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August 2, 2022

Life science trend tracker

What’s new in life science, and how should companies respond?
life science trends

Life science is a fast-paced industry, and new trends always emerge. Drug development, technology, regulation, patient expectations – any variation in these areas or countless others can dramatically move the needle for pharma and med device companies. In this article, we take a look at some of the latest trends in life science and ask how organizations might respond.

Can virtual and in-person care coexist?

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted an initial surge in telehealth adoption. Initially driven by necessity, this uptick was encouraged by both patients and HCPs, who quickly saw the benefits of virtual care.

However, recent findings suggest telehealth implementation has not been as rapid as anticipated. According to FAIR Health, telehealth use currently accounts for less than 5% of all commercial claims. Digital isolation is a particular issue for telehealth adoption and life science companies looking to engage communities equitably. According to the FCC, digitally isolated communities experience 25% higher rates of obesity and 41% higher rates of diabetes than digitally connected areas – those with the least access to telehealth often need it most.

Further resources

  1. Read “Digital health tools changed patient expectations” for more about the impact of telehealth services and other technologies.
  2. Watch The Hybrid Engagement Model for Medical Affairs to learn about the intersection of virtual and in-person care.

Social determinants of health

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are of growing interest to patients, particularly amongst Gen Z and younger demographics. There’s increasing recognition that factors including geographic barriers to care, access to green spaces, rates of violence, access to healthy food options, and – significantly – redlining can all negatively impact health outcomes.

According to the University of Michigan, 81% of patients aged 14 to 20 want their healthcare providers to discuss their social needs. In order to facilitate this, providers need to maintain high patient/provider trust standards. Meanwhile, patients increasingly expect providers to deliver solutions and resources to support SDOH. To do so, adhering to strict data integrity practices and adopting a patient-centric culture will be paramount.

Further resources

  1. Get the best practices for data integrity in pharma and data collection in healthcare.
  2. Learn about fostering patient centricity through data.

How racial bias impacts profitability

Inequality is enormously detrimental to health systems and patients. There is an inarguable moral imperative for life science companies to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues across the product development lifecycle and beyond. Furthermore, new research reveals the huge cost of inequality to the US healthcare system.

According to Deloitte, racial, gender, and socioeconomic inequities currently cost the US healthcare system approximately $320 billion annually, which is forecast to exceed $1 trillion by 2040. These findings further underline the fact that everybody loses from healthcare inequality, whether they’re being discriminated against or not.

Further resources

  1. Explore “Confronting the life science diversity problem” through technology in our e-book.
  2. Learn how tech is increasing diversity in clinical trials.

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