The life sciences may be at the forefront of medical innovations, life-changing advancements and mind-blowing discoveries, but has it lagged when it comes to technology?
Traditionally, the life sciences viewed IT as a supportive function; helping companies perform tasks more efficiently, but not something delivering a competitive edge.
However, a new wave of digital disruptions is shattering this view and leading boards, CEOs and business leaders to chase technical excellence and become market leaders in digitalised life sciences.
Over the new few weeks, we’re examining these disruptions and looking at how they’re changing the landscape for life sciences candidates and clients - starting with data.
Digital and data disruptions in life sciences
Data has always been fundamental in the advancement of life sciences. However, 85% of key industry players are yet to take full advantage of big data and cloud computing, which is concerning.
Technology has changed the way we can gather, analyse and utilise data, and a data-driven approach to life sciences is said to have the power to “create value across manufacturing, the supply chain, and the entire healthcare ecosystem.” How? Let’s look:
Data and manufacturing
Data collection and advanced analytics are enhancing efficiencies and outputs in life sciences manufacturing, while identifying areas for improvement.
For example, using continuous process verification monitoring, companies can build data sets on product quality and consistency at each stage of the manufacturing process. Any output not meeting the required standards is immediately flagged, and the root cause detected. This information can also identify opportunities to optimise processes that increase quality reliability.
This use of big data is saving time and money while reducing waste and dramatically improving product quality and yield. For example, Bigfinite uses pharmaceutical-manufacturing data to predict when equipment requires cleaning, needs maintenance or is about to fail. These predictions help manufacturers eliminate costly disruptions while prolonging the life and return of equipment.
Data and supply chains
Big data powers life sciences companies to obtain and analyse patient, supply chain and real-world information to help with supply chain practices such as demand forecasting.
For example, Bayer AG uses predictive analysis to analyse weather data sets and predict peak hay fever season, increasing production as needed.
Other benefits of supply chain data tech include identifying and reducing counterfeit medicines by comparing supply and consumption data, and improving supply chain lead times and efficiency by monitoring KPIs and flagging areas for enhancement.
Data and healthcare
Big data is also driving enhancements in healthcare too. By gathering, analysing and recording data on a patient’s lifestyle, heritage, genetics, medical history and social circumstances, healthcare practitioners can compare this information against similar individuals to determine the best treatment plan and offer precision medicine.
Wearables, smartphones and electronic medical records are also increasing the amount of data practitioners can work with, enabling them to analyse a patient’s responsiveness and compliance to treatment plants, while also improving patient awareness and accountability.
This data also holds the potential for advanced diagnostics too. For example, researchers are currently investigating whether smartphone and smartwatch data can determine whether a person has COVID-19, using sleep schedules, oxygen levels, activity levels, and heart rates to detect early symptoms.
What does the next year hold?
As life sciences businesses look for new ways to make sense and use of this data, some challenges lie ahead, including:
Transparency- patients becoming more connected with their health data will seek more clarity about the products and medicines they use. Life sciences companies must be open and transparent with their information; otherwise, patients will find it from other online sources.
Security - security is a big concern for patients, practitioners and life sciences companies, especially when handling personal data. Life sciences businesses must take adequate measures to reduce vulnerabilities and protect against cyber attacks and theft.
Skills - data analytics and technology aren’t just bolt-on tools that anyone can use. Life science companies require new skills in AI, IT management, coding, cybersecurity and other technical competencies to successfully and securely exploit the benefits of big data.
How Panda can help
Life sciences companies and candidates have a unique opportunity to dominate the market by modernising their core technical skills, and Panda International can help.
Our life sciences servicesand expertise spans digital competencies, enabling us to connect tech-driven professionals with success-oriented companies.
Career advice on the tech skills required to remain competitive and in-demand.
World-class tech opportunities spanning medical devices, biotech, pharmaceuticals and food production.
End-to-end support - from getting your CV viewed through to securing your next position.
Life sciences recruitment experts up-to-date with the latest knowledge and transformations in the Life Sciences Industry.
Access to the top life sciences tech talent, using our fruitful talent pools and industry connections.
Unrivaled knowledge of local and global life sciences’ opportunities, challenges and competitors.
Want to disrupt the life sciences? Get in touch.