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Could a New Software Solution Help Medtech Address Connected Health Needs?

A software company is responding to the shift toward connected healthcare by launching a solution aimed at helping medtech and pharma companies with program management, patient services consent management, sales agreements, and more.

Salesforce launched a new solution, Health Cloud, that could help medtech companies can gain actionable information in one place for improved internal and external collaboration, and smarter, data-driven decisions. 

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It's no secret that consumers expect their healthcare solutions to be convenient, personalized, accessible, and interoperable. But if a recent survey is any indication, the industry is falling short of delivering on those expectations.

Salesforce, a cloud-based software company based in San Francisco, CA, found that only 40% of consumers say the communications they receive from the healthcare and life sciences industries feel relevant to them. Even more disturbing, nearly half (47%) say the healthcare industry is more focused on its own needs than those of patients, according to the company's Connected Healthcare Consumer Report.

Salesforce has launched a new solution, dubbed Health Cloud, designed specifically for medical device and pharmaceutical companies in an effort to unify healthcare with expanded capabilities for life sciences companies across two new areas: patient program management and medical device commercial operations.

The idea of Health Cloud was born out of Salesforce's shift toward verticalization, explained Ashwini Zenooz, MD, senior vice president and general manager for healthcare and life sciences at Salesforce. The company first tested out the solution in the financial services industry, and in 2015 Salesforce decided to also verticalize in healthcare, she told MD+DI.

"Since then we've been more and more focused on building solutions that are centered around healthcare and life sciences while we focus on Health Cloud products to meet regulations for healthcare and HIPAA," Zenooz said.

Salesforce said its new Health Cloud release is aimed at transforming how organizations deliver innovative patient programs across the entire patient journey. Now, these companies can gain actionable information in one place for improved internal and external collaboration, and smarter, data-driven decisions, the company said. 

Zenooz, a physician by background, has worked at Salesforce for about a year and has been involved in symposiums the company has hosted over the past year for C-suite and operational level executives in medtech and pharma.

"When they come together, the conversations have been really interesting," Zenooz said. "This is a global trend where they say to us, 'consumerism is pushing how we do business'."

Medtech and pharma companies alike are getting more calls and engaging more directly with patients today than in the past. But industry executives recognize the need to engage with patients in a way that is also focused on value-based care, she said.

Based on what the company has heard from industry executives as well as what patients said on the recent Connected Healthcare Consumer Report, the Salesforce product team that developed Health Cloud focused on two specific areas: patient management, and medical device innovation.

On the patient management side, Health Cloud offers these features:

  • Guided Program Enrollment allows life sciences companies to create therapeutic support programs at scale to acquire, support, and engage patients, improving both the patient experience and shorten the time to therapy. This is done through easier enrollment of patients to a program by providing a step-by-step guide for patient services support teams. Now, support teams can easily coordinate patient onboarding, insurance verification, copay programs, and more to ensure patients are getting the support they need and are adhering to treatment plans.
  • Patient Services Consent Management, which provides pharmaceutical and medical device companies with the ability to easily view consent forms and easily capture patient consent with an eSignature. Now consent can take place with the enrollee in-person or remotely, as patients can now log in using a tablet or mobile device and view and provide consent on forms associated with the program.

On the medical device innovation side, the company incorporated features that are expected to deliver predictability and transparency across a medical device company's commercial organizations, and improve the company's ability to win customer relationships with the following new capabilities:

  • Sales Agreements help medical device companies manage device sales, volume, price and revenue commitments. Sales and operations teams can collaborate to track whether customers are meeting their commitments by comparing planned sales quantities to actual booked orders as well as planned revenue amounts to actual booked revenue. The enhanced visibility to this information is intended to help medical device companies arrest revenue leakage and proactively engage customers to increase compliance to agreement terms.
  • Account-Based Forecasting is designed to help medical device companies forecast device sales. Now, medical device companies can create a baseline forecast using market and account growth factors relative to last year’s actuals. Sales teams can edit forecasts to reflect an increase or decrease in their market share, relative to their competitors, of the total device sales at a provider organization. Sales managers can easily assess the impact of these changes on key metrics such as total revenue, growth and quota attainment, according to Salesforce.
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