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A look at Gartner’s recent life sciences predictions

Will the ever-shifting regulatory landscape remain a strong driver for change in pharma companies? And how do you enable the free flow of data within your partner ecosystem? Two senior NNIT experts, Brian Troelsen and Rasmus Nelund, weigh in on some of the latest Gartner predictions for the life sciences industry.

The digitalization of the healthcare and life sciences industry is massively disruptive to “business as usual” for most life sciences organizations.

That’s just one of the recent life sciences predictions from the world’s leading research and advisory company. Extracting the right insights from Gartner’s wealth of analysis and predictions can be key to making the right technology and business decisions.

To provide you with guidance, two of NNIT’s senior experts – Brian Troelsen, Business development director & partner manager and Rasmus Nelund, Corporate Vice President, Life Sciences Advisory, Delivery & Engagements – offer their comments and reflections on selected Gartner analysis about the life sciences industry.  

Regulatory Affairs Transformation is a well-known burning platform:

Gartner observation:
“There is nothing new about changing regulatory regimes as a business driver. What is new is the unpredictable nature of politics and government priorities across several major world markets.”

Source: Business Drivers of Technology Decisions for Life Science Organizations, 2019

NNIT response:
The evolution of data efficiency and digital transformation is not limited to the pharma companies. Health authorities like the FDA have sharpened their expectations in terms of efficacy and safety and decreased the approval time for medical products, in response to better tools and data being available. The main issue is that the technological advances happen much faster than the average production time for a new pharmaceutical product. Both regulators and industry will have to adjust and evolve to keep up with the pace.

The Evolving Expectations of Value Delivery

Gartner observation:
“Purchasers increasingly expect that the care they pay for will be valued on the basis of outcomes. The evolution to value delivery is being propelled by the digitalization of healthcare and marks a structural shift in how patient care is provided, measured and reimbursed. This change is massively disruptive to “business as usual” for most LS organizations. Pricing is just the tip of the iceberg. LS companies and their ecosystem partners in care delivery, along the entire healthcare value chain, must be able to share data and leverage each other’s systems. To be more influential in value definitions and delivery, LS organizations must facilitate the process and the structural changes needed by delivering the right therapies and technology. “

Source: Business Drivers of Technology Decisions for Life Science Organizations, 2019
NNIT response:
The focus on care delivery represents a fundamental shift in life sciences. It is no longer a given that there is a doctor or pharmacist between the pharma company and the patient. We see patient engagement emerging as a new business category, with customer experience as the keyword. This is where the tech giants like Google, Apple and Amazon rule supreme, and many of them are already investing heavily. As a life sciences company, you should expect the industry to be driven like a partner ecosystem with the risk of being a subcontractor instead of primary contractor.

The liberation of data in life sciences

Gartner observation:
 “Modernizing Data and Analytic Capabilities for Real-Time Digital Health: Analytics and AI are top areas for increased investment for LS organizations in 2019, according to our 2019 CIO Survey, and are also considered top game-changing technologies. Architecting the right tools, services and skills to (1) deliver data, information and insights, and (2) create analytic literacy is becoming a critical core competency of LS organizations.”

Source: Business Drivers of Technology Decisions for Life Science Organizations, 2019

NNIT response:
A key point about digital transformation is that the foundation for any digitalization is access to the right high-quality data in a timely manner. Incorrect data leads to incorrect decisions. So, liberating your data (and metadata) from old formats and systems should be a priority. Health authorities also frequently request data sets in specific formats and standards rather than documents. You need to be able to not only set your data free, but also have a secure and regulatory compliant way to store and transfer it to parties outside your organization –for example to your partner ecosystem of choice. This points to a major challenge in life sciences digitalization: The Data Graveyard. Too much data is hidden in outdated systems, where it is difficult to recover and reformat. This gives an advantage to new challengers, who can build their systems to match modern standards, adapt their business processes and build on the latest technologies.

Siteless clinical trials  

Gartner observation:
“Create a patient-centric, digitalized approach to clinical development by prioritizing digital trial solutions, wearables, mobile apps, Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced data analytics.”

Source: Predicts 2019: Life Science Companies Will Partner to Create and Deliver Essential Digital Capabilities

“By 2023, siteless digital trials will demonstrate 20% trial cycle time reductions, primarily through advancements to data cleaning, and patient recruitment and retention.”

Source: Predicts 2019: Life Science Companies Will Partner to Create and Deliver Essential Digital Capabilities

NNIT response:
The option to collect patient data 24/7 through portable or wearable IoT devices makes clinical trials both more cost-effective and more patient centric. It eliminates the need for patients to travel to hospitals and clinics to have samples taken or answer questionnaires. And it opens the possibility of cross-referencing the collected data with external variables like weather or social interactions. The technology is available now, and NNIT has developed NNIT Clinical Study Accelerator, a fully compliant plug-and-play pipeline for clinical trial data to address this potential.

Life sciences head for the cloud

Gartner observation:
“This year, cloud adoption among life science companies reached a tipping point. Thirty-nine percent of respondents to our CIO Agenda Survey say that cloud services or solutions is a technology area targeted for increased spending in the coming year. Concomitantly, 31% of CIO survey respondents indicate infrastructure and data centers as an area for decreased spending, and 20% say they will decrease spending on software development and upgrades. The message is clear — life science CIOs are putting aside earlier concerns about cloud security and good x practice (GxP) validation and moving core systems into the cloud.”

Source: Predicts 2019: Life Science Companies Will Partner to Create and Deliver Essential Digital Capabilities

NNIT response:
Cloud adoption can accelerate the innovation that all life sciences companies have on their agenda. With the availability of fully compliant plug-and-play cloud solutions, you have a new way of delivering IT faster without heavy capex investments. It requires a new way of thinking and updated business processes to grasp the full potential. The main benefit is not cost savings, but the increased speed, flexibility and efficiency. For example, a cloud-based unified platform such as Veeva lets life sciences companies improve both compliance and operational effectiveness. But getting the full benefit of the Veeva platform requires proper and strategic planning, carefully executed implementation and due diligence in the continued operations and support.


NNIT’s recommendations:

Often, you’ll find that the current IT set-up is too slow and unagile for major changes and disruptions. To be on the cutting edge, you need to show due diligence by moving your IT services to a hybrid engine that keeps your necessary legacy systems running as you implement business solutions for the future.

Rethink your current processes; are they designed and optimized for the “old” world – new entrants start with a clean slate using the newest technologies – dare to think like an entrepreneur, how would your processes look like in a start-up?

Look for the right partners and service providers to be your digital travel companion. You will probably not have all the right competencies and resources internally or you may stretch your organization to hard. And you will benefit from an outside-in point of view in planning your transformation activities.

3 key takeaways:

  1. Get your overall strategy in place and make sure your digital initiatives align with it through all levels of the organization. It should dictate your choice of platform, partners and other key decisions.  

  2. Be prepared to adapt your organization and your business processes to meet the demands of a shifting market and fast-moving innovation.

  3. Set your data free – without compromising security or compliance. You need be able to make decisions based on a solid foundation of reliable data drawn from multiple sources.  

Want a more comprehensive analysis?

We are always happy to elaborate on the topics above – don’t hesitate to get in touch.




Brian Troelsen+45 3079 5933btrl@nnit.comBusiness Development Director Troelsen



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