Delphine Dubois,CIO of Healthcare Consultancy Group, Best CIOs of 2021 Profile

Delphine Dubois
CIO of Healthcare Consultancy Group

Delphine Dubois,CIO of Healthcare Consultancy Group, Best CIOs of 2021

“Innovation Empowerment: Everyone’s an Innovator”

According to Delphine Dubois, MD, Chief Innovation Officer of Healthcare Consultancy Group, working remotely has given so many people immediate access to each other that, in a sense, the world has gotten much smaller. “There has always been this great tradition in science of sharing a discovery for the greater good. I think that behavior is what led to the whole ‘open source’ movement, which has been an accelerator for innovation. When you build a culture on innovation, empowerment and collaboration, it is often self-sustaining.”

For Delphine, it’s all about customer-facing people realizing that they are empowered to be innovators. “HCG was already a market leader. In some ways, that makes it even more difficult to bring innovation to the forefront. Why fix it if it isn’t broken, right? So, it’s really about changing a mindset to one that builds on the momentum we’ve created, keeping us ahead of everyone else. We’ve actually integrated a team of innovation catalysts into our account, medical and engagement teams that are empowered to drive new thinking. You know, it says a lot about our leadership that they had the vision to create my position. It means they are looking ahead, not over their shoulders. That’s what great leaders do.”

Having the unique position of being at the forefront of digital innovation for 20 years, Delphine noted that her company often looks beyond digital, constantly venturing outside of their industry for inspiration. “We attend CES and SXSW every year. The way SXSW was able to leverage the Metaverse this year was impressive, we’re investigating how we can apply that thinking to our field. We’ve been studying how the curatorial model of museums has transformed because of COVID-19. The human ability to adjust to the virtual world during this pandemic has taught us that anything is possible.”

One thing that makes HCG unique is that the competition they face internally is often greater than what comes from the outside. They push each other, not just for the sake of being different but to create better outcomes for clients. “That’s the difference between innovation and invention. Innovation has to create value. The only way that happens is if it’s innate, an organic part of your culture. Companies dedicate an enormous amount of resources to telling employees what they can’t do. We focus on what we can do,” explains Delphine. “That begins with empowerment. Innovation isn’t a department at HCG. It’s in the job description of every employee. By the way, that only works if you provide an environment of absolute psychological safety.”

This innovation mindset often means coming up with new tactics and approaches on every project. Something that has been highly successful in the past will get a little better with each implementation. “Our latest breakthrough is our consistent use of social media as a platform for medical communications,” says Delphine. “In such a regulated industry sector, our competitors haven’t been able to crack it; some have even abandoned social media completely. But we’ve recently launched programs for our clients that have seen a lot of success and will probably define how the platform can be used industry-wide.”

So, what’s next for HCG and innovation? “Let me put it this way: Innovation is about imagining the future and filling in the gaps. The current focus on innovation is addressing a big gap for medical communications in pharma – the inability to efficiently target customers where they currently are on their customer journeys and provide a personalized educational experience,” says Delphine. “We call this ‘Precision Medical Education’ – data-driven personalized education. Our empowered teams are developing innovative approaches to enable pharma to realize the vision of segmenting and targeting audiences based on individual unmet needs. To find where they are in their learning journey and deliver personalized content to their audiences where they are and how they want it. This breakthrough will have a major impact in accelerating product understanding and acceptance and bringing our clients’ medicines closer to the patients who need them.”

ABOUT HEALTHCARE CONSULTANCY GROUP: HCG is a relentlessly curious force that never stops exploring better ways to communicate scientific discoveries. A global leader in medical communications, comprising interconnected scientific agencies with distinct personalities and complementary skills, their strength is in diversity of thinking. 750+ experts from diverse backgrounds bring unique perspectives to their clients. This includes 300+ medical directors, 17 trained physicians, 100+ digital strategists and creatives, and 55 innovation catalysts. HCG is powered by industry-leading digital, creative, and innovation teams assembled into world-class agencies that bring scientific, strategic, and innovative excellence to medical affairs, commercial, publications, regulatory and HEOR. IE


Healthcare Consultancy Group


Delphine Dubois
CIO of Healthcare Consultancy Group


Healthcare Consultancy Group (HCG), a part of the Omnicom Group, is a global leader in medical communications, comprising 7 interconnected agencies with distinct personalities and complementary skills.

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