Modern Data Stack and DataSUS: The data-driven pharmaceutical industry

Created in:
May 17, 2024

A Modern Data Stack integrated with DataSUS enhances treatments and reveals opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry in the public database.

Extracting and manipulating the data generated by DataSUS and transforming it into insights for the pharmaceutical industry are tasks with complex technical particularities.

Quality, standardization, and security are some of the challenges that this vast source of information demands to generate value.

These challenges are being overcome with this integrated approach using the Modern Data Stack (MDS), which serves not only as a tool but also as a transformative strategy.

Detailed analysis of the data from the Unified Health System (SUS) is essential to improve treatments and identify market opportunities.

Explore how this combination of MDS and DataSUS is shaping the pharmaceutical industry, driving innovation, and promoting improvements in public health.

Enjoy your reading!

The pharmaceutical industry in the data-driven era

The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a data-driven revolution. The ability to collect, process, and analyze health data plays a crucial role in decision-making, drug advancements, and healthcare improvement.

This transformation is driven by the Modern Data Stack (MDS), an innovative approach that redefines how companies in the sector handle data.

In the Brazilian context, DataSUS stands out as an essential public database, storing information on SUS patients.

The relevance of DataSUS lies in delivering reliable and up-to-date data, which is fundamental for evaluating treatments, monitoring diseases, and and effectively planning resource allocation

It not only contributes to informed decision-making but also identifies health trends, enabling a proactive approach to disease prevention and treatment.

A practical example of its application occurs when pharmaceutical companies use DataSUS to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments.

The data provide clinical and epidemiological insights, driving researchers and professionals to adapt treatments based on the real needs of patients.

Therefore, DataSUS proves to be an invaluable and essential resource in the quest for improved treatments and the promotion of public health.

It contributes to a future where healthcare and drug development are shaped by the data revolution happening today in the pharmaceutical industry.

The challenges of managing health data in the pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry faces significant challenges in handling the vast amount, variety, and velocity of health data.

This avalanche of information comes from various sources, such as:

  • information systems;
  • medical devices;
  • clinical trials;
  • and social media.

These data are a valuable source of insights into patient needs, preferences, behaviors, outcomes, and the effects of medications.

Additionally, it provides a comprehensive view of health market trends, opportunities, threats, and challenges.

However, to fully maximize the potential of these data, the pharmaceutical industry must overcome a series of challenges, such as:

  • data quality - is a central concern, as errors or inconsistencies lead to misguided decisions; additionally, data are versioned monthly and care must be taken to avoid duplication and/or lack of records.
  • lack of data standardization - is another obstacle, as the absence of standards makes integration and analysis complex; each data source may have a different format, structure, terminology, encoding, and quality, making it difficult to compare, combine, and interpret data.
  • data integration - is an additional challenge, as many pharmaceutical companies have diverse systems that do not communicate effectively; establishing robust data governance is essential to ensure quality and reliability.
  • privacy and security - are critical issues due to the heightened sensitivity of data and regulations, rules, and sanctions for data protection imposing strict restrictions, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); pharmaceutical companies must comply with norms and laws in each country or region where they operate, such as the GDPR in Brazil and HIPAA in the United States.

Overcoming these challenges is crucial to ensure data reliability in the pharmaceutical industry. This drives the development of safe and effective medications, contributing to the improvement of population health. 

However, how can the pharmaceutical industry implement these data solutions practically and efficiently?

How to use data to improve public health in Brazil

Data are essential for public health. In Brazil, several sources provide insights into the health of the population, services and resources, diseases, and health issues, among others. 

Some of the main sources are:

In addition to data provided by public entities such as DataSUS, there are also valuable contributions from what is known as market intelligence, conducted by companies, whether public or private.

There are cases of global companies, such as IQVIA, that provide comprehensive solutions for the healthcare sector. These organizations use data from various sources, including prescriptions, sales, research, records, medical charts, and even social media, thus playing a crucial role in understanding the pharmaceutical industry landscape.

These combined data sources provide a broad and integrated view of health in Brazil. However, they are not exempt from challenges, such as:

  • quality;
  • updating;
  • standardization;
  • integration;
  • interoperability;
  • and accessibility of the data.

In addition, the increasing volume of data, driven by technological advancements, expansion of healthcare services, and greater societal participation, presents additional challenges. 

It is estimated that over 100 million new records are added monthly to DataSUS

The graph below represents the growth of records per year in the DataSUS databases.

Chart depicting SIA/SUS and SIH/SUS data from 2013 to 2022. Significant growth is observed in the last two years compared to the others. This fact also highlights the trend of the data-driven pharmaceutical industry.
Estimate of DataSUS records growth, which directly contributes to the data-driven pharmaceutical industry.

This study specifically addresses tables from the Ambulatory Information Systems of the Unified Health System (SIA/SUS) of AM, PA, and BI, and from the Hospital Information System (SIH/SUS) of SP and RD.

Note the disparity in the years 2021 and 2022 compared with previous ones.

Therefore, it is necessary to invest in strategies and tools that enable the effective utilization of health data for knowledge generation, decision-making, innovation, and population health improvement.

Modern Data Stack: a strategy for pharmaceutical industry databases

One of the most viable strategies for optimizing the use of public health databases is the Modern Data Stack (MDS). 

It involves the application of scalable, integrated, automated, and collaborative data transformation and manipulation techniques. 

The MDS uses modern platforms and tools for data extraction, storage, processing, analysis, and visualization.

