Richard Billington, chief technology officer of MatsSoft, explains how IT leaders can adapt to a patient-centric world

Until recently, pharmaceutical innovation was all about the product.

Every spare penny was ploughed into R&D in search of a smarter device, a better pill or a slicker app. Today, this is no longer the case. Pharmaceutical innovation is increasingly focused on the patient.

There are a lot of good reasons for this. A tsunami of blockbuster drug patent expirations has shaken people’s faith in product-centric strategies. We’ve also seen a rise in the number of outcome-based remuneration schemes. Many companies now get paid based on the number of people their drug saves rather than the popularity of their pills.

But the internet has had the biggest impact of all. Digital-native businesses like Amazon and Facebook have proven the value of customer-centric business models and even the conservative world of pharma is acknowledging the need for change.

But while most pharma brands are now committed to delivering a better patient experience, few are succeeding. And the reason is simple – dramatically improving the patient experience demands a solution to an age-old problem – balancing the need for rapid innovation with pressing operational demands.

Savvier customer-focused industries have known this for years and pharma can learn a lot from businesses operating in retail, transport and even financial services.

For example, Network Rail has recently taken a new approach to CX (customer experience) innovation. They’re enabling the people who understand CX processes – front office staff – to take a much bigger role in building the technology that underpins the customer experience.

Low code platforms sit at the heart of this approach. These easy- to-use tools allow business users to take the lead on development. After just a few days training, they can start to build solutions themselves. And as these platforms are governed and controlled by IT, non-compliance isn’t an issue.

In this scenario, everyone wins. IT has more time to focus on its considerable workload, while customer-facing teams can proactively solve the chronic issues that are slowing them down. All the while, costs fall, efficiency soars and the customer experience improves, fast.

This is a new type of CX transformation initiative. One that’s collaborative, pragmatic and led from the ground up.

We’ve invited some of the IT leaders pioneering this approach to tell their story at our breakfast briefing A Faster Way to Improve CX. Join us on 28th March 2019 at 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) to see what they have to say.

Few pharmaceutical brands are on course to become the Amazon of their industry, but one thing has become clear – the patient experience matters. And this isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Come meet some of the businesses that are putting the end user at the heart of their business.

Book your ticket for A Faster Way to Improve CX. Visit