The transformation to a more digital mindset, delivering state-of-the-art-care, and relationship-driven partnerships are continuing the shape the life sciences industry. As we look at the 2019 year and beyond, there are a number of trends emerging that are slated to disrupt the future of the industry. Therapy breakthroughs, pricing pressures, new drug development partnerships, innovative technology, and patient-centered practices are just a few of the many areas that are helping the life sciences sector improve efficiency, data collection and analysis, drug accessibility, and consumer-driven value. Here are some of the trends to be on the lookout for.
As with the healthcare sector, the life sciences space has been exploring alternative payment models. Conversations are shifting from the product to how a company can demonstrate the long-term value of what they’re delivering. Deloitte predicts that companies will need to identify new sources of revenue by developing pricing models that focus on the patient journey and experience.
Digitization of R&D
In order to capture marketplace insights, companies are adopting cloud-based platforms and using real-world digital data to generate better outcomes. By digesting large data sets and analyzing things like consumer behavior and treatment outcomes, companies can use predictive analytics to reduce costs and improve delivery of care.
Transformational Impact of Technology
The fusion of man and machine are driving companies to focus their efforts on how new technology can drive more value and efficiency to their operations. Artificial intelligence alone can be leveraged for patient monitoring, treatment delivery and planning, drug development, and early diagnosis of disease. Likewise, Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), is reshaping how patients interact with clinicians and how individuals are participating in and managing their own health care.
Virtual care and telehealth are bringing care and convenience into the comfort of the home, providing 24/7 access to health care, which can lead to quicker diagnoses and reduced hospital admittance (and readmittance) rates. Technology like DIY diagnostic tests can help underserved populations and those living in rural regions to seek coaching and monitoring with a click of a button.
There still comes the challenge of finding an effective solution for seamlessly aggregating data, eliminating human error, and securely sharing patient information. This is where blockchain has entered the equation and could prove to be a possible asset for the industry. The 2019 Life Sciences Innovation Report, conducted by The Pistoia Alliance, found that there’s already a rise in the number of companies investing in and implementing AI and blockchain technology. The report also concluded that budgets will continue to be allocated towards A.I., new technology, and R&D decision making.
The development of tools such as bispecific antibodies (BsAbs), nanosensors, and computational biology, has shed light on the innovation and success that can be driven when organizations and researchers across disciplines forge collaborative partnerships. As new research in immunotherapy, precision medicine, and the microbiome come to the forefront of focus, it’ll open up doorways for improving treatments, refining the accuracy and timeliness of diagnoses, and help companies gain a more robust understanding of various diseases.
Deloitte’s Jennifer Malatesta refers to a 'post-sector world,' saying, “Sectors and companies that were pure-play pharma, medical device, or even consumer are now becoming very integrated with adjacent sectors. We have pharma and consumer, pharma and technology, and—on the health plan and provider side—we’ve seen significant academic and medical institutions acquiring small health plans. I sometimes draw the analogy of a bunch of kids playing with baseball cards: I’ll trade you my medical device company for your diabetes business. Before I may have had two components that weren’t complementing each other, but now I have the pieces that will work. This cross-sector pollination allows these organizations to drive the effectiveness of care in many phases throughout the care cycle and be less dependent on others that may negatively impact the perceived value or effectiveness of the care.”
Cross-industry collaborations are vitally important to boosting efficiencies and moving the needle forward. As regulatory standards become stricter, competition across the globe heightens, and pressures to reduce costs increase, companies will need to look towards technology, cloud-based computing, and collaborative practices in order to navigate risks and see positive business impacts.