Developing digital health solutions represents a significant challenge to pharma and medtech companies: from integrating this emerging category into a complex, highly regulated digital healthcare ecosystem, to creating solutions that deliver value to all stakeholders including patients and clinicians, and identifying the specific features to focus on that will have a positive impact on healthcare outcomes.
Digital health platforms offer many benefits when building these solutions – namely the opportunity to use established and proven technology to reduce risk, achieve a quicker time to market, and avail of out-of-the-box capability to scale. But these efficiencies often come at the expense of the ability to create an innovative solution that truly addresses specific patient, disease, and brand challenges.
At S3 Connected Health, we recognize the need for a fresh approach. We have codified our experience in building digital health solutions into a new platform, Affinial. Our platform allows for the creation of regulated digital health solutions where deep innovation is at the core of each solution, without compromising on efficiencies. This is done through an extensive range of customizable digital health services providing best practice implementation.
What is a digital health platform, and what are the different types of platforms?
A digital health platform is a tool that should help create, scale, and evolve digital health solutions by offering a foundation on which to build solutions efficiently, effectively, and have a proven path for updates. There are different types of platforms, offering a range of different features and levels of customizability.
Data and compliance platforms combine a layer of data and regulatory compliance on top of public cloud infrastructure. All solution elements then need to be built from scratch, meaning these platforms offer limited gains versus developing an entirely bespoke solution.
At the other end of the scale, fixed function platforms offer fixed solutions, often within a particular disease area or modality (e.g. medication reminders). They typically provide a low-cost approach with a quicker time-to-market but offer limited options for customizing or evolving the solution.
But where is the middle ground? We believe it is found in customizable services platforms which go beyond just providing a data management and compliance layer, by also offering pre-built elements and services that are common to many digital health solutions, and can be customized as required to create a differentiated product at the right pace, with reduced risk.
Affinial is a customizable services platform, built by S3 Connected Health, to address many of the challenges for those looking to develop innovative, regulated digital health solutions efficiently. Our learnings from over 20 years’ experience of developing these solutions, have led to best practice implementation of an extensive range of pre-built services, features, and components as part of the Affinial platform. These can be selected, combined, and customized to specific company, brand, user, therapy, or device requirements, maximizing the value of the final product, and are all developed and operated under our own certified QMS to expedite approval, and ensure compliant operation across regions and territories.
Pre-built digital health services can expediate time to market
There are a number of digital health services that most digital health solutions are required to have. It is inefficient to build these from scratch in the development of each new solution. Affinial’s extensive range of pre-built digital health services have been built on our experience developing digital health solutions that have been rolled out and deployed globally. These services can be customized to specific solution requirements, reducing both cost and time to market. Once tailored to a company’s requirements, they can then also be deployed across future solutions. The range of services include user management, personalized care plans, adherence monitoring, eConsent, clinical care co-ordination, data-driven interventions, and more.
Affinial helps pharma companies create customized digital health solutions efficiently
When it comes to high-cost, complex treatments, specialized medical devices, or broader condition management, the ability to customize digital health solutions is crucial to a successful digital health strategy.
Creating a positive experience for patients in their treatment is key to engaging end users with a digital health solution, and to support their adherence to prescribed treatments. The solution must have the capability to personalize this experience and adapt to the different needs of various users and personas who are managing the condition and treatment regimen.
A solution for an elderly person should differ significantly from one for a child, from the aesthetics, to the language used, to the methods used to support patient adherence. Consideration must also be given to how different people within the same age groups, gender or country will still have varying preferences for what formats they prefer to consume content. Solutions may need to be available in a range of interfaces, from more traditional web portals, to tablets, mobile devices, or smaller screen formats such as smart watches, to effectively engage the various target personas. This applies not only to patients, but also to engage doctors, PSP nurses, and other caregivers.
Affinial facilitates this customization in order to target brand, device, or specific disease challenges, and also has the functionality to configure digital care pathways to work with prescribed treatments, unique devices and clinical practices.
Scale your digital health projects with Affinial
Successfully developing and deploying a digital health solution is only the first step. The solution then needs to further evolve, aligning with patient and contextual needs. Once this is achieved, Affinial helps companies to scale digital health solutions geographically, with the ability to manage differing compliance regulations in various regions. The data management and reporting components of the platform addresses the challenge of storing personal health data of patients in their respective countries, while also being able to pseudo anonymize and aggregate that data on a level that enables insight generation on a global scale both to grow the business and to provide real-world evidence.
The platform also provides the ability to replicate the success of solutions built on Affinial across other business units within the company, expanding the digital health strategy across the broader product portfolio. After building a digital health solution on Affinial, it can iterate with new learnings, experience, and any assets developed can be further applied to future features or even new solutions, reducing the innovation burden for each new solution.
How we use Affinial to work with you to help achieve your digital health goals
Developing and executing a successful digital health strategy goes far beyond identifying the most efficient and effective way to develop the digital health solution itself. The strategy must be clearly defined and built in line with business objectives and goals. And while companies are used to developing and launching drugs and/or devices in their final form, the expertise required to operate and iterate digital health solutions may not be something they have experience in.
The benefits of using Affinial goes beyond the platform itself, to also working with S3 Connected Health's multi-disciplinary team who have deep experience of developing and operating regulated digital health solutions. Our end-to-end process supports companies to align their digital health strategy and define solution requirements that will address their specific challenges, to develop a solution that delivers value to patients and clinicians, and support the deployment, operation and future evolution to achieve appropriate product-market fit.
Our Affinial platform addresses many of the challenges facing pharma and medtech companies who are looking to bring digital health solutions to market. The platform facilities combining innovation and efficiency in the creation of regulated solutions through its range of digital health services that can be customized as required, and offers a reliable way to then build on this customization and rely on a certified QMS, accelerating the development, scaling and then growing into similar solutions across multiple therapy areas.
If you would like to learn more about Affinial, and how it can help you create regulated digital health solutions get in touch with us with here.