When you talk about trends in the life sciences industry, you’re referring to something that can take decades, not years. But while the pace of change might be slower than other industries, the opportunities in digital health are there for the taking.
There are plenty of clues about where the life sciences sector is heading. The shift from treatment to wellness, pricing pressures, the use of the patient voice in therapy development, new technologies, and exciting collaborations and partnerships.
Digital health is changing the face of healthcare. And even to the untrained eye, the evidence suggests the life sciences sector is destined to become more efficient, nimble and customer-focused.
Digital health is complex, made up of technologies and services that provide healthcare from outside health providers such as hospitals, clinics and GPs. The traditional health and wellness industry is enormous but it also experiencing substantial and wide-ranging challenges that include; an ageing population, medical and technological advances, regulatory changes, rising costs and shrinking profit margins.
Digital healthcare offers a solution that benefits both the patients and providers.
For example, a high-skilled and expensive healthcare provider like a Dr or a radiologist will benefit greatly from any time-saving/task-replacing application or technology and so will the hospital or organisation they work with. Similarly, digital health changes the delivery of care to patients, systems can make quality health information more accessible to the patient and promote health literacy, healthy behaviours and provide access to support networks. The sharing of data can ensure better patient care and decisions and longer term health and wellbeing.
As companies are realising just how lucrative the healthcare space is, investment in digital health has grown significantly over the past five years, spurred on by interest from big tech companies such as Amazon, Apple and Alphabet.
Here are four insights we’ve gathered, offering a sneak peek into the future of healthcare.
1. Committing to a digital first mindset
It’s still early days for digital technologies in life sciences. Companies see the benefits but are reluctant to make bold moves. But now’s the time to adopt and embrace a digital-first mindset to make business operations more efficient and bring transformative therapies to life. Watch this space for more robotic-process automation in R&D and AI to transform the way innovations are developed.
2. Using data to demonstrate value
According to Deloitte, life sciences companies will increasingly turn their attention to multiple external data sources – which could disrupt the entire value chain. Real-world data is the key to creating new business models. For example, using information from wearables to enhance the patient journey. Many companies are yet to unlock the potential of data, however that could be about to change.
3. New collaborations
Over the years, life sciences companies have tended to partner with providers and academia. However, companies are already beginning to drive innovation and patient-focused agendas by collaborating with informatics companies or tech firms to help them improve the design and delivery of therapies.
4. Connecting with consumers
Thanks to advancements in electronic health records, consumers are able to take a more active role in their health and wellness. While some patients are comfortable embracing these tools, that’s not the case for all. The challenge for the industry is how to create value and win the consumers trust.
Research by PwC’s Health Research Institute shows that people are cautious about sharing their information with life sciences companies, but they are more likely to do so if they believe it will have a positive impact on their health and wellness and lead to better overall care. Technology may help companies find better ways to communicate with patients and may also make clinical trials and other ways of connecting and communicating more user-friendly and accessible to everyone.
These moves may seem incremental, but for an industry focused on data-driven care and cross-collaboration, they’re colossal.
At Talent, we have seen more and more companies looking to recruit from outside the life sciences industry to bring fresh perspectives and transferrable skill sets. Similarly, there is huge demand and competition for the best talent and often this requires a global search, we work with our clients to find the right candidates from all over the world and help facilitate national/international relocation for the successful person. Candidates interested in the life science sector will have the opportunity to grow with this industry and take advantage of the endless opportunities it offers.