Healthcare

Using Digital To Change How Healthcare Research Gets Done

The entire healthcare system has gone from emergency mode to a new normal in just months, after COVID-19 disrupted supply chains, customer care, communications and even the ability to go into work, CEO Lance Hill of patient-engagement platform Within3 told PYMNTS in a recent conversation. And although the pandemic is far from over, Hill expects many of the changes will outlast the disease.

“What's happening now is that companies have started to adapt to the new normal — travel and movement and interaction with people is very, very restricted,” he said.

Hill said that where many organizations had been exploring a transition to digital engagement at a slower pace, “COVID forced them to really look at it and adopt it very aggressively," because they found that digital is faster, easier, works better and, in many cases, gets better results. “And so, I think the percentage of work that happens digitally will never go back to what it was pre-COVID,” he said.

As for where Within3 fits into the new normal, Hill said his company looks for places in life sciences where communication is “difficult, redundant or expensive,” then builds virtual technology solutions to solve those problems.

For example, consider a pharmaceutical company that’s designing a new clinical-trial protocol with physicians from around the country or the world.

By using Within3’s virtual engagement platform, participants who would normally log into a call or video conference at the same time in the exact same language can do the same thing online over the course of a few days or weeks. It’s secure, compliant and offers such features as transcription.

Traditionally, that sort of meeting would only happen via live video or by forcing everyone into a large conference room. But obviously, that’s not happening to the same degree now as before the pandemic — and may never again.

“I think it's going to be difficult for clients to go back to paying $100,000 to convene doctors from around the world in a hotel in Dallas for some purpose when they can do it all digitally at a greatly reduced cost,” Hill said.

Big Growth and $100M+ in New Funding

Hill said Within3’s business was growing at a 100 percent clip prior to the pandemic, and has only accelerated since. The company’s technology already supports 60 different business processes, including work at all of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies.

Within3 hopes to only expand, given that it recently raised more than $100 million in a funding round led by Insight Partners that included Silversmith Capital Partners.

Hill said the firm will use the money to add sales and marketing capability to take advantage of the opportunity for multilanguage capability in different parts of the world.

“We also see a lot of opportunity to build on our core solution and help our clients be more effective in communicating,” he said. “So, we're also going to spend some of that capital on product."

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