Mario Muniz
Regional General Manager for North Latin America
IQVIA
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Standardized Data System First Step To Digitalizing Health System

By Andrea Villar | Wed, 01/27/2021 - 21:32

Q: What role has IQVIA played in the pandemic?

A: IQVIA has provided valuable information to CEOs in Mexico. During the pandemic, we did more than 20 webinars divided into two groups. One was called The Thought Leadership, where our experts addressed some of the topics of greatest interest and impact at the time, such as digitalization in the pharmaceutical industry, what will happen with the use of technology and projections for market growth. 

We are a unique company in the sector due to our size and our wide range of solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, from clinical to commercial. Our clients also wanted to better understand the breadth of our portfolio so we created our other group of webinars called IQVIA Solutions. Every Friday, we explained one of our solutions and provided practical examples of how we could help companies. 

We have generated insights into decision-making since the pandemic began and customers have been very satisfied. The pandemic has helped demonstrate who we are and what we can do for the industry. 

Q: What were IQVIA's most in-demand solutions in 2020?

A: There are three groups of solutions that grew considerably in 2020: everything that has to do with digitalization and the implementation of technology platforms and the deployment of virtual campaigns and consulting together with market research. Our clients want to know what doctors are thinking, what the position of the laboratories is during the pandemic and who is perceived as the most ethical or the most helpful player, for example. 

Q: What obstacles does the health sector in the country face regarding new technologies?

A: Regulation is the first hurdle. We are completely lagging behind in establishing regulation that is transparent but at the same time contemplates all the necessary aspects involved. There is little technology promotion in the country for the health sector. If we compare ourselves to other Latin American countries like Brazil, we are at a great disadvantage. When the pandemic arrived in that country, the Brazilian government approved telemedicine and now it is a safe, easy and accessible tool for patients there.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, everyone in the industry has to fend for themselves. Even though there are already telemedicine companies operating in the country, there is a need for standardization to allow the general market to benefit during this crisis. We are losing a lot of time because we do not have the appropriate regulation. 

Q: What possibilities does AI open up in the health sector?

A: AI and machine learning do not exist without solid databases. The big barrier in the country is developing homogeneous databases that communicate with each other, allowing for data analysis. In Mexico, the health system is fragmented and it is difficult to connect the databases in the public and private sectors. One day a patient may go to one place, the next day they might go to another and their medical record is traceable, nor uniform. 

For instance, if we had an electronic prescription system where we could read in real time what is happening in the health sector, we could predict the behavior of many diseases, predict a pandemic, monitor the use of antibiotics in real time, among many other things. Without a standardized database, however, we are limited to take full advantage of these tools for the benefit of patients. 

At the moment, the government is busy with keeping the health sector operating and providing medicine at the lowest cost. When we meet with members of the government and show them our data and analysis, they are amazed but they should already have the information because they are the ones who are purchasing all the medicines. The government’s approach in Mexico is not designed to analyze but to only provide healthcare, at the lowest cost possible.

Q: How do IQVIA's partnerships with other health organizations help its clients?

A: We are involved with companies in the pharmaceutical sector, working to understand market data to improve the interaction between doctors and patients. We work with technological platforms that help the company's marketing teams understand their client's journey. The technological integration that we offer begins within IQVIA. We have more than 40 solutions available to clients. All these solutions need to communicate with each other. The advantage of having a company like IQVIA as an ally is having an integral solution provided by experts with local and global expertise. 

We have had projects with virtual medical representatives where IQVIA was able to understand what the client needed, their audience and which doctors had the digital profile to be contacted digitally. As a result, sales improved because doctors were receiving a constant flow of information that helped them make better decisions for their patients. 

 

IQVIA is a US multinational company based in Durham, North Carolina. It serves the health information technologies and clinical research industries with a network of more than 50,000 employees.

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst