Applications of competitive intelligence in the healthcare industry

competitive intelligence for healthcare

As the healthcare industry reshapes its priorities in response to COVID-19, the need for competitive intelligence has become more important than ever. Keeping a close watch on competition strategies is a must to protect your organization from being blindsided. Whether you are responsible for product development, expanding business, or marketing products or therapies, robust competitive intelligence is a key factor for success.

Here’s a detailed look at the applications of competitive intelligence across various spheres in the healthcare value chain.

1. Research and development

Continuing advancements in medical technology and healthcare delivery, combined with pressures from payers and regulatory authorities are forcing healthcare companies to adopt evidence-based approaches into their R&D decision-making. 

A competitive analysis of secondary data such as patents and clinical trials, and primary research about target markets, practitioners, and patients can provide timely and accurate information to companies for making better R&D decisions. The analysis also presents an opportunity to acquire valuable additions to the product portfolio and technological base.

Through continuous access to relevant competitive intelligence, R&D and strategic management teams can understand: 

  • Gaps and unmet needs in the market
  • Areas where competitors are prioritizing R&D spend
  • Potential market changes 
  • Disease epidemiology and disease sub-populations targeted in clinical development

2. Improving supply chain efficiencies

Competitive insights into the changing trends in the healthcare supply marketplace can influence strategies to lower supply chain costs, optimize contractor arrangements, and enhance risk management.

For instance, did you know that cardiac rhythm implant prices are declining by more than mid-single digits annually due to increasing hospital cost-cutting, physician-hospital alignment, and fiscal austerity measures?

Similarly, understanding supply chain shortages affecting your competitors can reveal opportunities for your business to prepare, adapt or adjust accordingly.

Keen insights offered by CI are always helpful for businesses in understanding the changes that can influence strategies, tactics, and techniques to improve supply chain efficiencies.

3. Informing investment and M&A decisions

Recently, there has been an increased focus on strategic partnerships across the healthcare ecosystem. Research shows that post the pandemic, 31% of CFOs plan to acquire physician practices, 30% want to join a clinically integrated network, 28% expect to merge with another organization, 24% plan to enter into a joint venture, 20% may need to sell to another organization, and 17% expect to acquire another organization.

Continual insights into investment trends and activities in the healthcare marketplace, in addition to a closer inspection of competitor strategies, are crucial for identifying opportunities for such partnerships. Competitive intelligence based on the analysis of patents can reveal a competitor’s technological strengths and strategies. A strong patent portfolio is a must to compete in the global marketplace. Such patent-based competitive intelligence can be used in recognizing partners for cross-licensing and collaboration.

A merger or an acquisition in the pharma industry can take up to a few years to complete. Due diligence before M&As, partnerships, or license deals is extremely important for pharma companies to mitigate potential issues such as disagreements regarding company ideologies. CI can offer useful information, including determining synergies between organizations in research and development (R&D), or knowing the combined operating measures or associated risks, to avoid any potential ‘bad fits’.

4. Market expansion

Success in any new market requires a deep understanding of the competitive landscape – the competitors that exist, their services/procedures, reimbursement rates, marketing strategies, among other market insights. This insight offers strategic input for effective go-to-market decisions. 

In the case of market expansion, healthcare companies cannot rely on secondary information alone. Primary research, which includes conferring with KOLs, interviewing medical practitioners, observing the market demographics, and analyzing the impact of competitors’ marketing activities is vital to obtain a complete picture of the competition’s strategies and practices.

In the face of rising uncertainty and technological disruption, Netscribes empowers healthcare organizations to stay agile through robust data and insights. We provide healthcare organizations with a complete and clear market view, making their product development, sales, and marketing decisions a lot easier. Contact us to know more about our healthcare market intelligence solutions.

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