As giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Salesforce and Samsung continue to apply their tech finesse to the healthcare realm, many questions surface about the changing relationship of pharma and tech. Is tech’s interest in healthcare here to stay, or a passing fad? How will pharma and technology companies work together to drive success? How will these partnerships overcome the challenges presented by the different natures of each industry?

In an effort to answer these questions and more, FirstWord created a report, titled “Google’s Ambitions in Health,” featuring insights from pharmaceutical and tech leaders, including Intouch’s Wendy Blackburn, executive vice president, and Andrew Rangel, iOS developer.

At Intouch Solutions, we understand technology and how it can apply to healthcare. We see the possibilities that lie at the intersection of tech and healthcare and know how to maneuver within the industry’s regulations to provide effective, innovative marketing solutions. We also understand that the investments technology companies such as Google are making in our industry have the potential to reshape the way we manage health.

“It’s no accident that so many tech companies are interested in health right now because they see the possibilities, not just for profit as a company, but also for the greater good,” explains Blackburn in the report. “They see the opportunity to marry technology with healthcare to make people’s lives better. I would like to think we’re just getting started.”

Although tech’s involvement in healthcare is favorable, there are many complexities still to be worked through in order for pharma and tech companies to work side-by-side in partnership. Blackburn says basic cultural differences can be difficult to overcome, as tech companies are accustomed to fast-paced innovation and pharma companies are slower to adapt to trends.

Additionally, FDA regulations and patient privacy are important considerations. And tech and pharma companies must reach a mutual understanding regarding individual and shared goals, abilities and desired outcomes.

“Some tech startups will think they can go at it on their own. They’re never going to have the information and expertise that pharma does with [a] disease state. The disease state changes, medications change and FDA regulations change. They’re not going to be able to stay on top of it as much as pharma,” Rangel said.

Despite these foreseeable difficulties, healthcare leaders agree that, in order to drive change and create the most innovative, forward-thinking pharma industry possible, the customer must always be top-of-mind.

“The health/tech combo model is better for the pharma company because they’re able to provide a more comprehensive service,” said Blackburn. “It’s better for the patient because they stay healthier, and it’s better for the physician because they are charged with providing better outcomes.”

To purchase FirstWord’s report and learn more from industry leaders like Blackburn and Rangel on the changing nature of the healthcare industry, click here.