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The Mandate To Make A Digital Difference

Executive Summary

Diogo Rau, chief information and digital officer at Lilly, talks to In Vivo about the company’s plans for making big and disruptive changes using digital strategy to speed up drug development.

Diogo Rau oversees Eli Lilly and Company’s IT, digital, advanced analytics, and cybersecurity with a mandate to bring big and disruptive change to the company.

Eli Lilly's Diogo Rau Diogo Rau

Rau joined the pharma industry in May 2021 from tech giant Apple at a time when big companies like Lilly are facing an evolution whereby patients expect to be at the center of their care. Rau replaced longtime Lilly exec Aarti Shah who retired after 27 years in the pharma industry, most recently as head of digital at Lilly for the last six years.

Coming from outside Big Pharma, Rau has a wide-ranging and fresh perspective on the industry’s most pressing challenges, and what advancements could make the biggest difference to the industry and the patients it serves.

Tapping into this consumer view of digital is important to pharma's future, as Lilly CEO David Ricks said at the time of Rau's appointment: "Diogo's expertise and leadership roles at Apple, along with his extensive experience in guiding technology strategy, will be invaluable to Lilly as we change how we discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize innovative new medicines to meet the increasing expectations of patients, physicians, and health care systems."

In this podcast, Rau discusses Lilly's current digital strategy, how it is scaling with digital, remaining relevant compared to competitors, and how his office is making use of natural language generation.



0:52 The digital mandate from Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks

02:45 Characterizing Lilly’s current digital strategy

03:53 Scaling with Digital

07:09 Using digital to save time and money

10:28 Patient centricity all the time in pharma

12:47 Pharma making bold moves in digital

16:18 Exciting disruptive digital advancements in pharma

18:13 The challenges organizations have in thinking big

19:59 Lilly’s digital future


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