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A Perfect Marriage

From the Session: Leveraging Digital: Navigating Digital Trends and Technologies to Maximize Positive Outcomes for Patients

Presenter: Nicole Mowad-Nassar, VP of External Collaborations, Takeda

Nicole Mowad-Nassar, VP of External Collaborations


“In many ways, the pharma industry is only beginning to see the untapped potential of digital healthcare. And it’s crazy,” says Nicole Mowad-Nassar, VP of External Collaborations, Takeda.

To begin with, Mowad-Nassar points to how far along digital technology has come for Americans — but not the pharma industry.

  • 89% of Americans use the internet
  • 91% of Americans use a mobile phone
  • 78& of Americans have a social media profile
  • 64% ofAmericans shop online
  • 51% of Americans bank online
  • 51% of Americans stream digital TV
  • 8% of U.S. households use only a landline phone

Walking away from Main Street and into corporate America, Mowad-Nassar cites more fascinating stats.

  • Financial technology investment grew 67% from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016
  • 60% of North American investment is collaborative, with established financial companies investing in startups that cooperate with them
  • There were more auto technology partnerships, investments, and acquisitions in the first half of 2016 than the three prior year combined

But in healthcare, Mowad-Nassar adds, “we’re still far behind.”

So what can a pharmaceutical company do to catch up…join the 21st century…get with the program? The first thing is to buddy up with the tech industry — a benefit Mowad-Nassar discovered after spending a lot of time in Silicon Valley.

“Tech companies don’t generally start with an unmet need. They start with an innovation and try to backward integrate to figure out where the heck they can use this integration, have a good market strategy, and make money.

So we have a perfect marriage — the pharma and tech industries. We do understand the unmet need. We can help them understand the regulatory landscape from a compliance and HIPAA perspective. Tech companies can’t do this on their own.”

With this in mind, Mowad-Nassar recommends that pharmaceutical companies partner with tech companies. As each side does what they do best, it will become clear as to how digital impacts healthcare, why patients can benefit, and what pharma companies can do to best use emerging technologies.

That, Mowad-Nassar says, is when “the pharma company of the future” will become “today’s pharma company.”

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