5 technology trends that will shape the life sciences industry

The life sciences industry stands to benefit from significant advancements in technology, research, and collaboration in 2016. What’s in store for your organization?

PharmaVOICE already did the hard work of compiling these trends. Their most recent edition, PharmaVOICE’s Year in Preview: 2016 The Year Ahead, delves into the changes we can expect to see during the next twelve months, with insight from industry thought leaders on the BRAIN initiative, patient/caregiver empowerment, data-driven marketing, and more.

We are proud to see Docusign’s own VP of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Ellen Reilly, who is featured throughout the issue offering her thoughts on several of these topics alongside other influential industry leaders. 

Take a look at 5 of the top 10 trends from the 2016 Year in Preview edition:

  1. Mobile Optimization

What it is:

Mobile is everywhere and the life science industry needs to proactively prepare for this future, where a sound mobile strategy is a “must have.”

What leaders are saying:

Sid Gokhale, Guidemark Health: “Mobilization has upended the entire paradigm; companies are now starting with mobile first and this is a huge change in the industry.”

Dan Garcia, SAS: “We need mobile to do what we could not before, which is to provide the patient and the prescriber with a more complete healthcare experience…the changing healthcare paradigm requires most pharmaceutical companies to change their focus from being solely on brand performance to the full patient experience, providing the patient with the best possible outcome at a reasonable price.”

What to do about it:

Leading companies will use mobile as a channel to connect patients, payers, providers and manufacturers across the healthcare ecosystem, thereby improving engagement, awareness, and health outcomes. When it comes down to brass tacks, that means real investment effort to enable your employees, partners and customers to do business anywhere, anytime, on any device around the world - and that last bit is in Docusign’s credo for a reason.

  1. The BRAIN Initiative:

What it is: The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is a large-scale research initiative created to further develop the science and technologies needed to understand and treat brain disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, and epilepsy.

What leaders are saying:

Ellen Reilly: “The BRAIN initiative facilitates a new, unprecedented level of collaboration between private entities working to bring new products to market and the public sector. Our hope is that this initiative will improve the regulatory submission process for medical devices and pharmaceuticals and enable products to be brought to market in a way that places a greater emphasis on meeting patient needs while optimizing for quality, safety, and regulatory compliance. The participation of public or government agencies in each step of the development process with real-time exchange of information has the potential to change the way groundbreaking products get through the submission process.”

What to do about it:

Collaboration is critical to the success of the BRAIN Initiative. Using technology to improve communication and data transparency while inviting new approaches to co-innovation will allow public and private entities to create a better quality of life for patients with brain disorders. Ultimately, patient needs - from preventative care to treatment and rehabilitation - should dictate research and investment, driving industry players to develop novel, integrated treatment solutions for affordable and accessible care.

  1. Healthcare Disrupters: New Entrants

What it is: The life sciences industry is ripe for transformation - and non traditional companies are now in the race to grab a piece of the pie. The evolving life sciences landscape is marked by companies like Apple, Google and IBM investing to develop new solutions and fueled by the rise of the Internet of Things.

What leaders are saying:

Ellen Reilly: “These entrants have learned from years of experience in cutthroat environments where products change every month. They bring the data-driven approach, connectivity, and customer-centricity that the life sciences industry direly needs. To focus on the patient is to connect to the patient, and the likes of Google and Apple are bringing information from multiple platforms to better understand their consumer, in the way that pharma needs to leverage multiple data sources to understand and meet the needs of patients. New entrants have a great opportunity to improve healthcare and partner with researchers and manufacturers to more effectively develop and commercialize treatments.”

What to do about it:

Nimble product development cycles are the status quo for many new entrants; this presents an opportunity for the industry to improve product development, saving time and costs and improving the way that products are designed to meet the needs of specific patient populations.

The rise of life science technology players highlights that the industry needs to rethink its approach to care and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Technology should increasingly be a tool that allows the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem to focus more on what they care about - developing new therapies and treating patients - and less time on arcane processes like faxing prescriptions. Digital tools will contribute to a new precedent for engagement across the health ecosystem.

  1. Patient/Caregiver Empowerment:

What it is: Patients are demanding more information and transparency at their fingertips. The life sciences industry is adapting their marketing and clinical strategies to focus more on the needs and expectations of the tech-savvy patient.

What leaders are saying:

Vera Rulon, Pfizer Medical: “The industry needs to rethink how it does business; companies need to be where people are, and that’s on their smartphones.”

Brian Goff, Executive VP and President, Hematology, Baxalta, Inc.: “With the explosion of health content online, patients and caregivers have unprecedented access to information that can inform their decisions related to treatment and management of their condition(s). Emerging digital platforms offer a unique new venue for peer engagement and dialogue, and at the same time offer a brand new opportunity for our industry to connect and engage with the community. As we consider how we can improve our support for patients, our industry must understand how our audiences choose to engage in the online community and what we can offer on these channels that is useful to their without making information access too complicated.”

What to do about it:

Invest in mobile apps and platforms that connect patients to all parts of the healthcare and life science ecosystem to improve engagement. As companies are scaling up investments in digital tools, it is important to look for technology that allows for connectivity across systems, provides a simple and intuitive user experience, and meets security and compliance needs.

  1. Analytics-Driven Marketing:

What it is: Digital tools allow for an unprecedented level of data and reporting that enable companies to draw better conclusions about patient needs and behaviors. So, it comes as no suprise that sales and marketing strategies are becoming more analytics-driven. As PharmaVOICE notes, “From physician profiling to programmatic buying, big data is the future of pharmaceutical marketing.”

What leaders are saying:

Ellen Reilly: “Segmentation is crucial to effective marketing, especially in light of pricing pressures and the shifting cost of care which place greater decision-making and financial burdens on patients. Companies can learn from industry leaders in technology and retail who are curating products and services towards specific consumer groups rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach.’ Applying data analysis and business intelligence to information and feedback along the treatment regimen will help companies recommend specific solutions.”

What to do about it:

Double down on your investments in business intelligence. Analytics-driven strategies will allow you to more accurately identify and meet patient needs, in turn driving smarter marketing investments that allow you to reach customers when they are consciously considering or making product choices.

To learn more take a look at PharmaVOICE’s Year in Preview issue. Follow Ellen on Twitter @EllenReilly16 or on LinkedIn