Big Data in Czech Pharma: At the Vanguard of a Revolution


Novartis Czech Republic’s Heidrun Irschik explains the potentially game-changing ramifications of Big Data on the Czech pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.


The opportunities offered by big data are present and we need to tap into this immense potential

Heidrun Irschik, Novartis

Big data: a technological phenomenon with potential commensurate to the complexity of the industry it is used in. The pharmaceutical industry in particular is at the “vanguard of revolution on how to conduct business” exclaims Heidrun Irschik, CEO and CPO of Novartis Czech Republic, “the opportunities offered by big data are present and we need to tap into this immense potential.” The accumulation of data as a side effect of technological development is seemingly yet to be fully exploited within the pharmaceutical industry; not only for the benefit of individual business but, according to Irschik, with the potential to “greatly benefit patients” which she identifies as “the goal that unifies all stakeholders of the pharmaceutical industry.”


Identifying “obvious synergies”, Irschik urges the creation of a framework in which medical staff communicate unmet needs to IT experts in order “to develop an appropriate tool or application simplifying the live of patients tremendously.” Novartis, on the threshold of moving more into big data, is currently “exploring possibilities such as electronic nurses” which could find use in patient data collection such as blood pressure or even simpler “reminding patients to take their medicine.”


Big data could also help lower the cost of healthcare spending overall. Giving chronic heart disease as an example, Irschick proclaims that “it is assumed that re-hospitalization can be significantly decreased” and explains that this will not only “contribute to the life of the patient” but furthermore save “large sums of money” for the healthcare system. Certainly, big data has the potential to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry as well as healthcare at large as the “possibilities offered are beyond our imagination” says Irschik, concluding that “we need to start exploring and exploiting the potential!”


To read the full Heidrun Irschik interview, click here.

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