Established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. One of the boldest future strategies the company is embracing is digital transformation.
The brainchild of Michael Schmelmer, member of the Boehringer Ingelheim Board of Managing Directors, is new digital lab BI-X and a rapidly developing digital transformation strategy. The company is recruiting a new generation of digital experts to ideate and deliver new healthcare initiatives. “As a result of rapid digital transformation, we increasingly need digital experts, physicians and pharmacists who want to contribute their know-how at the interface of digital technology and medicine” said Schmelmer.
It’s a disruptive new approach, creating new digital products and services that enhance the patient experience alongside extensive use of Big Data, AI and analytics to accelerate collaboration, speed of development and widen the impact of traditional research. For a company that has been built on innovation and historically spent 18% of sales on R&D, the initiative is at the heart of the business strategy. “Artificial Intelligence lets us work almost twice as fast to identify molecular compounds for potential new drug substances. It benefits patients around the world allowing them to receive even better care because it saves time, increases quality and knowledge.”
Innovative technologies are also being used and steadily developed in the compilation of clinical study data. In what are known as remote studies, digital analysis tools can already be used to recruit and monitor study participants regardless of their location, compiling and evaluating their data in real time. This considerably reduces the time between research and application. “This is of particular benefit in the case of rare diseases, because study participants do not need to travel long distances to the study laboratory, for example. Using digital applications, we bring the study to the patient,” says Schmelmer.
Analytical algorithms in audio tools can lead to advances in the earlier diagnosis of diseases in humans and animals. Intelligent speech recognition software – via smartphone, for example – will be able to analyze speech patterns, recognize risks, and thereby contribute to a reliable diagnosis and effective therapy.
Schmelmer commented, “Digital Health has the potential to make the treatment, provision and early detection of diseases faster and more precise. Our new initiatives have the power to transform both the development and delivery of our healthcare solutions, including a greater reach in remote parts of the world and a greater focus on early diagnosis and prevention of disease”. There seems little doubt that the new focus, investment and recruitment of new talent will foster a new wave of innovation at the heart of the company’s purpose to enhance the lives of millions of patients and animals around the world every day.
Find out about working in IT at Boehringer Ingelheim on our IT careers page.