may be more biotech unicorns and innovative therapies to attract investment inflows.