Deloitte is one of the leading international business analysis firms offering insights into trends in life sciences and other related sectors. Their annual tech trends report has been published for well over a decade. In 2014, the Deloitte Tech Trends Report predicted that crowdsourced manufacturing would revolutionize the industry. That trend hasn’t happened yet, but the firm’s 2022 report, along with other industry experts, describes several tech trends in life sciences that are already underway.
MedTech and remote patient monitoring
Medical technology is advancing rapidly. According to Deloitte, “the healthcare industry is dramatically shifting.” You’ve probably heard a great deal about “value-based care”. Remote patient monitoring is one important way that value-based care is advancing. Monitoring patient outcomes at home is part of value-based care.
Many people already use wearable devices to monitor their fitness, from the Fitbit and Aura Ring to Whoop, primarily used by athletes in training. Remote patient monitoring uses these types of wearables along with other technology to provide data about patients at home or in another remote location. From blood pressure cuffs and glucometers to pulse oximeters, care providers are now able to monitor patient progress or check for signs of problems while patients are at home or at work.
Apple is just one of the many companies involved in remote patient monitoring, with the likes of the Apple Watch tracking steps, heart rate, and even blood oxygen levels. This data can then all be shared with relevant health organizations and apps, an increasing trend that we’ll discuss further.
Improved cybersecurity for better healthcare sector data storage and sharing
If you’ve read information technology security bulletins over the past few years, you’ll have learned that the healthcare sector is the most targeted sector for cyber criminals. Healthcare data contains a lot of personally-identifying information that is appealing to data thieves. A 2021 Sophos healthcare study revealed that 61% of healthcare organizations paid some type of ransom to cyber criminals in the previous year, the highest rate of any industry sector.
Professionals in the sector are developing more secure application programming interfaces (APIs) that will be more secure for healthcare organizations. These new, more secure APIs are intended to prevent future data theft along with enabling easier data sharing and work between healthcare organizations and government agencies.
More data sharing for healthcare organizations
As long as data is secure and compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), there are limitless opportunities for healthcare organizations to use data to strengthen care and improve patient outcomes. Moving into 2023, there looks to be much greater data sharing between healthcare systems and related businesses.
According to John Conrad, Principal with Deloitte, “Radically Interoperable Data” will be able to provide clinical, administrative, and operational improvements across different enterprises. This data will be HIPAA-compliant and secure and will enable new digital models of care, along with benefits for academic researchers and others in private industry. New drug development, new treatment modalities, and streamlined approval processes will all be possible through secure systems of data sharing that will allow more collaboration and cooperation throughout healthcare systems.
Greater use of the cloud and improved data visualization
Deloitte predicts that the cloud will continue to provide resources for biopharma and MedTech sectors in 2023, moving forward. Plans are in the works to use cloud resources to exchange data between sponsors and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
The cloud is also able to be used for referrals, prior authorizations, and clinical care uses across different healthcare systems. Large companies like Gilead Sciences are using Google Cloud, partnering with organizations like Schrödinger, which utilizes a physics-based software platform to develop prospective new pharmaceutical compounds.
“Generative chemistry” is another new trend using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and the power of the cloud to generate new ideas for pharmaceutical compounds. Optibrium’s StarDrop offers a molecular design platform, including the recent Inspyra module, to explore chemical space, present improved compound candidates and visualize their efficacy.
Life science trends in 2023 moving forward
Artificial intelligence is expected to continue to change the life sciences on a broad scale in 2023, automating functions from healthcare to manufacturing, production, and regulatory compliance. Predictions made over a decade ago in the field may not have all become a reality, but from AI and machine learning to better use of the cloud to collaborate, 2023 is expected to be a year of great change in the life sciences sector.