Top 5 Life Sciences predictions in 2020

With the patient taking center stage, digitization is gaining pace within Life Sciences. This blog looks at how digital technology is going to shape every stage of the drug lifecycle for life science and pharma companies in 2020.

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January 23, 20205 minute read

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With patient-centricity taking center stage, digitization is gaining pace within Life Sciences. Disruptive technologies are being implemented throughout the value chain to create a world of patient-centricity and personalized value-based medicines. Here are five predictions on how digital technologies will shape Life Sciences in 2020.

Interoperable data platforms start to build momentum

  • Interoperable data platforms will transform R&D: Today, patient data is available across a number of platforms and devices, in online forums and social networks. The integration of assessment devices such as MRI scans, laboratory equipment and even smart pills provide much more accurate and granular information on each patient. This year, R&D organizations will begin to adopt interoperable data platforms that enable the effective collecting, synthesizing, analyzing and communicating of information to move from volume to value-based research that drives better patient outcomes.
  • Quality 4.0, Industry 4.0 and interoperable data platforms: For a few years now, there has been interest in applying the connected technologies of Industry 4.0 to manage quality performance. Many companies have increased the resolution of the data they collect using IoT and analytics and this no longer stops at the factory wall: instead of inspecting parts as the primary quality activity, companies are inspecting their suppliers’ quality and processes to address downstream quality issues. The key is likely to be the adoption of an interoperable data platform across production and supply chain processes to enable new levels of trust and cooperation of all parties working along the life sciences value chain.
  • Commercialization leverages interoperable data platforms: As patients become more empowered, the industry is beginning to better serve them not only through medicine but through services as well – from diagnosis to therapy to reimbursement. In addition to empowering the patient, pharma companies must look for ways to empower the physician with the right information and support to improve diagnosis and drug prescription. This is yet another example of the need for the move towards the interoperable data platform.

AI and IoT form a stronger bond to deliver outcomes

  • AI technology allied to IoT platforms to improve clinical trials: The application of AI-driven analytics is honing patient recruitment by crawling patient records to identify the most suitable candidates. These same technologies are boosting retention and adherence by using individual-level targeted insights and trigger-based digital media to manage patient needs more proactively. Physicians can monitor and prompt to ensure treatment protocols are being followed.
  • AI, IoT, and interoperable data platforms for manufacturing and the supply chain: As the industry moves towards personalized medicines, an interoperable data platform will be required to capture the data needed to facilitate the transition from large bulk runs to more precise and targeted batches. Pharmaceutical manufacturers will need to manage complex supply chains to maintain profitability with smaller runs and shorter drug lifecycles. In addition, supply chain security and the need to prove the chain of custody has never been higher. Pharmaceutical manufacturers will increasingly use AI, IoT and Blockchain within the supply chain to add visibility and transparency with full product traceability–including monitoring the condition of sensitive drugs in transit.

Adoption of enterprise marketing communications management platforms

Data privacy is key to developing compliant global marketing communications for life sciences. As patient-centricity increases and the impact of personalized medicines grows, global pharma companies will be faced with developing many thousands of separate digital marketing assets that must meet regulatory standards and be delivered at the right point in the patient journey. Implementing enterprise marketing communications management platforms will help organizations meet the compliance, cost and complexity challenges of global marketing and packaging requirements.

Enterprise data and content management remains an emphasis for regulation and submissions

The FDA has the stated aim of cutting submission and approval times – especially to address drug monopolies. To achieve this goal, the regulators, not just the FDA, expect a much greater level of collaboration with all the parties involved. Regulators want to create a submissions process around structured-, semi- and unstructured data and content. For instance, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is implementing standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the identification of medicinal products (IDMP) and  FDA representatives have mentioned using structure data and content to make future submissions fully digital and not just in PDF formats. This will place a greater focus on enterprise data and content management to take control of information and simplify the submissions process.

The transition to identity-driven IoT platforms

The use of Fitbit or other connected health wearables continues to increase, and patients are more willing to share their data with their physicians and other parties they trust. Research shows that people are beginning to select their healthcare provider based on whether they offer telemedical and remote monitoring devices. Whereas physician-supplied medical devices­ such as pacemakers are FDA regulated, most personal IoT-enabled devices are not. In many cases, the IT security teams in healthcare are unaware when new devices join their network or begin to share data. Organizations will look towards identity-driven IoT platforms to gain the value of real-world data from connected health wearables while minimizing the security and data privacy risks.

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