7 Technology Trends That Will Impact The Life Sciences in 2015

The pharmaceutical landscape is undergoing significant change in the way it works and new collaborative, decentralized and agile business models are emerging. These models leverage new technology to allow decentralized teams to work and collaborate together.

In the life sciences, we are already adopting several of Gartner’s technology trends for 2015, in order to provide benefits to the patient. Here is a list of some of the most important technology trends that life sciences organizations should understand in 2015.

Trend #1 - Computing Everywhere

In the life science sector as in the other sectors, the speed of action is important. Mobile devices continue to proliferate and provide a means to quickly react and take action. It could be an incident being reported that needs immediate attention or a regulatory document that should be approved so that it can be filed with the regulatory authorities. The solutions available in the market catering to these needs will have to provide the flexibility to allow computing anywhere.

Trend #2 - The Internet of Things (IoT)

In the life sciences, there are several applications that are transforming clinical trial management. For example the common investigator portal and integration with electronic health records. We will start to see content centralize and converge as systems move to the cloud and information brokerage becomes more common.

Trend #3 - Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics

Pharmaceutical companies will rely on pre-built data, process and analytic models for planning. They will apply advanced analytics to reduce costs and avoid resource bottleneck. When data is fragmented across multiple systems, it becomes difficult to share and access critical information. Clinical analytics, data mining and clinical data warehousing tools will help derive better insights to create better medicine.

Trend #4 - Context-Rich Systems

Embedded intelligence and analytics will make systems alert and responsive to their surroundings. Whether it is an application to detect users emotions using a smartphone or computer-based decision support system, innovative machine-based data interpretation will continue to grow.

Trend #5 - Cloud Computing

The on-demand nature of cloud computing and compliant software as a service solution (SaaS) that vendors are offering, will continue to help small/medium sized life science companies to get the benefits of high-performance computing. Full blown solutions used by big pharma companies will be available to them at significantly lower costs. The ‘pay-as-you-go’ model will let smaller companies keep control of regulated content on the cloud through the secure, compliant platform over the web in their browser while allowing them to be scalable.

Trend #6 - Software Defined Applications and Infrastructure

In the life sciences, we need collaboration across research networks internally and externally. Disparate organizations, information and systems need to be brought together to deliver products to market faster at a lower cost than competitors while maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements.

Agile programming of applications and infrastructure will enable organizations to deliver the flexibility required to make the digital business work. Solutions based on collaborative platforms for managing regulated content, processes and compliance with lower delivery times so users can access the information they need easier and faster, will be the market leaders.

Trend #7 - Web-Scale IT

IT departments of pharma companies are starting to look at all the things happening at large cloud service firms like Google, Amazon and Facebook that enables them to achieve extreme levels of service delivery as compared to their enterprise counterparts. The shift towards data centers, web oriented architectures, programmable management, agile processes, collaborative organizational style and learning culture are the elements to the web-scale recipe as defined by Gartner. This trend will continue to grow in the coming year.

The Takeaway

Due to the regulated nature of life sciences, traditionally there has been resistance within the sector to early adoption of technology trends. However, in recent years, there is a significant change in this mindset and a risk-based approach as encouraged by GxP processes is being followed. This year should solidify the approach to adopting technology trends of cloud computing everywhere, making use of the internet of things to create context-rich systems that provide analytics in order to make web-scale IT a reality in the sector.


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About the Author: Madhumalti Sharma

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