Representation of the operational stages and respective tools used in the Modern Data Stack. On the left, there are three blocks: the 1st refers to data collection, the 2nd is data integration, and the 3rd is deployment. They all have an arrow pointing to the next phase, which consists of data modeling. Finally, the last phase is sending these data for use in business intelligence and/or machine learning.
Representation of the Modern Data Stack for the pharmaceutical industry.

The MDS enables the creation of agile, flexible, reliable, and value-oriented data solutions that can address the needs and challenges of the healthcare sector, such as:

  1. integration;
  2. security;
  3. quality;
  4. governance;
  5. transparency; and
  6. innovation in healthcare data.

Solutions in these areas would enable the identification of opportunities, trends, patterns, behaviors, preferences, needs, and solutions for the healthcare market.

Here are some of the advantages of MDS:

  1. Cost and time reduction through the use of cloud-based data platforms and tools that offer scalability, elasticity, availability, and resource savings.
  2. Improvement in data quality and reliability through validation, cleaning, standardization, enrichment, and documentation techniques, ensuring consistency, integrity, and traceability.
  3. Enhancement of data security and privacy by employing platforms and tools aligned with best practices and information security standards, such as encryption, authentication, authorization, monitoring, and auditing, protecting against internal and external threats.
  4. Facilitation of integration through the use of platforms and tools that enable the connection, extraction, transformation, and loading of data from various sources.

The impact of data on the pharmaceutical industry

Health data stands out as a rich and comprehensive source of essential information about population health, resources, services, diseases, and other relevant factors.

These pieces of information provide a detailed perspective on patient needs, preferences, and outcomes, as well as trends and challenges in the pharmaceutical industry.

Within this context, the Outpatient Information System of the Unified Health System (SIA/SUS) serves as a practical example, revealing reasons for consultations, prevalent diseases, prescribed drugs, and served population groups.

Similarly, the Hospital Information System of the Unified Health System (SIH/SUS), when explored, provides insights into reasons for hospitalization, common diseases, drugs used, and other aspects relevant to health management.

This analysis provides a comprehensive understanding of the health landscape, where it is possible to observe some scenarios such as the following:

  • detection of trends and challenges in the healthcare market - companies can adapt their research and development strategies based on SIA/SUS insights and focus on sectors with more business needs and opportunities;
  • overview of health data - the detailed view of SIH/SUS provides information on why people are hospitalized, common diseases, and drugs used; this allows health managers to make informed decisions and optimize processes;
  • use of data visualization tools in the pharmaceutical industry - strategic decision-making is facilitated by visualizing and interpreting relevant information;
  • real-time monitoring of the data pipeline - it is possible to monitor the status of all stages of the data pipeline in real-time, ensuring that the business team always has the correct and updated data;
  • forecasting demand and medication inventory - to predict medication demand and inventory, pharmaceutical companies can use predictive analysis, which allows predicting demand for medications using seasonality and historical data.
  • market intelligence and marketing strategies - success in the pharmaceutical industry depends on a good understanding of the market; creating targeted marketing strategies, audience segmentation, and competitor identification are facilitated by data analysis; this leads to more effective campaigns and reaching more patients;
  • monitoring patient outcomes and quality of life - tracking health data over time allows evaluating of the effectiveness of medical interventions; moreover, constant monitoring improves patients' quality of life as it allows adjustments in therapies as needed.

Modern Data Stack and the pharmaceutical industry

The integrated Modern Data Stack with DataSUS enhances treatments and reveals opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry in the public database.

Therefore, it becomes indispensable for this industry to build customized data solutions based on MDS platforms and tools

These solutions, integrated with enterprise management systems such as Software Applications and Products (SAP) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), offer efficient control, monitoring, communication, and collaboration. 

By generating strategic insights, these modern data solutions enable management teams and business units in the pharmaceutical industry to make informed decisions, improve processes, innovate in products, and achieve customer satisfaction, generating widespread benefits.

The pharmaceutical industry revolution with the Modern Data Stack

As the pharmaceutical industry positions itself as a protagonist in the data-driven revolution, the MDS takes on a crucial role as a strategic guide in this transition.

DataSUS, essential to the data landscape of the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry, stands out as an invaluable resource in shaping the public health panorama. 

The practical application of this resource by pharmaceutical companies highlights its value in evaluating treatments with richly detailed data, not only enhancing the quality of these treatments, but also empowering the identification of market trends and opportunities

However, this journey is not without challenges, especially in the face of the exponential increase in volume, variety, and velocity of health data. 

The need for data quality, standardization, privacy, and security is paramount. 

To address these challenges, the pharmaceutical industry must adopt an integrated approach, where tools such as the MDS become crucial allies, enabling efficient and scalable data manipulation. 

The MDS goes beyond the conventional conception of a data tool, presenting itself as a strategy that converts data into customized solutions, enhancing different sectors in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmaceutical Industry, DataSUS, and MDS: What Can You Conclude

The integration of modern data solutions with established enterprise systems not only enhances collaboration and efficiency, but also guides the pharmaceutical industry to kickstart the data-driven revolution, resulting in improvements in population health in Brazil.

Shall we lead this transformation?

Explore the possibilities of the Modern Data Stack (MDS) and strengthen your position at the forefront of the pharmaceutical industry's data-driven revolution with Indicium.

And contact us to discover the best data solutions for your company.

See you soon!

Modern Data Stack

Matheus Eduardo de Oliveira

Data Product Manager

Lara Ciriaco Mesquita


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