COVID-19 is a global crisis, evolving at unprecedented speed and scale.
The life sciences industry is at the epicenter of developing the tests and treatments for COVID-19 and getting them to the people around the world that need them.
At this critical time, life sciences companies are also challenged to continue to advance treatments across therapeutic portfolios while ensuring supply, employee well-being, business continuity and unwavering innovation.
These are challenging times across many dimensions. Empowering life sciences teams to collaborate and work remotely is paramount. Creating more virtual engagement between people and their healthcare providers (HCPs) is required due to social distancing and risk of contagion. Managing supply chain challenges so basic materials can get to clinical trials and patients and ensuring quality and safety in manufacturing is essential all while borders continue to close and manufacturing hubs are compromised.
RELATED: Accenture research outlines how coronavirus (COVID-19) has shifted the daily operations of healthcare providers to more virtual interactions.
1. Empower workforce and business continuity
Thoughtful companies will seek not just to solve for the current crisis but consider how they can enhance their global workforce through greater flexibility and use of new technologies that will strengthen their culture in the long term. With an emphasis on the human aspect of people and talent to progress business and scientific objectives, we can turn these challenging times into an opportunity to better serve the people who we employ and treat. Now is the time to modernize the workforce and in doing so, make your organization more open and attractive to talent.
2. Assure supply and demand
The supply chain disruption on a global scale demands decisive leadership to prioritize critical resources (human, capital assets, network) and ensure supply for patient treatments. End-to-end value chain visibility and insight–based scenario planning are key to enabling decision making and risk mitigation. Helping patients receive their treatments by mitigating supply chain disruptions related to COVID-19 volatility is paramount.
3. Advance treatment pipeline and patient care
The effort to treat and manage COVID-19 is remarkable across life sciences. Yet, it is important to remain focused on developing treatments for all patients. Continuing to progress treatments across clinical phases, while taking care of patients who are in clinical trials now and depend on the therapy, is vital to world health and scientific progress. Now more than ever, the industry needs to transform clinical trials and leverage the power of data and analytics at scale to improve how trials are run.
4. Virtualize healthcare provider and patient engagement
The threat of contagion and need for social distancing has created even greater distance between people and their healthcare providers. Virtualizing care in the most human way is critical. Using new technologies, such as WeChat and bots, will facilitate virtual engagement, and in new ways. But these new forms of engagement must demonstrate empathy and respect for the deeply personal situation patients and healthcare providers face. Using data and analytics to truly understand the patient experience across all these new and existing touchpoints will be critical to fostering that deeper understanding.
How to manage now
Perhaps more than ever before, the integrity and trust in life sciences companies are on a global stage. It’s a once in a generation chance to do things differently. Companies can take swift action to help solve for COVID-19 crisis, reconfigure current operations and rethink how life sciences companies operate and contribute to world health. These actions center on four key areas:
What's next for the life sciences industry?
The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a short-term crisis. It has long-lasting implications for how people work, how we will treat patients and how life sciences companies will operate and be viewed in the world. Life sciences companies can redefine their position on the world stage and set a new standard as trusted, valued partners in the healthcare community.