Key trends in the life sciences sector include:
- The rapid progression of holistic digitization
- Heightened regulatory oversight and compliance requirements
- More emphasis on social and environmental responsibilities
- Renewed focus on industry collaborations
- Better recruitment and retention strategies
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The COVID-19 pandemic was a major disrupter to the life sciences sector, causing organizations to take a closer look at their operations. The industry as a whole is looking to become more digitized like other business sectors.
Life sciences trends
Technological advances have created new, better ways of doing things. Changes in employment trends have impacted recruitment and retention. Collaborations to push the sciences forward are becoming more common. Leadership and governance structures have come under review. These are a few of the key factors driving the following life sciences trends.
Rapid transformation toward digital infrastructure
A recent Deloitte survey indicated that 80 percent of life sciences organizations expect to continue their focus on digitizing their business when the pandemic ends. A digital infrastructure is critical to operational efficiency, internal communications, and customer satisfaction.
In addition to integrating digital solutions into research, development, and production, organizations can leverage advanced cloud-based communications solutions to optimize internal and external communication. Multi-channel solutions enable you to interact with others in a seamless manner.
This technology allows your team members to collaborate more effectively and communicate efficiently. It also allows your front-end employees to provide best-in-class service by routing customers to the best representative for issue resolution. Representatives can also transfer contacts to other team members for specialized assistance more easily.
Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics are becoming more integral in life sciences. AI is being used across entire business processes to intuitively learn patterns, trends, and best options in decision-making. AI, coupled with data-based predictions, increases accuracy in decisions and tasks.
More regulatory oversight
Not surprisingly, the pandemic has led to increased regulatory oversight and scrutiny of life sciences operations. The interactions between organizations and health practitioners are under an especially powerful microscope. It is important to document communication with speakers and other medical professionals your organization interacts with to document payments and expenses. Various laws exist to ensure that kickbacks and other incentives aren’t used to coax certain company and product-supportive messages out of medical professionals.
A key challenge for compliance officers is that they must face these heightened compliance requirements without any additional staff. This point adds to the importance of digitization and operational efficiency.
Further shift toward environmental and social responsibility
It isn’t just the government that has raised standards in the life sciences sector. The public has developed more distrust or skepticism toward the industry as a result of the COVID outbreak. Society has placed greater social and environmental demands on organizations for a while. Life sciences has become more in focus now, though.
Impact on climate and the environment, including carbon footprint, are common factors that influence public perception. Life sciences is also facing pressure to help reduce health inequities that became more obvious during the pandemic. In particular, the public wants to see that companies are doing what they can to improve health for low-income populations. Including these populations in clinical trials and researching illnesses that most impact them are examples of relevant initiatives.
Additionally, a lack of pricing transparency throughout industry distribution channels has been a major criticism of both government entities and the public. Deloitte focus groups showed that 72 percent of the public were concerned about price transparency.
Some of the pressure for social and environmental responsibility comes from the investment market. Investors in publicly traded life sciences organizations are taking a more active role in urging company executives and boards to place more emphasis on these areas. Some large investors are more willing to acquire new shares in companies that show a commitment to social responsibility.
Industry collaboration and partnerships
The competitive nature of life sciences has historically limited collaboration in the life sciences sector. However, the pandemic has led more industry leaders to push for more collaboration toward the collective sector objectives of improving health and quality of life.
In particular, organizations are looking to join forces in exploring new therapies. Testing and diagnostic projects are also under partnership consideration. Collaborations center on improving science to enhance the foundational elements of the industry.
Emphasis on recruitment and retention
The life sciences sector was hit hard by the Great Resignation fueled by COVID. A relative shortage of talent in the industry puts more of an onus on organizations to attract and retain the right people.
With increased digitization, life sciences is more appealing to tech-savvy employees. Offering remote or hybrid work structures is one strategy to attract a larger pool of applicants. These structures allow people more flexibility to balance work and life.
Unified communications systems make it easy for workers to communicate and collaborate even from dispersed locations. Top cloud-based UCs allow users to seamlessly transition between interactions on multiple common channels, such as chat, phone, email, and instant messaging.
RingCentral powers life sciences communications
Clearly, life sciences is in the midst of a significant transformation, which was somewhat triggered by the global pandemic. These trends speak to the importance of leveraging top talent, collaboration, and efficient communication. The sector has become much more digitized, which creates opportunities for advancement, collaboration, and more.
RingCentral’s cloud-based communications platform enables people in your organization to communicate in the most efficient ways across all popular platforms. It does so securely to ensure the privacy of shared critical data. Request a demo to see it in action today.
Originally published Apr 12, 2022
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