Gartner Blog Network

Hey Pharma, Did you listen to Elon?

by Michael Shanler  |  April 3, 2016  |  Comments Off on Hey Pharma, Did you listen to Elon?

The Tesla Model 3 was unveiled a few days ago.  There are already over 250,000 people plopping down $1,000 deposits to reserve a product they haven’t physically seen or touched yet.  This reminds me of those Apple frenzies regarding iPhone launches.  What could be so interesting and disruptive that rational people would do something like this?   My recycled answer comes from Elon Musk in this book by Ashlee Vance:  “Good ideas are crazy until they are not.

Last year, some Model S drivers drove from LA to NYC in 57 hours and 48 minutes , leveraging the semi-autonomous and “auto-pilot” driving feature 96% of the time. Regardless of the time or context of the claim, the role of the driver has been changed forever.  Just a few years ago, the prospect of a car driving that far without an accident was “ludicrous”… or even borderline “insane”  (puns intended).  In a few years, most drivers will expect that all cars have ‘autopilot-like’ features. By 2022 in the U.S., automatic emergency braking will be standard for new cars.

While some of Tesla’s technology is new, most of it is based on existing technology that has been adapted or updated, or the processes have been dynamically combined to create something new.   Similar to some impactful Apple products, the underlying technology has been repackaged for a better user experience.   We had sensors, motors, batteries, vision systems, and analytics before.  Your iPhones have been self-updating with new operating systems since 2007.  Planes have basically landed themselves for the last 15 years….  The military has had “fire and forget” missiles since the ‘70s.

A few months ago, a pharma CIO asked us to help paint a picture for the future of clinical trials.  Together, we imagined a future that leverages sensors, companion devices, connected infrastructures, etc. (smart scale, sleep sensor, wrist-sensors, smart pill bottles, home social robots, to name a few).  Below is a snapshot of the latest Gartner digital “business moment” for clinical trials ( G00281135).   All the technology mentioned in this note exists today. It simply needs to be recombined. However, piecing together all the technology elements, data, sharing, and processes is complicated, but nowhere near as difficult as dealing with the “ludicrous” and “insane” challenges with internal pharma regulatory and legal groups.  With the majority of the technology components already here today, we need some visionaries to run with it. After a few successes, pharma executives will soon expect all clinical trials to have major remote components. After the Model 3, it doesn’t seem crazy anymore, does it?

digital moment

Additional Resources

Complete Your Data and Analytics Strategy With a Clear Value Proposition

As a data and analytics leader, one of the most important things to articulate in your strategy is the value proposition. Learn how to create a modern, actionable D&A strategy that creates common ground amount stakeholders.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: analytics  clinical-development  data-and-analytics-strategies  eclinical  edc  gartner  innovation  iot  mobile-and-endpoint-technologies  pharma  pharmaceutical  product-development  rd  regulatory  science  wearables  

Tags: clinical  digital-business  iot  

Michael Shanler
Research VP
5 years at Gartner

Michael Shanler covers life science R&D technologies. Read Full Bio

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.