The Digital Innovations Behind The Booming Life Sciences Industry

Life sciences manufacturers are digitizing their operations to provide more personalized services and avoid supply chain disruptions while reducing costs and innovating for the future. IDC analysts have predicted that by 2023, 75% of life science manufacturers will invest in smart supply chain solutions to enable resilience and prevent future disruptions in health emergencies like COVID-19. According to Forrester researchers, precision medicine therapy accounted for 25-40% of all FDA approvals in the past seven years. They believe that precision medicine "has proven its worth with growing evidence of improved patient outcomes in oncology, cardiology, endocrinology and other disease areas." From the patient perspective, Gartner analysts propose a digital-centric vision of a "wellness journey" that prioritizes digital engagement and the use of digital interactions, products and services in a person's journey to health, wellness and illness.

Data makes life science supply chains smarter

Michael Townsend, research director for IDC's Life Sciences Business Strategy, sees the industry in the early stages of digitization and focuses on the value of technologies that bring intelligence to the supply chain.

"Companies are starting to go digital, using technological intelligence to make better decisions," Townsend said. “For example, there has been significant investment in supply chain solutions such as digital twins, where digital models are created to experiment with performance scenarios at different points in the chain, such as: B. assembly, delivery or geography. You can try alternative options without having to make any changes.

According to Townsend, segmentation is another center of intelligence in the supply chain, enabling companies to identify and store pharmaceuticals and packaging according to country-specific regulations, increase production time, reduce idle inventory and streamline shipments. . Some organizations also use control towers to track demand patterns based on material and component availability to avoid overstocks and shortages. For example, if cases of COVID increase in a certain area, vaccine manufacturers can act more quickly to purchase and distribute prevention and treatment products in that country. Linking data in the supply chain for rapid response time applies to all unforeseen disruptions, including natural disasters and political conflicts.

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Expert wisdom on the surface of the ecosystem

Mandar Paralkar, SAP Life Sciences Industry Director, agrees that the company is shifting from a historical focus on fighting disease through mass-produced drugs to personalized therapies that improve outcomes for individual patients and involve greater ecosystem collaboration. In industries with longer product development cycles, collaborative consortia like SAP Industry Cloud are a way to share information for faster success.

"From start-ups to established market leaders, life science companies are using technology to improve patient outcomes and business profitability while reducing costs and risks," said Paralkar. “They recognize the need to compete as an ecosystem through connected digital supply chains and smart factories. One example is SAP Intelligent Clinical Supply Management, a solution we developed together with a consortium of customers and partners. This collaborative effort demonstrates how collaborative cloud innovation has the potential to help life science organizations design, manufacture and deploy effective solutions faster, enabling an ecosystem of partners to deliver value-added services.

Cloud-based technology revolutionizes life science

The pandemic has shaken the life sciences, revealing a new vision for innovation through cloud-based collaboration. Almost overnight, companies have invested in technology to enable working from home, leading to new ways of thinking about using technology in areas such as process automation and distributed clinical trials, and relationship collaboration.

"Collaborative centers where many trusted entities can share information, work together to learn from each other and solve problems are part of the life sciences vision," Townsend said. “Professionals involved in clinical supply chains and other aspects of the life sciences struggle to streamline processes, advise software vendors and share information across systems. Cloud-based software is essential. When using subscription software, updates are almost real-time and it's much easier to collaborate and access different data sources if they're available in the cloud.

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Achieving a healthier and more profitable vision

As costs and regulatory pressures increase and informed patients demand personalized care, digital innovation will change the life sciences landscape. IDC researchers have predicted that within a few years, 75% of trials will be "patient-centric" distributed clinical trials, 90% will be hybrid and at least 10% will be virtual, thanks to the 30% increase in connected healthcare technologies. . . They say the digital prescription therapy market will triple by 2025, with a focus on mental health and chronic disease, blurring the line between healthcare and life sciences. Notably, Gartner analysts have advised life sciences providers to "prioritize clinical solutions that incorporate interoperability as a core feature, including easier content and data connectivity between clinical sites, sponsors, clinical research organizations and participants others in the ecosystem. Trusted intelligence is critical to a healthier future.

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