Digital transformation in the pharmaceutical industry
: a case study on the portuguese neurology sector

  • Andreia Fernandes (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The COVID-19 pandemics accelerated the digital transformation in healthcare. Companies need to match the speed of customer shifts and outpace the competition. That is only possible through an agile structure and capabilities such as real-time analytics, decentralized teams, flexible product platform, synchronized processes, rapid experimentation and open innovation. Understanding consumer preferences by prioritizing outcomes that matter to consumers and minimizing the patient/HCP burden while ensuring privacy and transparency is key.Portuguese neurologists value the current digital offer as satisfactory and censure pharma companies for not respecting their time, exhibiting high saturation of all online channels. The most valuable aspects on digital content/platforms are the source credibility, on-demand content, and free subscriptions. Pharma should invest on unbranded content and services to improve HCP clinical practice and therefore gain their appreciation. Regarding the communication channels, email is the preferred channel and social media and podcasts are formats in growth phase (currently, little to no value). For neurologists, the future will be hybrid, with both face-to-face and online interactions and face-to-face is still the channel with higher impact. Health Tech and Neurotech content is of HCP interest, with low offer at this time, hence should be considered by pharma. The future passes by creating internal innovation hubs, with cross-functional teams, and fostering external collaboration with local tech and digital health ecosystems (e.g., start-ups), to expedite digital HCP and patient engagement and contribute to the increase of high quality of care products and services, and ultimately, advancing digital and personalized medicine in neuroscience.
Date of Award24 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPedro Celeste (Supervisor)


  • Omnichannel excellence
  • Neurosciences
  • Digital transformation
  • Digital marketing
  • Pharmaceutical industry


  • Mestrado em Gestão Aplicada

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