Inside COMATCH

Inside COMATCH: Interview with a Healthcare Consultant

  • Daniel Koob
  • December 27, 2021

Independent consultants worldwide are making an enormous impact on the healthcare industry. They work behind the scenes to drive healthcare project initiatives and move complex concepts from initiation to completion. In this interview, we’ll be speaking to independent consultant, Daniel, who has considerable experience consulting with large and small companies in the healthcare industry. Keep reading to gather valuable insight from his unique experiences.

How and why did you begin your journey as an independent consultant?

I pursued independent consulting because of my ongoing interest in project delivery. When I was on a partner track with my previous employer, the overarching focus was on selling projects instead of the delivery of the project (which is the most interesting part for me). Working as an independent consultant meant I could pursue the aspects of consulting that I personally enjoy.

Which industries or work areas are you typically involved in?

I’ve done extensive consultant work in pharma, startups, health tech, medical devices, and other healthcare-related areas. Aside from that, I’ve worked in consumer goods and financial services. However, the majority of my work is in healthcare.

Can you think of any client story in the healthcare industry that you are especially proud of?

At one point, I partnered with another consulting firm to help develop a unique care concept for patients with diabetes. We collaborated with one of the leading German family-owned businesses in medical devices and created an integrated care system for the UAE markets. Our concept is sorely needed in this region, as there is no one-stop-shop for diabetes patients to receive comprehensive care.

Ultimately, we developed an integration into a platform whereby trackable elements were added so that doctors would be able to recognize early on when people were deteriorating and better assist them. I enjoyed this project because I was able to build something from scratch that had a meaningful impact on the client and future patients.

Do you think the pandemic has affected consulting in the healthcare industry, and have you seen an increase in a specific type of project?

In response to the pandemic, I noticed a shift towards the PPE side of the business. The great need for PPE brought many people into the mix who had no idea about healthcare but were trying to capitalize on the opportunity. The pandemic also highlighted some of the weaknesses in the healthcare system in terms of supply chains. Companies had to figure out how to connect supply chains to fulfill demand more efficiently.

What role do you think digitalization will play in the healthcare industry?

Digitalization is playing a considerable role in the healthcare industry from several angles. There’s one essential aspect: how should you keep up compliance with patients when it comes to taking certain medicines or providing parameters for blood work, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.? Through tools like wearable sensory devices and the development of integrated platforms, I believe this area will grow substantially. There is a very clear and abundant need for digital solutions in healthcare. 

However, we need a solid regulatory framework to enable digitalization because, at the moment, healthcare systems, especially the mature markets, are not ready to deal with it. And that means that it will be quite challenging to implement these digital solutions.

What trends will have the biggest impact on the healthcare industry? And how do you think companies should better prepare?

One trend that will impact the healthcare industry is linked to blockchain developments where there’s a lot of applicability of blockchain and healthcare, whether it be for electronic medical records or any other means of securing personal information. 

Also, there’s this trend of “always online” that’s poised to support certain aspects of healthcare. For instance, if you’re suffering from chronic diseases and are in a position where you want to provide an almost real-time reading of your parameters to your physician, there are various platforms that enable this. There is a lot of value in this because it allows you to view some of these real-time health states through variables, whether it’s an apple watch, etc., and you can put in triage or a medication very early on to ensure that people do not go into deterioration.

How do you think the healthcare industry will change over the next 5 to 10 years?

Given how tech-savvy patients are, things like digital therapeutics will play an increasing role in the healthcare industry. We can see that many established multinational pharma companies are starting to look into digital therapeutics as a complement to existing pharmacological treatments. 

For some time, a patient with depression may have typically been prescribed antidepressants. Nowadays, there are options to utilize digital therapeutics solutions, such as an app with guidance, moderated groups with certain exercises, etc., that are reimbursable by health insurance. As a result, you as a physician can prescribe an app with a clinically proven track record of improving a given condition. So, I think these types of elements will increase in the future and create a two-way interaction, between the patient and the healthcare system.

Do you think there are any advantages for companies using independent healthcare consultants?

I think the advantage of using independent healthcare consultants is that you can look into a warm body leasing model whereby you have independent contractors support a big pharma company as an independent interim manager. Or you could have a hand-curated team of experts that can cover some of the newest trends in healthcare.

What are the most exciting aspects of working in the healthcare industry?

The healthcare industry has historically been rather dry and rigid. But now, it’s turning into an industry with a lot of opportunities because of digitalization and the way that patients interact with the healthcare system. And I think we’re looking at a time where communities are being created between healthcare practitioners, between patients, and between payers. So, we’re looking at a fully integrated model of these stakeholders, which will change the industry quite a bit.

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