Home Insights AI, Omnichannel and health equity: A glimpse at Reuters Pharma EU 2024

AI, Omnichannel and health equity: A glimpse at Reuters Pharma EU 2024

Hundreds of pharma industry experts – including many from Inizio – recently gathered in Barcelona for one of the most important events in the European calendar: Reuters Pharma EU 2024.

The three-day conference featured over 150 speakers, with delegates exploring a range of pivotal themes from a cross-functional perspective. As anticipated, aligning with our recent insights from Reuters US, there are several themes that persist as subjects of discussion within Pharma…


It’s time to fully embrace AI

Unsurprisingly, AI (Artificial Intelligence) was one of the big talking points at this year’s event. Despite some unanswered questions and challenges around issues such as regulation and bias, the reality is that AI’s here to stay and is only going to become more important.

One thing is clear: ignoring AI simply isn’t an option. Microsoft gave a cautionary presentation about how the firm was behind the curve on smartphones and is desperate not to make the same mistake with AI.

Despite some fears around it replacing humans and decision-making, it’s more useful to think of AI as an assistant or trusted counsellor and focus on how humans will always be responsible for the final outcomes. This approach will ensure we unlock the power of AI in an impactful but controlled way.

Several presentations focused on how AI tools can only provide reliable insights if they’re based on the right, specific data. AI trained on narrow data sets will not give us the trusted, usable outputs we require.

While it’s easy to see how AI can vastly speed up and improve many of the things we do today, the technology gives us a golden opportunity to think about how we can be truly innovative and tackle problems in new and completely different ways.

Whatever the future for AI, partnerships are going to be critical for the industry to fully exploit its potential. Partners who have experience and tech are vital if pharma companies are going to progress in this arena.

One of the speakers quoted a report from McKinsey last year, saying: “The technology could offer pharma companies a once-in-a-century opportunity – but only if they learn to scale it and address the industry’s unique challenges.”

As an industry of innovators, we can’t afford to miss the opportunities AI presents.

Inizio was at the forefront of AI development long before it became the latest industry buzzword. To learn more about how AI can support your business, get in touch.


Maintaining the human connection in the Omnichannel experience

There were several sessions exploring different aspects of Omnichannel, but one of the most interesting themes to emerge was the importance of face-to-face communication and the human connection within the mix.

While some commentators believed virtual was here to stay post-pandemic, today it makes up less than 5% of interactions.

With this in mind, it’s important that face-to-face teams have the capability and mindset to understand how Omnichannel can support their customers. At the same time, listen to what those teams have to say, capture their feedback, and incorporate their insights to further improve the customer journey.

This led on to a wider point about data and deciding what you should be capturing and how you’re going to use it. All data should be actionable, so whatever you’re capturing, it’s important to think about how you’re going to use it to your advantage. Data can take many forms, from customer feedback to patient outcomes, but to be truly impactful it must demonstrate behavior change. You also must constantly review what you’re collecting: the essential data points today won’t necessarily be the essential points tomorrow.

Central to any Omnichannel approach is basing the journey on what customers actually need. As an industry, we must really listen to what they want and why – even if it’s not what we expected to hear. Establishing a test-and-learn content development model is key.

While pharma has a way to go before creating the type of seamless, timely Omnichannel experiences used by the most successful consumer brands, the industry is making progress, and companies are more open than ever to investing in people, data, and platforms.

Inizio works with you to connect teams, tools, and tactics – creating and delivering Omnichannel experiences that help patients to engage with their treatment and educate HCPs and payers with relevant content. Download our Omnichannel eBook.


Health equity is everyone’s business

  • Across the globe, the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest countries is 34 years.
  • In Nigeria, the vast majority of women with breast cancer are diagnosed at stages three and four.
  • Within a year of regulatory approval, new drugs are accessible to 98% of the German population, compared to only 7% in Latvia.

These were just some of the sobering facts presented at the conference to highlight health disparities across the world.

Urging all pharma organizations to embed health equity in their strategic visions and embrace more diverse patient representation was one of the most compelling mandates in Barcelona.

Health equity is the principle that everyone, regardless of their background or characteristics, has equal opportunities to achieve optimal health. Not only is there a moral imperative to improve health equity, but there are also wider benefits to society in terms of disease prevention, less strain on health services, and enhanced overall prosperity.

Improving health equity is undoubtedly challenging and not solely the responsibility of pharma organizations – it requires a multifaceted, multiagency approach at every level of society. But there are things we can do to improve things in our industry. These include:

  • Thinking of people as citizens not patients. By reframing healthcare systems to view populations as citizens rather than just as patients, we take a first step in acknowledging the broader spectrum of healthcare needs within communities – and underscore the importance of proactive health interventions.
  • Making diversity a central focus. Prioritizing diversity in areas such as R&D, clinical trial recruitment, and patient engagement can contribute to health equity.
  • Acknowledging the unique health needs of women. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease must take precedence in industry efforts to create better outcomes for women.
  • Tackling stigma: We need to better recognize and address the stigmas attached to some conditions – such as HIV – and patient groups that prevent them from accessing treatment.
  • Embracing wearable health tech: From diagnostics to drug delivery and monitoring, wearable health tech has the potential to expand access to care into broader patient populations.
  • Thinking local: Close collaboration with local community groups and influencers is pivotal to addressing health disparities.

At Inizio, our goal is to embed a health equity lens into every client project, and we’re developing a decision-making framework to help clients consider it at each phase of the patient journey. To find out how we can do this for you, please get in touch.