From developing new applications for biosensors to improving patient connectivity, med tech leaders are consistently at the forefront of innovation. And yet, a striking dichotomy exists: even as device technology is evolving, internal technology investments are stuck in the past. Systems often fail to connect to each other, resulting in stalled productivity and arcane processes.

Are your products evolving faster than your processes? If so, let us recommend a course in Digitization 101. Once you’re through with this primer, you’ll be well on your way to leapfrogging your competition by getting to market sooner and improving compliance with regulations like 21 CFR Part 11.

If you’re interested in relieving the tedium, expense, and inconvenience of paper and manual processes like printing, scanning, and faxing, you’re ready to go digital. And you’re making a great choice: organizations that rank high on digital maturity experience 13% more revenue and are 50% more profitable. 1. Beyond the income statement numbers, they earn something even more rewarding: time and a better experience.

Investing in fully digital operations—for processes ranging from new hire offer letters to device installation agreements—means meeting challenges more efficiently while differentiating your company. It means saving hours and money in developing and launching new products. It means simplified approvals across borders and improved visibility into the status of key agreements and compliance documents. And it means you’ll gain something that is—in our book—invaluable: it will be easier to do business with your company. A great reputation pays ongoing dividends.

Of course, lofty promises of increased time and money mean very little as compared to the cold, hard numbers. One medical device company experienced the following benefits after investing in a fully digital process for physicians prescribing their products:

  • Decreased time to get prescriptions from 2 days to under 1 hour
  • Eliminated errors in the prescription process
  • Enabled fully digital workflow via integration with CRM system
  • Executed 10,000 electronically signed prescriptions in the first year alone

If you’re ready to dip a toe—or emphatically dive—into the pool of digital, we recommend following the following the “3 C’s” outlined below as you evaluate digital transaction management and eSignature vendors. These best practices will help put your company on the fast track for digitization success. 

The 3 C’s of Successful Digital Adoption 

Connectivity: Chances are that you have invested in systems across your enterprise. Whether your day-to-day operations include CRM software like Salesforce or productivity tools like Office 365—or even your homegrown company portal—your ideal technology and implementation partner will gracefully connect your systems, allowing you to make a cohesive, fully digital transformation. Simply put, the right digital platform will simplify your life by integrating with your current systems.

Collaboration: Business functions like IT, sales, and marketing are often early adopters of digital technologies, but it often takes longer to get the full organization on board. Clinical, compliance and quality functions live and breathe the realities of FDA and EMA regulations governing how digital data is handled, so while the efficiency of product development and commercialization is important, patient safety and data protection are paramount. Reconciling objectives across these functions and reaching a common ground for a digital adoption pilot and roadmap helps bridge the gap across functions while encouraging more company-wide collaboration. Partnering with your vendor to bring stakeholders across your enterprise into your digital initiative and identifying early test cases and champions will help demonstrate the value of your digital investment. A strong partner will bring expertise in helping you build a center of excellence and successfully implement a digital strategy that works for business and compliance functions.

Compliance: If you’re losing sleep about anything, it’s probably your company’s compliance with industry and country specific regulations – and passing those ever-present audits. 21 CFR Part 11 requires not only that the technology you use for completing digital transactions is configured with additional authentication features, but also that your and your vendor’s processes include clear SOPs and establish roles and responsibilities for clinical operations and quality management. Beyond the brass tacks of compliance features, your technology vendors should be a part the compliance conversation across your organization and work with you to ensure your needs are met. Be sure to inquire about validation partners and systems integrators who are part of your vendor’s ecosystem. A partner-rich network demonstrates that third parties will vouch for your vendor, and these partners provide another source of expertise to guide your company along its digital journey.

The life sciences team at DocuSign is delighted to be playing a key role in the digital transformation of the world’s leading medical device companies. In fact, 11 of the top 15 medical device companies including Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and others have selected DocuSign to go 100% digital. And there’s a reason: DocuSign is the simplest and most secure tool for mobile sales & service, field service reports, and more, providing med tech companies with the choice, experience and trust to fuel their enterprise-wide digitization.

Ready to jump start your digital investment? Learn more by visiting DocuSign at booth #302 at the AdvaMed conference from October 5-7 in San Diego, California.

Can’t make it in person? Tune in to our webinar on October 21 to learn digital best practices for medical device leaders and hear a firsthand account of enterprise wide digitization from a global med tech leader.

Image sources:

1. “Strategy, Not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation,” last modified July 14, 2015,