How is technology impacting healthcare and life sciences?
The impact of digital technologies is being felt in nearly every industry around the world, and healthcare & life sciences are no exception. With innovation, adaptation and collaboration becoming increasingly urgent components of the digital health sciences network – and the advancement of technology accelerating in line with plummeting costs – it’s no surprise that the role of tech in healthcare is only set to increase in the coming years. This will have a significant impact not only on the way that patients receive healthcare, but also in the way professionals deliver healthcare and life sciences products and services. Here’s what to keep an eye on:
Artificial intelligence has enormous potential for the healthcare and life sciences industry, with machine learning technology poised to significantly change how the market operates. Increasingly intelligent machines can access, interpret and process R&D data that has previously been siloed, allowing for greater personalisation across the industry. This machine assistance can also lead researchers to better understand biological information, in turn helping them to develop more targeted – and effective – therapies.
We can expect to see automation play a bigger part in drug discovery and development processes, with smart machines learning how to complete routine knowledge work in order to free up human experts for value-added work. Automation can be used to hit key stages – such as hypothesis to target, target to hit – faster, saving time and money for life science organisations. Already we’ve seen Oxford researchers develop AI to diagnose scans for heart disease and lung cancer, and connected devices being used in the homes of patients the world over to feed their data through to care practitioners, creating better monitoring environments and earlier interventions.
Blockchain’s use in life sciences and healthcare can lead to enhanced collaboration, traceability, trust and auditability, according to Deloitte, with the data sharing and authentication technology touching functions including clinical trials, claims processing, supply chain management and financial transactions. It’s particularly beneficial when it comes to handling identity, allowing electronic health records to be combined into a single patient record that is shared system-wide without the loss of privacy or security. This would give patients full access to their own data and introduce a less fragmented system of tracking information across different providers. Blockchain can work in tandem with other technologies, including wearables, to securely collect detailed, real-time medical information from patients that can then be timestamped and made immutable. Blockchain has enormous potential when it comes to streamlining and enhancing communication in the entire life sciences and healthcare ecosystem, but this relies on the adoption and trust of stakeholders – including healthcare professionals, drug developers and patients themselves.
Augmented and virtual reality have several practical applications within life sciences, especially when it comes to allowing patients and professional alike to visualise and practice situations in a ‘real world’ setting. Immersive AR and VR tools are going beyond simple gameplay to more practical, progressive applications. Training across the sales, manufacturing and distribution processes can be greatly enhanced by AR and VR technologies that allow people to explore ‘what-if’ scenarios and practice new techniques. From a consumer perspective, digital reality can be used to assist patients to carry out exercise and therapy programmes in the comfort of their own homes. Meanwhile, such technology can help surgeons to prepare for and perform surgery, with German company ApoQlar developing a Virtual Surgery Intelligence tool to render MRI and CT images in 3D.
Are you ready for the digital revolution?
With technology touching so many different parts of healthcare and life sciences, and innovation charging ahead at pace, it’s clear that those working within this forward-thinking, research-driven industry must embrace tech and the change that comes with it. A willingness to adapt and take digital developments onboard will stand candidates in good stead, while organisations who want to remain at the forefront of healthcare and life science innovation would be foolish not to consider the ongoing impact of technology.
As for us at Swisslinx, it’s our job to keep at the forefront of technological trends and how they might impact your career. Working heavily within the commercial units of our clients we see digital sales skills are now a must have for sales and business development professionals. One significant specific growth area is within the diagnostics market, here clients are open to non traditional profiles including those from software sales.
Alongside this, venture capitals partnerships are looking for investment professionals with medical and scientific backgrounds coupled with MBAs, there is a particular interest in digital health and medtech firms.
Move forward with your healthcare and life sciences career. Contact us to see how we can help, or view our latest jobs. here.