The life sciences industry's growth in the past few years has been commendable. Changing global trends and innovations have transformed the life sciences industry, like any other sector.
The global pandemic was another factor that accelerated the growth in the life sciences sector by encouraging research and development of new technologies and practices to meet the demands of the health sector.
Life sciences companies, including companies working in biotechnology, life systems technologies, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, biomedical devices, etc., have realized the necessity of staying on par with the technological advancements of the world.
Therefore, interesting developments can be seen all over the life sciences sector that will positively impact the industry in the coming decades.
Let's dive in and look at some trends shaking up the life sciences industry:
1. Artificial Intelligence for the life sciences
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking up all industries by storm. So, how can the life sciences industry be left behind?
AI in the healthcare sector is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 38.4% in this decade. Now that's a significant amount of growth. AI uses machine intelligence to execute specific actions. It has significantly changed how companies work in today's times. Biotech, pharma, and healthcare companies have started incorporating AI into their systems to enhance productivity and cost-effectiveness.
Here are a few ways in which AI amplifies the productivity of life sciences companies in different fields –
In Biotechnology, AI helps in –
- Identification of biomarkers
- Phenotype screening
- Microbiome analysis
- Research of drugs and diagnostic tools
In pharmaceutical companies, AI can be applied for –
- The process of drug discovery
- Research and development of existing and new drugs
- Reduction in production costs
- Supporting the creation of affordable treatment options
AI has also been strategically integrated into the life sciences and healthcare industry to accomplish radio-assisted surgeries and AI-powered diagnostics. It has immense potential to support the life sciences sector in the near future.
Digitalization has changed the way the world functions. People nowadays depend on virtual systems and digital technologies to solve their problems.
To meet the need of current consumers and technology trends, incorporating digital transformation is a crucial step, and life sciences companies have accepted the fact wholeheartedly.
Here are a few ways in which companies have embraced digitalization –
So, what's wearable technology?
Devices used by healthcare professionals to monitor the health of patients fall under this category. Oxygen sensors, blood pressure, and heart rate monitors are a few examples.
Also, life sciences companies have started using the "Internet of Medical Things" to monitor health remotely. That's a great achievement!
The fact that the FDA and EU MDR have started recognizing devices and technologies using IoMT and Software as a Medical Devices showcases the reliability of these devices, and their usage will probably grow in the coming years.
Digital Treatment Options
People around the world are always looking for virtual solutions to their problems. You will be surprised to know that companies have also started providing digital solutions in healthcare.
Some interesting approaches include the following –
- Digital pills
- Gamification for treatment and prevention of diseases
- Virtual Reality (VR) therapy for chronic pain
With patients looking for personalized treatment, companies are now bracing themselves to bring viable digital treatment solutions to their consumers in the future.
There is a substantial rise in the number of E-pharmacies worldwide. The primary reason is that patients now look for fast and reliable delivery solutions of life-saving drugs in times of need. Technology-driven pharmacies have made it easier for patients to order their medicines from the comforts of their homes.
This helps in the effective management of acute and chronic diseases. E-pharmacies are, therefore, here to stay and increase in number in the time ahead.
Virtual Health Check-ups
Fast and easy access to healthcare providers is one of the basic requirements of new-generation patients. Therefore, you can see several companies coming up with virtual healthcare provisions.
We can also observe a vast growth in the usage of virtual health devices, including wearable technologies for the home and other exclusive technologies.
Healthcare professionals increasingly use advanced patient health monitoring systems like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR). What is the benefit?
These technologies allow physicians to monitor their patient's health and access their personal information remotely. As more patients are inclined toward using telemedicine, these technologies help in quick diagnosis.
Along with telemedicine, companies offer online, face-to-face consultations with specialist doctors to provide timely treatment to patients.
Digital Management Systems
The adoption of digital processes has improved the efficiency and productivity of pharmaceutical companies across the globe.
Conversion of paper-based procedures into digital ones has especially proved helpful in maintaining important data and regulatory compliance. Another benefit of digitalization is data transparency which leaves no space for the occurrence of fraudulent activities.
The use of digital management systems allows for easy documentation. Online training through digital systems has proven helpful in providing personalized and accessible training to people belonging to the industry.
Cloud is a boom for all industries. The life sciences industry particularly benefits from the cloud as it helps collect and maintain a vast amount of data gathered from decentralized clinical trials, drug studies, etc.
It also aids in data analysis and gives the advantage of accessing it from anywhere in the world. Sharing and collecting data has also become so easy through the advent of cloud technology.
3. Development of Custom Medicines in life sciences companies
Precision medicine and modern genomics are innovative ways of providing personalized medical treatment to patients. Precision medicine involves using biomarkers to identify tumors in an individual and develop tailored drugs for achieving positive treatment outcomes.
On the other hand, modern genomics has raised the possibility of modifying drugs based on an individual's DNA. Now that's a trend to keep an eye on as it can take the life sciences industry to another level.
4. Research and Development
In the arena of research and development, the life science industry has started utilizing data science to support the process of drug discovery and development.
Pharma companies are also employing innovative technologies to aid research and development.
Some of them are –
- Open-source software
- Machine learning
Smart technologies like connected inhalers and biosensors are also picking up in the markets as they effectively provide treatment.
5. Robust Supply Chains
The supply chain is an essential element within the healthcare and life sciences industry. Having a strong supply chain system is vital for companies. As the pandemic negatively impacted the value chain of many manufacturers, a new trend of developing resilient strategies to maintain the supply chain even in challenging times has picked up in the industry.
Life sciences organizations have surely gained momentum in bringing innovations and trends to match up with the digital transformation of the world and changing consumer requirements. We can see the industry growing multiple folds in this decade owing to its efforts to bring necessary changes to speed up productivity and growth.
Life Sciences trends will continue to create new opportunities as the digital industry evolves and leads innovation. And the innovations of today will have a significant impact on the medicine of the future. As we see it, five trends to look out for are AI, digitalization as a catalyst for health change, research and development, personalized medicine, and supply chain strategy.
The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for drastic changes in the life sciences sector, and the speed of these changes looks to remain constant in 2023. Those businesses that can transition to more digitalized approaches, from the research and development of new products to clinical trials and treatment plans, will be the ones that have the best chance of thriving in an increasingly competitive market.
To keep up with the times, organizations must be willing to embrace innovation and be open to the new opportunities that digitalization can bring. Companies that can stay agile and adapt quickly to the ever-evolving landscape of the life sciences industry will be the ones that remain successful.
What strategies are you excited to implement to take advantage of these trends in life sciences in the coming decade?