August 26, 2019 Michael Mayday
The digital world is changing the life sciences industry fast. Legacy organizations are facing new challenges in the form of new competition from technology-based upstarts, new markets and renewed scrutiny of how companies transport and store protected health information through digital channels.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve examined some high-level digital changes and how they affect the life sciences industry. We’ve also considered the digital opportunities organizations can, and should, take advantage of to remain competitive in a fast-changing landscape.
We’ve also surveyed our life sciences clients for their input on how webinars are helping to achieve their digital goals. You can read what they have to say in our report, “ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report: Life Sciences Trends,” or check out our infographic at the end of the blog post.
So, what, exactly, is changing in the industry? Here’s a brief recap of what we found:
First, Digital Is Creating Better Patient Experiences
When it comes down to it, life sciences’ end goal is all about helping the patient. And, with advances in technology and digital tools, the patient is now in a better position than they’ve ever been before. For example, health care practitioners have more immediate access to information on new prescriptions, treatment plans and disease-management tools that they can share with patients.
Still, there is room for improvement. A recent Accenture study found there’s a sizable communications gap between service providers, health care practitioners and patients about these new services. According to the study, roughly half of the HCPs who learn of new patient services say they only hear about them from sales representatives or other digital channels a quarter of the time.
Second, Digital Is Giving Competition A Massive Boost
According to Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 Global Life Sciences Outlook, the global life sciences industry will reach $1.5 trillion in value by 2022, largely driven by new technology innovations and strategic partnerships. These new entrants to the market mean legacy life sciences organizations will need to simultaneously improve performance, manage risk and maintain compliance — a standard newly founded companies are already familiar with.
While traditional life sciences companies also face another issue when it comes to digital: the pace of adapting to this new landscape is too slow. According to Across Health’s 2018 Multichannel Maturometer, nearly 60% of pharma and biotech organizations say their pace of digital adoption is “slow” or, “very slow.” It doesn’t get better when it comes to healthcare providers in the United States, where, according to a recent Unisys study, 64% rated themselves as being behind the digital curve.
Third, Digital is also Giving Life Sciences a Great Opportunity
But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Established life sciences organizations of all stripes have a great opportunity to use digital innovations to accentuate their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses.
For example, while HCPs still prefer in-person meetings to assess medical information, digital tools like webinars are quickly gaining traction. Providing HCPs with a digital option like webinars allow pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to guide HCPs through medical innovations, answer questions as if they were face-to-face and remain compliant with virtually any compliance or regulatory standards.
The life sciences industry may be slow to adapt to the digital age, but it’s still adapting. Soon, the industry will enjoy better remote communications, cloud computing for research and better relationships between both HCPs and patients.