The influence of innovative technologies in healthcare has been significant in recent years. Across Europe, digital healthcare solutions are becoming accessible and growing in popularity among patients, providers and researchers. Wearables and sensors built into cellphones or other wearable devices allow the population to monitor their health in near real-time or to be monitored by their doctors. The acceptance of these solutions is growing: it is estimated that the market size for wearable medical devices in the EU will grow from approx 2.241 billion euros this year to 5.290 billion euros by 2026.
While digital solutions have advanced patient care in the EU, digital innovation in drug research and development is just beginning. The early days suggest that data and digital technologies will significantly transform our current drug discovery, discovery and development practices and allow us to discover a new generation of drugs faster.
At Sanofi, artificial intelligence (AI) has enabled us to produce leads for new molecules that we are now adding to our drug portfolio. New data solutions, guided by the expertise of our scientists, also allow us to discover multi-target molecules that have the potential to improve the treatment of complex diseases.
At the same time, real-world data and real-world evidence make our clinical trials more efficient, either by reducing the number of patients that need to be enrolled or by allowing us to leverage digital biomarkers to validate results earlier or to improve.
These advances open up endless opportunities to discover new treatments and achieve better outcomes for our patients. And payers can now develop pricing and reimbursement models that include assessments based on real-world evidence and integrate digital health solutions. This signals an important paradigm shift in healthcare.
With the recently amended Health Technology Assessment Regulation – the EU framework for assessing the value of medicines – there is a need to recognize and implement new data standards. It is important that we compare the evidence accepted by regulators with our scientific and digital developments.
As data sources inevitably evolve and expand, as an industry we need to review their impact and value regularly and together with partners, policymakers and regulators to ensure a common interpretation and acceptance that leverages the current EU framework.
Governments should invest to accelerate the adoption of new digital solutions while improving digital skills and infrastructure among healthcare professionals. Health authorities should facilitate the sharing and interoperability of anonymized and standardized datasets within countries and across borders, and refrain from limitations on the use of standardized data or AI to improve research and development productivity and health care management. All of this is critical to ensuring we continue to advance better medicines and treatments for patients.
At Sanofi, we are already doing our bit. We recently announced a close partnership with Owkin focused on AI and federated learning for medical research. With Owkin’s expertise in handling AI and data, we combine our efforts to create robust disease models from different research institutions and hospitals. This partnership will help us to optimize clinical trial design and discover predictive biomarkers for diseases and treatment options in oncology. And this is just the beginning of our ambition in AI-led drug discovery.
We hope that the European Health Data Space will help build trust with individuals who expect to have better access to and control over their own health data once the EHDS is operational. If successful, EHDS will have a unique opportunity to draw on a large EU-wide pool of data and create the framework of trust needed for its success, rather than separately managing the many islands of data across the 27 EU member states. This would accelerate our understanding of diseases, our research and development efforts, and the development of medicines that are better tailored to patients’ needs. However, now is the time for EHDS to act before the digital environment becomes overly complicated.
Today more than ever, as we all work hard at Sanofi to implement digital healthcare solutions and data solutions that will transform our current paradigms in drug development, clinical testing and manufacturing, we are driven by the realization that our patients will be the ones who benefit will benefit.
https://www.politico.eu/sponsored-content/the-digitization-of-drug-research-and-development/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication The digitization of drug research and development – POLITICO