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Thought Leaders in Healthcare IT: Raj Agarwal, CEO of Medocity (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Jan 18th 2019

Sramana Mitra: I’m just trying to understand the trends of this industry. If a technology provider is selling into the pharmaceutical industry in the digital therapeutics use case, how else is a digital therapeutics use case going to pan out commercially?

Raj Agarwal: It’s early in the game. That’s a new trend. There are three trends we see in the pharma. We talked about digital therapeutic. The other is beyond-the-pill solutions. How do you empower patients digitally who are on their drugs to be better supported? That is happening and is quite active. The third one is the clinical trial. How do you support patients in their clinical trials or through virtual trials? There are three different areas within the pharmaceutical industry that we are focused on.

Sramana Mitra: Which of these three are use cases are already in swing for you?

Raj Agarwal: I would say beyond-the-pill and clinical trials.

Sramana Mitra: So you are actually empowering clinical trials on your technology.

Raj Agarwal: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: What is an example of a drug that is using your technology to monitor the holistic health of the patient beyond the pill?

Raj Agarwal: On multiple myoma, we use that as a use case.

Sramana Mitra: Now I’m going to switch the conversation to open problems. Obviously, your industry segment is in early stages. There’re a lot of early experiments going on. You started your company in 2013. If you were starting a company in 2019, what problem would you go out to solve? What are some open problems that are out there that look like ones that entrepreneurs should hit up?

Raj Agarwal: As you pointed out, the digital aspect of care is a new trend. It’s absolutely going to be the wave of the future. It’s coming faster than we all think. Companies who have already established by then will get the advantage. The new companies have to think what’s beyond that. There will be a need for players who are doing things to complement that or create a newer solution like patient recruitment for clinical trials. That’s one area. Obviously, more and more adoption of AI and machine learning to make current offerings smarter.

I truly feel that point solutions are going to disappear. It needs to be a larger and more comprehensive, platform-type approach because neither patients, nor physicians, nor payers would choose multiple systems to do multiple things. It needs to be a more holistic solution. How can we make the systems more inter-operable? Connectivity will become key. If you have a data, you should be able to share with other platforms.

Remote monitoring is going to be a big trend going forward. It makes absolute sense. There’s no way our country can sustain the amount of people living longer, which is a good thing. 75 to 85 are 10 years of expensive spend. That needs smarter solutions. Managing chronic conditions will also be an important factor to supporting more connected care.

The technology in healthcare is still 10 years behind, so there’s a lot of opportunity for the new players to come. You can’t compete with the existing one until it’s much differentiated. There are hundreds of thousands of applications out there. One has to think through the business model first and then work on the development.

Sramana Mitra: All right. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Thought Leaders in Healthcare IT: Raj Agarwal, CEO of Medocity
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