- Pharmaceutical company McKesson Corporation named Nancy Flores CIO and CTO, beginning Jan. 13, 2020, according to a company announcement. Flores is replacing Kathy McElligott, who is set to retire.
- The CIO role makes Flores responsible for the enterprise business strategy, technology governance, IT security, infrastructure operations and service delivery across business functions. As CTO, she will in part, "guide the overall technology direction for the company's healthcare technology products," according to the announcement.
- Flores spent 22 years at medical device company Abbott Laboratories, serving in several roles, including CIO. She was most recently VP of Business and Technology Services.
Healthcare, including biopharma, is known for its reluctant adoption of technology outside biomedical innovation, even rudimentary solutions like electronic record-keeping. Digital transformation is forcing tech leaders into more privileged positions.
GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Merck & Co., and Sanofi, are among the companies to have, for the first time, a CDO or CIO on the executive committee, reports BioPharma Dive. A main driver of this inclusion is stagnant data biopharma wants to use to offset the costs of clinical trials and lost productivity in research and development.
McKesson falls in line with companies combining the CIO and CTO roles. CIOs often have to keep the lights on while CTOs oversee innovative solutions.
Biopharma has struggled with pairing heads of technology — either CDO or CIO — with the science and research arms of executive committees, according to BioPharma Dive.
The tech industry's aggressive entrance into medicine is spurring change in the healthcare and biopharma arenas. The addition of technical competition highlights the potential positive disruption IT could have.
The tech industry is beginning to stake its claim in the healthcare industry. Apple has a number of initiatives, including the Apple Health Records App for patients to aggregate health data from medical health records of their providers. Amazon says it is not collecting health records, but has made its medical ambitions known by acquiring PillPack last year.
Google recently prompted an investigation after its "Project Nightingale" was revealed; a collection of consumer health records for healthcare product development. The tech company did not have patient consent.