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LATEST THINKING


Overview

To date, digital has disrupted certain industries to a greater extent than life sciences. But that is rapidly changing.

Life sciences companies need to enable people and ecosystem partners to accomplish more with technology.


‘People First’ is the central theme in Accenture Technology Vision for 2016. When combined with the latest Design and Services Trends from Fjord, it’s clear that future industry leaders are rethinking the critical role of people when harnessing advances in digital technologies.

84.3% of life sciences companies anticipate a rapid or unprecedented increase in the pace of technology over the next three years.
84.3% of life sciences companies anticipate a rapid or unprecedented increase in the pace of technology over the next three years.

We believe these advances can be categorized into four themes where we expect changes will be particularly profound in the life sciences industry over the next 12 months:

Volume to Value Intelligent Enterprise The Platform Business Liquid Workforce

VOLUME TO VALUE

Volume to Value
People are seeking greater involvement in managing their health and increasingly adopting new digital technologies and services.

Life sciences companies have to understand how these developments a‹ffect their product strategies and invest in developing new services that focus much more closely on meeting changing patient needs. In terms of patient services,1 this means an evolution to the next generation of business models and strategies.

38% of life sciences companies are automating routine tasks so they can free up time and resources to innovate and create new business models.
38% of life sciences companies are automating routine tasks so they can free up time and resources to innovate and create new business models.
88% of executives agree their IT organization is ready to respond to the increased focus on patient and health economic outcomes.
88% of executives agree their IT organization is ready to respond to the increased focus on patient and health economic outcomes.
Key Points
  • As a result of new technologies and digital disruption, patients expect more from life sciences companies than ever before.
  • Patient services are the only way to meaningfully diŠfferentiate existing products and demonstrate meaningful outcomes… but only if you measure them!
  • Services don’t need to be complicated; they need to add value and this can often be done by curating other services and partnering with new companies.
  • If a service doesn’t make users healthier and their lives ‘better’ and/or ‘easier’ then it’s unlikely to be adopted long term.


1 Patient services include, but are not limited to, education or information, financial assistance, reward programs, physical referrals and nurse support.

INTELLIGENT ENTERPRISE

Intelligent Enterprise
The explosion of data in the life sciences industry presents both a major challenge and a great source of opportunity for companies that are equipped to handle it.

The essential new co-worker in this world of data is the machine. Capabilities like artificial intelligence and automation are being used to complement human skills and people, providing opportunities for new growth and innovation.

75% of life sciences executives expect the growth rate in data to double in the next year alone.
75% of life sciences executives expect the growth rate in data to double in the next year alone.
>70% of executives are making significantly greater investments in AI-related technologies today versus two years ago.
>70% of executives are making significantly greater investments in AI-related technologies today versus two years ago.

Two areas where executives think AI would make the most significant impact:

49% Supporting patients with innovative services
49% Supporting patients with innovative services
48% Researching new treatments
48% Researching new treatments
Key Points
  • The availability of new data sources is finally creating real opportunities for companies to create new products and services that benefit clinicians, healthcare systems and patients.
  • When combined with the mainstream use of artificial intelligence, this creates opportunities for life sciences companies to simplify business processes and reimagine their product offerings.
life sciences companies to simplify business processes and reimagine their product offerings.
  • Simple internal applications of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence provide an opportunity to build internal core capabilities that would lift future products and services to a new level.

THE PLATFORM BUSINESS

The Platform Business
The platform becomes the business model enabling life sciences companies to create innovative services, and new sources of value.

Life sciences companies would be able to engage in new ways with patients, providers, governments and other stakeholders, as well as with one another to deliver innovative products and services using platforms they co-create or choose to work with.

80% of life sciences executives agree that platform-based business models will become part of their organization’s core growth strategy within three years.
80% of life sciences executives agree that platform-based business models will become part of their organization’s core growth strategy within three years.
81% of life sciences executives believe platform-based business models are defining the new rules of business in the digital economy.
81% of life sciences executives believe platform-based business models are defining the new rules of business in the digital economy.
Key Points
  • Life sciences leaders are accelerating their uptake of digital technologies as a first step in breaking into the platform world, with a bold vision to reinvent healthcare and be able to support an entire ecosystem of interconnected patients, providers and partners.
  • The new business rules of the platform economy provide different paths to growth that will not only generate high margins but will help rapidly scale up to hundreds of millions of patients, devices, and sensors processing an endless flow of data, aiming to improve the quality and cost of patient care.
generate high margins but will help rapidly scale up to hundreds of millions of patients, devices, and sensors processing an endless flow of data, aiming to improve the quality and cost of patient care.
  • Whether a company ‘owns’ a platform ecosystem or is plugging into another’s, it is essential that they have a platform strategy and the business know-how to exploit it.

LIQUID WORKFORCE

Liquid Workforce
An evolving workforce is essential for life sciences companies on the following two dimensions:

Within the enterprise: To capture opportunities ahead of the competition, they need to attract and retain the digital talent that will be a decisive component of future competitiveness.

Out in the marketplace: It’s essential for sales reps to keep pace with new developments while understanding the digital environment in which physicians operate every day (e.g. EMR systems, e-prescribing and other connected health advances).

73% believe a more fluid workforce will improve (vs. derail) innovation.
73% believe a more fluid workforce will improve (vs. derail) innovation.
53% of business leaders find it hard to attract and retain millennial talent.
53% of business leaders find it hard to attract and retain millennial talent.

Crucially too, the sales talent mix must be invigorated by hiring new resources with strong B2B sales skills and digital technology awareness. “Proficiency with digital technologies” and “ability to shift gears” are the most important skills cited by life sciences executives as keys to succeed in digital environments.

83% say training their workforce is more important today than three years ago.
83% say training their workforce is more important today than three years ago.
Key Points
  • Advances in digital technologies, combined with the increased investment and activity in digital health, create an environment in which developing the appropriate talent becomes critical for both customer-facing as well as enabling roles.
  • With new skills and digital tools, the sales force will address the requirements of a broader network of buyers and influencers and deliver innovative solutions that help doctors deliver better service to their patients.
buyers and influencers and deliver innovative solutions that help doctors deliver better service to their patients.
  • Life sciences companies in particular are at risk of losing competiveness in the war for digital talent based on the changing nature of their workforce and new digital health competitors.

CONCLUSION

Assessing your readiness to help succeed in a digital first, people first world.
Assessing your readiness to help succeed in a digital first, people first world.

Every business will be starting from a di‹fferent point in the critical journey that lies before them. Thinking about the questions below can help companies gauge their readiness for the road ahead:

Which emerging business model is most applicable to the diŠfferent parts of the business?
To what extent will product portfolios come under pressure to demonstrate quantified improvements in patient outcomes?
How will services diŠfferentiate or enhance product portfolios?
What strategy will be needed to create or engage in new platforms that would shape the industry?
How will the company set about creating new partnerships with new digital health businesses?
How eŠffectively does the business attract and develop digital-native talent?
As they address these questions, life sciences companies will need to focus on the outcomes that digital can deliver: flexibility, simplicity, value and a decisive pivot to the patient. Leaders already recognize that simply investing in more technology isn’t the answer. In the digital era they understand that their success depends on combining people and technology to differentiate themselves and outperform.

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