The Affinial Digital Health Platform – The Building Blocks of a Digital Health Solution

August 15, 2023 John Mulcahy

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The Affinial Digital Health Platform – The Building Blocks of a Digital Health Solution

Digital health platforms have emerged as powerful tools in facilitating the success of digital health initiatives. They provide pharma with a dependable and replicable method for developing solutions at scale and across various therapy areas, contributing to improved patient outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system.

In this, the first of our learning series on S3 Connected Health’s digital health platform, Affinial, we outline the main benefits of platforms and explain how our experience led us to create Affinial, the most comprehensive platform for life science companies to create regulated digital health solutions.


The benefits of digital health platforms

  • Platforms can enable the development of customized digital health solutions, tailored to meet the specific needs of patients, care teams, diseases, therapies, and pharma companies, avoiding the limitations of 'one size fits all' solutions that fail to provide individualized experiences for patients based on their unique requirements and care journey
  • Their reusable elements allow pharma to build on previous insights and avoid re-creating elements common to many solutions. This leads to reduced complexity, minimized risks and costs, and a faster time to market. Eliminating the need to start from scratch for each new product offers significant scope to make each subsequent solution built on the platform cheaper and faster.
  • Platforms also provide the necessary capabilities to create scalable digital health solutions, leveraging platform features that facilitate cost-effective use across various therapy areas, regions, and business units, while easily building on and adapting customizable elements to cater to diverse brand challenges and localized patient populations.
  • They allow pharma to be flexible and adaptable. Unlike a drug launch, a digital health launch is the beginning of a fast-evolving lifecycle that must be managed. Constantly evolving requirements demand that solutions can be easily and rapidly updated and iterated to continue providing value to end users.
  • Platforms play a significant role in insight generation and data management by harmonizing data coming from various sources, and then interpreting that data to make sense of it for patients, their care teams, and pharma. The real-time, data-driven insights enable personalized interventions to ensure appropriate support for patients. Over time this information provides a more comprehensive understanding of the patient’s journey and supports pharma’s clinical development strategy.

Affinial – A platform for the creation of regulated digital health solutions

In our 20 years of experience constructing digital health solutions, we consistently encountered commonalities in the features and functionality we incorporated into those solutions. This not only emphasized the significance of adopting a platform-based approach but also that the right type of platform was crucial. Customers consistently looked for customization in order to best meet patient, brand, and disease needs, and to provide personalized support to patients. This led us to design Affinial as a customizable platform, which is inherently different from many other platforms which typically fall into the categories of data and compliance platforms and fixed-function platforms.

Data and compliance platforms combine a layer of data and regulatory compliance on top of public cloud infrastructure. This approach necessitates the construction of every other aspect of the digital health solution from scratch. On the other hand, fixed-function platforms provide fixed solutions, often anchored to specific disease areas or modalities. While they offer a cost-effective and swift time-to-market solution, they provide ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions that severely limit the customization and solution evolution which are key to patients adopting and persistently engaging with the solution.

Both options force pharma companies to compromise, sacrificing efficiency or the ability to customize their solutions. We believe that such compromises should not be necessary. Consequently, we developed our own digital health platform, Affinial, which allows pharma to create innovative, customizable digital health solutions while benefitting from platform efficiencies.

Affinial is a customizable services platform that provides customizable digital health services and associated digital health business logic, SDKs to support the creation of mobile and web portals, and secure data management built on a scalable hosting infrastructure. These reusable services can be configured to specific company, brand, therapy, or device requirements, enabling highly customized digital health solutions to be created that address particular challenges while leveraging pre-built services which provide best-practice implementation with reduced cost and time to market.

It is developed in compliance with ISO 13485 and ISO27001

ISO 27001 Information Security Management System in the areas of support and delivery of cloud-based systems by Managed Service Operations business. Digital health solutions created with Affinial are also built and operated per regulatory standards under S3 Connected Health’s certified QMS to expedite approval and ensure compliant operation across regions and territories.

Our end-to-end process ensures that the developed solutions deliver value, align with clinical practice, secure adoption, sustain usage, and successfully scale across various regions and territories. It also ensures compliance with regulatory and data security requirements, securing regulatory approval and ensuring compliance.


We have developed this learning series on Affinial, to take a deeper look at how the platform helps to tackle some of the main challenges faced by pharma companies looking to create regulated digital health solutions. In the series we cover topics including:

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about digital health platforms, download our recent whitepaper ‘Digital Health that Scales - Why a platform approach could be the path to performance’ in which experts from S3 Connected Health, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Novartis, Roche, BMS, and nen Health discuss the benefits of a platform approach.



Download the full whitepaper now and gain free, immediate access.