Cognizant’s unique industry-based, consultative approach helps clients envision, build and run more innovative and efficient businesses. Srinivas Shankar, Global Head of Life Sciences for Cognizant, talks to us about the massive shifts happening in the industry and how digitisation is helping clients like Viatris to find better ways of working.
Shankar has been with the company for more than 12 years and remains so with a smile on his face, “I’m really happy to be here,” he says before delving into what makes the Cognizant life sciences business special.
“At Cognizant, for us, life sciences are two distinct industry segments. The first is biopharmaceutical companies and the second is medical device companies. We work with all of the top 30 biopharmaceutical companies and 12 of the top 15 medical device companies. I've been with the company for 12 years now, all of it in life sciences. And I'm very passionate about what we do every day to leverage technology to improve the lives of patients.”
Speaking to the drivers that are influencing the life sciences industry, Shankar says, “There've been a few secular trends in the life sciences industry that are both applicable to biopharmaceutical, as well as the medical devices industrial segments. The first is what we call desegregation of care, which is moving away from the traditional confines of a hospital setting to remote patient monitoring, ambulatory care centres, personalised point of care, diagnostics and therapeutics.
“The second is the move to value-based care, moving us away from fee for service models, which is traditionally how the industry has been compensated, to more value-based models where drug pricing is based on things like outcomes delivered.
“Last but certainly not the least, due to Covid-19, regulations have been evolving at a faster pace around things such as the virtualisation of clinical trials and digital therapeutics. When it comes to privacy, there's been a lot of evolution in regulatory guidelines around areas such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). You will see both of these continue to evolve very quickly and it's important for the industry to keep pace with the changes.”
“If you look at commercial, a lot of the industry is moving to what we call omnichannel marketing, which is finding alternate means of reaching physicians, primarily using digital channels. We also have seen a significant increase in manufacturing and the need to manufacture vaccines and many other COVID-19 related products at scale. That scale requires a huge infusion of manufacturing capacity, so we're seeing concepts like Industry 4.0, which is the fourth industrial revolution, playing out very quickly in life sciences and being manifested in concepts like smart digital factories.
“In relation to services that we provide to clients, we see significant adoption of digital technologies, such as cloud, IoT, data analytics, and digital engineering. And we're using all of these digital technologies to be able to bring solutions to clients.
On Cognizant’s relationship with Viatris, Shankar points out that the partnership is “very strategic.” “It predates the coming together of Mylan and the Upjohn division of Pfizer to form Viatris (2020). In 2014, we started a relationship with Mylan. After that, we started providing a whole range of strategic services from infrastructure support and operations to application support services to large and complex ERP implementations. More recently, with the formation of Viatris, we have been supporting the organisation around core infrastructure services for day-one preparedness, which includes end-user support services for about 13,000 users across 14 global sites. We are also a strategic partner for post-integration services for the Viatris organisation.”
“We're truly excited about our strategic partnership with Viatris and I think that the coming together of both these organisations, Cognizant and Viatris, can truly drive meaningful, positive value in the lives of patients.”