Top 5 challenges faced by pharma data analytics startups

 Top 5 challenges faced by pharma data analytics startups

What is the biggest contribution to mankind, from technology – besides speed and accuracy? The biggest contribution today is " Data", and the subsequent value lies in driving analytics and churning insights across a range of use-cases, e.g. revenue improving bottom-line.


Any leader in the Indian Pharma industry in India is currently at an interesting stage of transition from “traditional” to “new-age”, in order to address a series of challenges, for e.g., price capping, diminishing sales productivity, expiring patents, limited coverage given the country’s fragmentation, and importantly, need to keep pace with the rapid technology adoption by the entire ecosystem.


Challenge 1: Inconsistent Data Sources

Given that a lot of data in India still moves on paper, the breadth of data availability is limited. Pharma industry still relies on the traditional data streams, i.e. internal sales, operations, and external data from sales audit and prescription audit companies. Detailed clinical datasets on patient journeys and patient funnels are seldom available.


Challenge 2: Ambiguity in Transition

The Indian healthcare ecosystem is still evolving where adoption of technology is slow and restricted. With government initiated schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, Digital India and the availability of new-age / affordable health tech systems like practice management and EMR this limitation is being addressed and helping build a better future.

Challenge 3: The typical question on 'Return on Investment’!

Indian pharma companies have witnessed the real RoI of advanced data analytics and continue to be sceptical of its value. Unlike the global pharma industry, where companies have established the need and value of sales force effectiveness and optimization, pharma businesses in India are still exploring, and therefore piloting.


Challenge 4: The problem of fragmentation, and unstructured data fragmentation plays a huge role in the unavailability of relevant data streams of the ecosystem that pharma businesses operate in. As a simple example – there is no clear visibility on the number of authentic practicing doctors in India.


Challenge 5: Talent Crisis

Today, there is more demand for quality analytical resources (across industries) than the supply. However, pharma industry still continues to be laggard on the analytics front, and is unable to attract the best of skilled manpower and talent.

The early adopters will have an added advantage of riding the steep learning curve that this industry is going to go through in the coming years.


By Akansh Khurana

CEO, THB - Technology, Healthcare & Bigdata