Product School

Driving Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Sector with Product Analytics

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Author: Chelsea Cummings

July 17, 2023 - 6 min read

Updated: January 24, 2024 - 6 min read

In light of the rapid development of technology and the increasing demands of consumers, digital transformation has never been more important to business success. Rather than just an advantageous “extra” that provides efficiency savings, deeper consumer insight, and competitive advantage, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that digital transformation is now a necessity across a range of global industries. The healthcare sector is no exception.

Patients, healthcare providers, and other industry stakeholders expect and even demand digitization, with good reason. Digital transformation creates new opportunities in research and development, removes barriers to treatment, improves patient outcomes, and much more. What’s more, the 2021 IDC CDO study found that global enterprises with a high level of data maturity generate 250% more business value than those only beginning their data-led transformations.

With this clear imperative to embrace digital transformation, the healthcare sector is increasingly harnessing the power of product analytics to drive its digital strategy. However, the path to transformation isn’t without its roadblocks. 

Challenges to Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Sector

data scientist in front of data server

While these three problem areas are far from being the only challenges healthcare faces (wouldn’t that be nice!), they are some of the key obstacles to digitizing this large and complex sector.

Leveraging Big Data Effectively

Healthcare generates vast amounts of data from multiple sources, including electronic health records, medical imaging, wearable devices, and genomics. Processing, storing, and analyzing large volumes of healthcare data can be a real challenge for healthcare organizations which need robust and scalable infrastructure and advanced technologies to handle big data analytics workloads. 


Fragmentation is one of the largest enemies of digital transformation, especially for multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Whether it’s data silos within an organization, limited data access, or incompatible technologies used across different healthcare providers, fragmentation prevents the efficient sharing and exchange of information, hindering the implementation of digital solutions that rely on comprehensive data integration. 

Nurturing and Retaining Digital Talent 

The demand for digital talent is high across various industries, not just healthcare. When you factor in that the healthcare sector requires a unique blend of skills, combining expertise in healthcare practices with technological proficiency, the pool of specialists shrinks even further. Not only is there a shortage of digital talent with a hybrid skill mix, but retaining staff is also a challenge. Accustomed to working with more modern, agile methodologies, and technology, digital specialists can leave frustrated by the technical limitations they face in healthcare as well as the sector’s slow rate of innovation.

In the context of these challenges, how can the healthcare sector harness the power of product analytics to accelerate digital transformation?

How Product Analytics is Driving Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Sector

doctor holding tablet and talking to patient

Harnessing the Power of Big Data with Smart Engines

Smart engines can unlock the potential of big data by processing and analyzing large volumes of patient data, medical records, and clinical guidelines to assist healthcare professionals in diagnosing diseases, predicting treatment outcomes, or recommending personalized treatment plans.

Sanofi’s Country Chair for Greater China, Dr. Pius S. Hornstein, explains in his interview with McKinsey, how the healthcare giant is leveraging the insights of big data using technology and analytics. By using a smart engine that analyzes data from 50,000 touchpoints a day, the healthcare giant has been able to map correlations and then tailor improved customer interactions. 

Aside from smart engines’ clear potential to enhance clinical decision-making, optimize operations, and improve patient outcomes, Sanofi has already found that it has yielded higher efficiency and productivity for their field force and marketers. 

Combating Limited Data Access with Technology 

Fragmentation can restrict access to patient data across different healthcare providers, departments, and geographic locations, making it challenging to implement holistic digital solutions such as electronic health records, telemedicine platforms, or personalized medicine initiatives that require a comprehensive view of a patient’s health information.

One way Sanofi is combatting this is through its collaboration with a company that develops devices to measure tremors and other indicators in Parkinson’s patients, gathering real-world evidence on how they react to therapies over time. Not only does this create new opportunities in research and development, leading to better outcomes for patients, but it has also elevated Sanofi’s reputation as a digital and innovation leader in the healthcare sector, making it easier to attract talent. Which brings us to our next point.

Using Analytics to Transform Recruitment and Retention

happy doctor

Product analytics can play a transformative role in the healthcare recruitment process by providing valuable insights and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of talent acquisition. These insights can be used to identify recruitment bottlenecks, optimize job postings, assess candidate engagement, and much more. 

Sanofi has used analytics insights to completely transform the way it screens and selects talent, improving staff satisfaction in the process. Sanofi measures healthcare practitioner satisfaction using NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys and has leveraged those insights to transform an almost entirely offline recruitment process for the roughly 3,500 people they hire each year into one where onboarding is more than 90 percent digital. 

Sanofi’s HR teams and its candidates have saved thousands of hours, and they can now focus on adding value elsewhere. As a result, the average NPS among candidates applying to Sanofi is now 72. That great digital experience immediately positions Sanofi as an innovative company, helping to attract the best digital talent and impacting positively on ROI.

What’s the future of digital transformation in the healthcare sector?

telehealth online consultation

Here’s what some of the sector’s leading voices predict:

In the near future, healthcare will likely move to a fully digitalized offline-to-online patient journey, opening a new frontier in drug development, healthcare services, follow-ups, resolving barriers to treatment, and improving patient outcomes. 

Sanofi’s Country Chair for Greater China, Dr. Pius S. Hornstein

Digital transformation will bring about a shift from reactive to proactive healthcare. With AI, remote monitoring, and predictive analytics, we can identify health risks earlier, intervene sooner, and improve outcomes.

Dr. John Halamka, President of Mayo Clinic Platform

Digital transformation will enhance care coordination and break down silos in healthcare. Connected systems, interoperability, and data exchange will enable seamless collaboration and improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Robert Wachter, Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco

medical wearables

It seems that the future of digital transformation in healthcare will be propelled by innovation, data-driven decision-making, and patient-centric approaches. Fully leveraging the power of analytics is a key component in improving healthcare outcomes, enhancing patient experiences, and optimizing operational efficiency. 

Learn More with Product School

To discover more about how product management and analytics can drive digital transformation in your organization, don’t miss out on our custom team training. Led by Silicon Valley experts and designed to cater to your specific needs, our custom team training sessions help to upskill and align your teams to drive business impact faster. 

Schedule a call now to find out more about how our training sessions can give your organization a competitive edge. 

Updated: January 24, 2024

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