On the importance of training healthcare professionals to manage data-driven projects
Frédéric Jallat, PhD
Professor & Academic Director of the Advanced Master in Biopharmaceutical Management (MsM – Paris and London campuses)
The importance of data in life sciences and healthcare was plain to see long before the pandemic struck, and even before the influx of new data operators moving into this field.
The rise of big data has been rapid, and can now be felt in a number of key issues and applications in healthcare industries: connected solutions for patient monitoring, digital clinical trials, close examination of healthcare real-world evidences, digital therapies, behavioural assessment of users from anonymised data, improvement of patient journeys, artificial intelligence information systems, prostheses 3D-printing and modelling etc.
In fact, the potential impact for the healthcare sector of technologies such as connected devices, machine learning, predictive analytics, augmented reality and robotics goes far beyond the limits of instruments and technological applications, with far-reaching consequences for the company as a whole - even changing the real nature of its relationship with the ecosystem to which it belongs.
At a more strategic level, and thanks to the rise of digital and deep tech, data is quickly becoming a key factor in the development of disruptive innovation, and the evaluation of its associated benefits. This is about more than the systems put in place and the power of the technologies deployed: there are major transformations at work here, reshaping the economic models of the healthcare sector as a whole.
Five years ago, recognising the significance and sheer quantity of data-related issues, we decided to introduce in the MsM a new major concentration dedicated to consulting, big tech and big data management in the healthcare sector. This new set of courses joined and complemented our two existing major concentrations: one being devoted to entrepreneurship, biotech venture capital, finance and business development, and the other focusing on international marketing, brand management, market analysis, stakeholder relationship and social networks management for the healthcare industries.
A proliferation of new training, new careers and new positions in the healthcare industries…
In recent years, new opportunities have arisen as companies in the healthcare sector compete actively to recruit new talents with cross-functional skills. The nascent careers of some of our alumni offer an insight into this rapidly-evolving industry.
M.D. & MsM
Dries is Chief Business & Medical Officer at LynxCare, a company he co-founded in 2015 and which is already one of Europe’s leading players in the big data healthcare market. LynxCare partners with hospitals to ensure full data availability and understanding through an artificial intelligence platform aimed at optimizing the quality of care delivered by hospitals around the world. To achieve this goal, LynxCare centralises all structured and unstructured hospital data in a clinical data warehouse, ensuring that medical teams can get answers to complex questions immediately.
ICAM (Institut Catholique des Arts et Métiers) Engineer & MsM
Pauline is an artificial intelligence consultant for IBM. Her role involves helping clients to find the solution best suited to their needs, based on the data they are able to provide to the IBM team. Her job essentially consists of improving solutions co-constructed and developed with IBM clients, optimising the user experience and, through a process of gradual capitalisation, drawing upon best practices to find the best possible solution for each customer.
Doctor of Pharmacy & MsM
Ali now works as a Business Excellence & Market Access consultant for numerous players, all clients of AEC Partners (pharmaceutical groups, medtech and e-health companies, biotech start-ups etc.). Ali refines the management and operational use of the data collected – from R&D through to commercialisation, not forgetting clinical development, production, marketing and other support functions. His goal is to boost the efficiency of healthcare companies at every stage of their value chain.
Doctor of Pharmacy & MsM
As Medical Innovation Manager, Clarissa has developed tremendous expertise in new technologies, data management and their specific applications in the healthcare sector. After a spell spent working on a blockchain project, she recently joined Ad Scientiam, a company specialising in the development of digital biomarkers, building machine learning models to process physiological and behavioural data collected primarily via patients’ mobile phones.
École Centrale de Marseille & MsM
As a senior knowledge analyst at BCG, Yane-Yane has been part of the firm’s healthcare team since 2015. In addition to biotechnologies, her areas of expertise include industry 4.0, vaccines and global health. Data analytics is at the heart of her work, helping her to provide scenarios to BCG clients, make contributions to high-impact scientific publications, and imagine what the future of healthcare might look like.
Doctor of Pharmacy, MSc in Computer Science & MsM
Fascinated by the constant innovation dynamic which drives e-health, Frédéric is currently a senior associate at Cognizant, a multinational consulting company helping clients to identify and implement the right IT solutions.
…requiring innovative educational approaches combining health data management and business model analysis
In our opinion, effective management of healthcare data requires life sciences specialists who are also fully conversant with the specific demands of digital technologies, programming and systems engineering.
It is a similar intuition – now fully validated – that prompted us to introduce modules focusing on biotech venture capital, business development and investment funds for the healthcare industries. For nearly 20 years, our students have been sought-after and respected as much for their expertise in the field of health and life sciences as for their financial engineering and mathematical modelling skills.
So how do we structure our educational process in order to achieve this crucial combination of data management skills and life science know-how?
Primarily in the form of four teaching units devoted to:
- Consulting (with a systematic focus on health and data management). Methodological issues, and the nature and quality of data (including potential biases) are covered as well as diagnostics and the resolution of real case studies.
- Business analytics, whereby students master the fundamental tools required to work as project coordinators or data scientists. This module is coordinated in partnership with the MSc in Big Data & Business Analytics at ESCP. Lecturers pay particular attention to ensuring that their course content is always directly relevant to the healthcare and life science industries. Special attention is devoted to achieving a better understanding of data science and data analysis – data cleaning and visualisation, mastering the technical vocabulary of modelling and coding practices.
- Digital health, with the contribution from numerous experts and practitioners and analysis of projects involving artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain etc.
- A comprehensive overview of multiple big tech & data management approaches (in partnership with Wavestone, a leading consulting company in the field).
…and ambitious data-driven projects, in collaboration with numerous external partners
Every year, the centrepiece of this major concentration is a large-scale business project conducted in partnership with leading players from the sector.
In recent years, these partners have included Lynxcare, founded and developed by Dr Dries Hens, one of our alumni (see above); HDI, with assistance from Thomas London of McKinsey and David Réguer of RCA Factory; and BHS, Biogen’s international unit for digital innovation unit in healthcare, in partnership with its Managing Director, Dr Yacine Hadjiat.
Participants thus have the opportunity to analyse real problems and develop concrete solutions for stakeholders in this sector, based on digital health, real-world evidence, a careful analysis of patient journeys etc.
The original version of this article was published in French by the Healthcare Data Institute.