Disrupt or be disrupted, that’s the question for big pharma


21 September 2017 : Blog issue N°20 by Edward Atkinson-Clark

“If an innovator is causing a company losses, it’s deemed threatening. If not, it’s often dismissed.”- Clayton Christensen

The calm is over – and the future for health tech may well now be here. Digital upstarts have started making inroads into “pharmaland”, most visibly in chronic diseases like diabetes and respiratory, but almost everywhere else too…and it is high time to adapt.

But pharma does not seem to see the urgency, as results from the Across Health Maturometer 2017 show: ‘Healthcare Disruption’ and ‘Big data & AI’ are still considered a low priority…

This is very much in contrast with the acceleration of the health tech market. Indeed, money is pouring from pharma to technology companies, start ups, and other ventures – with 2017 looking to be the most active & capital-intense year yet, and Q2 2017 also by far the biggest quarter ever (source: StartupHealth)

Let’s take Google/Verily as an example. After several years of “piloting”, they upped their efforts in 2015 – and 2017 will be another banner year -- includes big-ticket joint-ventures with the likes of Sanofi and GSK.

Like Sanofi and GSK, other pharmacos are entering the space, with activity increasing significantly in the past year or so.

Of course, not all is rosy in the world of health tech. As an example, Google’s Deepmind subsidiary received headwinds for using personal data from the UK’s NHS in their ambitious AI project. And Fitbit, once the undisputed leader in wearables, is being squeezed by Apple’s Smartwatch at the high end of the market and Xiaomi at the low end, losing 10 billion USD in terms of market cap in 2 year’s time.

The Healthcare Disruption Tour

If you are acutely aware of the risk of corporate myopia, as well as the threats and opportunities of health tech, and want to lead your organisation into the “day after tomorrow”, then the Healthcare Disruption Tour is what you need.

Since 2015 we have been running the 5-day Healthcare Disruption Tour, which takes senior execs to meet with & learn from start-ups, incubators, venture capitalists, accelerators, innovative incumbents, thought leaders and visionaries…and from their peers on the bus.

With Peter Hinssen (author of The Day After Tomorrow) and Fonny Schenck (CEO Across Health) to knit the experience together, we will visit San Francisco and Boston, and find out about how and where disruption happens, and how large companies can embed innovation successfully.

If you want to be part of this life-changing event (Jan 28-Feb 2 2018), please visit http://www.healthcaredisruption.com. Seats are limited!

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