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Why solutions that are more outcomes-oriented should be taken more seriously?

What Digital Health impacts do you consider to be the biggest for the pharma industry?

The COVID-19 pandemic made it clear: we’re not healthy and safe until everybody is healthy and safe. Thus, I believe digital health’s biggest impact for society at large as well as for all participants in the care delivery value chain (incl. pharma) is access. Innovations in digital health are allowing a new way of market penetration, which also represents a new way of driving competition. The best therapy alone does not suffice anymore. Pharma companies will be competing on the level of how equitable, convenient, holistic and collaborative their therapies are.

How does pharma-health collaboration work on innovating drug discovery & patient experiences?

Healthcare is a multi-stakeholder and ultra-complex giant that can’t be fixed by looking at its individual parts only. We must understand the role of each player and stage of the value chain and acknowledge their interdependencies. And that is also true when innovating and transforming. The age of win-wins is gone. We are in the age of win-win-win-wins… we have to look at the bigger picture and fix for systemic flaws, not just the one flaw that makes the most money for A, B or C. We have to find solutions that allow for every single stakeholder to benefit. At a very basic level, let us consider that current advances in technology are as good as the amount and quality of data we feed into intelligent systems that allow machines to reveal what was once undiscoverable. With that in mind, collaboration on data is crucial. We can’t talk of connected health in a world of siloed data.

How has COVID-19 changed the belief in what digital therapeutics can do for patients?

I believe COVID-19 forced us into a massive experiment on all kind of available digital health solutions we could find out there – including digital therapeutics. I believe the biggest impact of this massive experimentation is that for once, we seem to have acknowledged that digital health can play a role beyond improving patient experience or care pathway efficiencies and we finally started talking more seriously about solutions that can are outcomes-oriented. We’ve fluctuated a lot between failures and successes, but the pressure mounted and it definitely got the attention of regulators it already deserved without a pandemic knocking at our doors.


Thyago is also one of the speakers at our 2nd Annual Digital Therapeutics and Pharma Summit on 14th – 15th September 2022 in Vienna. Join him to discuss UCB’s digital care transformation journey.

Thyago OHANA is a Global Digital Care Transformation Strategist at UCB Biopharma. For the past 12 years, Thyago’s diverse expertise focused on the interface between business development and IT. Currently, he is the strategy lead for digital care transformation and the head of UCB’s  digital health incubation program. UCB is a global biopharma company making a difference to the lives of people living with severe immunological and neurological diseases. Thyago’s team represents UCB’s open innovation and corporate venturing arm for digital health.  Their purpose is to transform care delivery beyond core therapeutic business to create value for patients, UCB and the whole health ecosystem.

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