Three trends that will impact the life sciences industry in 2023

Views & Analysis
three trends life sciences

The life sciences industry has reached an inflection point as 2023 approaches. Organisations must decide whether to embrace a digital-first mindset and implement innovative technology solutions — or stick with legacy methods.

Digital transformation involves adopting technologies to improve workflows, efficiency, and patient care. Organisations opting not to embark on a digital transformation journey risk developing data integrity issues, including poor documentation and data silos.

Companies determined to bring drugs to market more quickly and safely — and gain an edge on their competition next year (and beyond) — should leverage these three technology trends.

The value of the cloud

While slower than other industries to adopt it, many life sciences organisations have become more aware of cloud technology’s transformative nature. However, these organisations still lack a clear understanding of the cloud’s value — and how to capture it.

Historically, life sciences firms have focused on upgrading IT and reducing technology costs, but other factors will drive the future value of the cloud, including:

  • Automation: Cloud automation displaces previous manual tasks, accelerating the pace of innovation for research and development (R&D) teams and decreasing the risk of errors. Automation also frees pharmacovigilance teams to focus on mission-critical areas, like signal detection in drug safety and benefit-risk assessment.
  • Scalability: Cloud systems support almost all essential business capabilities, from initial research and clinical trials to regulatory approval and post-marketing pharmacovigilance. Smaller biotech companies can use the cloud to scale without substantially increasing spending.
  • Data analytics: Cloud platforms allow companies to quickly scale and deploy analytics use cases along the entire value chain. Organisations can also convert complex medical data into valuable clinical insights for healthcare professionals.
  • Architecture modernisation: Open-architecture cloud platforms help integrate end-to-end processes and standardise workflow management across clinical, safety, medical affairs, and regulatory teams.

These features generate critical cost and profitability benefits for the life sciences industry — which experiences boom and bust cycles depending on drug approval. Companies leveraging automation and data analytics will experience a combined $25 million to 30 million increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) by 2030.

Use of real-world data

Real-world data (RWD) bridges the gap between research and practice in healthcare by allowing drug developers to study how patients use and respond to an approved drug.

Regulators — and the life sciences industry as a whole — have increasingly accepted the value and insights generated by RWD. The FDA uses RWD and real-world evidence (RWE) to monitor post-market safety and adverse events and to make regulatory and financial decisions. Currently, about 80% of top life science companies use RWD to support R&D activities, clinical trial designs, and observational studies, which help generate innovative, new treatment approaches.

Several sources generate RWD, including:

  • Claims and billing activities.
  • Product and disease registries.
  • Patient-generated data.
  • Electronic health records.
  • Social media.

Companies use those sources to understand how patient characteristics and behaviours affect health outcomes — and thus inform decisions for care.

In addition to helping monitor drug safety and adverse effects, RWE offers a financial boost as well. Using RWE analytics across the value chain is projected to generate more than $300M YOY for the world’s top 20 pharma companies in the next three to five years. Imagine RWE’s value across the entire life sciences ecosystem.

Technology transforming healthcare via wearables and AI

Many patients feel more engaged in their healthcare — an increase at least partially attributable to wearable health technology. Consumers monitor their health and vital signs with fitness trackers, smartwatches, biosensors, and more.

Over 40% of individuals who wear smartwatches share the biometric data their wearables collect with their doctors. And physicians want to leverage health tracking technology in their care decisions, with 93% believing healthcare apps can improve a patient’s health. Organisations in the life sciences industry can use that same biometric data in clinical trials to update medical teams on health statuses in real-time.

Like wearable technology, artificial intelligence (AI) also has the power to transform healthcare delivery. AI improves its productivity and efficiency by handling repetitive and administrative tasks, thus improving the day-to-day life of healthcare professionals. Practitioners with more time to look after their patients benefit from higher morale and improved retention.

AI also helps life sciences organisations take a more personalised and authentic approach to engaging with patients and healthcare professionals. When used in tandem with human teams, AI draws insights from massive data sets faster, processes data and automates workflows more efficiently, and converts insights into actions to improve business performance.

These life sciences technology trends aren’t far-off dreams — they’re reality. In 2023, organisations must champion resiliency and embrace innovations to achieve better business outcomes and deliver life-saving therapies. Otherwise, they risk falling behind in a competitive market.

About the Author

Pat Jenakanandhini Pat Jenakanandhini serves as ArisGlobal’s chief product officer, where he oversees all product strategy and management functions. Pat is passionate about building great software that delights users, solves real business problems, and provides a superior user experience. Pat lives just outside Boston, MA with his wife, two kids, and a dog. Pat loves building things, home automation, playing video games, and travelling the world. He has an MBA in Finance and dual degrees in Computer Science and Process & Piping Design.