Digital transformation in the life sciences

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology across all areas of a business that transforms the way the business operates and delivers value to its customers. This goes beyond function, brand and market. Instead, the focus is on value chain level, strategic focus and ecosystem. Digital transformation challenges traditional business models through coherent digitization across interactions, experiences, insights and processes through quality management software for Life Sciences.

What does digital transformation look like?

Businesses are using digital transformation to move from transaction-centric and latent reporting organizations to entrepreneurial and insight-driven businesses. Companies use digital transformation to integrate digital efforts into a wider business scope and thus create more value.

Overall goals for digital transformation

  • Customer-centric models drive business strategies and operations.
  • Quick responses to planned or unforeseen circumstances promote flexibility.
  • Insights and data from an affiliated company support engaged communities.
  • Optimized processes enable smart workflows and effective decision-making.
  • Flexible and untethered workforces enable companies to deploy talent anywhere.

The five pillars of digital transformation

The combination of people, experiences, processes, data and insights, powered by digital technology and delivered in a connected way for greater value, is what industry professionals call a digital pillar. Digital pillars drive a business on its digital journey. Digital transformation must be determined by choices within and across the five digital pillars.

Digital health

Leverage digital technologies to deliver new digital products, therapies or services and then create a deeper connection with patients on their path to better health and wellness outcomes

Digital engagement and experience

Create greater engagement, collaboration and experience with customers, patients, carers and partners by reaching them and giving them what they need, when they need it.

Data as strategic value

Drive advanced analytics and improved insights by applying new technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and streaming analytics to democratized data to move from descriptive (what happened) to predictive (what will happen) to prescriptive (what needs to happen) analytics to go.

Digital at the core

Automate and integrate the entire operational core to realize business interconnection, intelligent operation and management by exception (MBE).

The work has been redesigned

Redesign the work to be done, where the work is to be done, and who is to do the work. A virtual digital workforce and workplace requires businesses to restructure towards a new digital enterprise, where open networks of talent, AI & machines and reinvented roles are the new norm.

Figure source: Deloitte – Digital transformation in life sciences

The driving force for digital transformation in the life sciences

“The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the MedTech industry, changing the way it does business and the way health systems interact with medical device companies,” noted Jenn Stein of ISG Life Sciences. Significant improvements have been made in the capabilities of devices, wearables, artificial intelligence and automation. Additionally, there is an increase in demand for resources that help the life science industry better serve patients. Companies request support for product lifecycle management, logistics and distribution, and maintenance and repair. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for increased employment and venture capital funding in the life sciences industry. Driven by these trends, the costs of facilities, talent, technological innovations and other assets have risen sharply.

To further complicate the landscape, companies are under constant scrutiny from regulators and consumer groups. Growing data and regulatory requirements have prompted pharmacovigilance and regulatory organizations to rethink their approach to monitoring adherence and ensuring patient safety. Companies are looking to providers specializing in artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation to deliver the analytics and insights needed to achieve compliance and monitor patient safety.

In summary, the life science industry is increasingly digitized, driven by insights and shaped by patient experiences. Companies need to be digital rather than just wanting to be digital. Furthermore, digital transformation is not just a fad. It is a necessary process that strengthens science, insight, productivity and collaborations. These qualities are necessary to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare system.

The future of digital transformation in life sciences

The time has come for companies to develop digital capabilities, leverage data and connect with the rapidly evolving healthcare ecosystem. To “future-proof” companies, companies must implement comprehensive digital transformation programs that make them competitive in digital healthcare. Organizations that fail to navigate their way through digital transformation risk falling behind and missing out on opportunities. Digital transformation delivers benefits by applying innovation and digital technology to business models in creative, strategic and flexible ways, which in turn maximizes impact on patients, partners and employees. In turn, companies are accelerating their mission to deliver better health, wellness and experiences for their patients; stimulating effect; and inspire stakeholders.

Companies have recognized that the digital revolution allows them to redefine themselves as a service company rather than a manufacturer. Digital transformation is a challenge, especially for larger companies. They attract leaders from leading digital companies and partner with established digital companies to reap the benefits of participating in broader healthcare ecosystems. When done right, digital transformation delivers an organization that is aligned with customer demands yet resilient in an uncertain future. The only constant is that the future is digital.

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