The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of U.S. life science companies, particularly in the medical technology sector, according to a new report by Information Services Group (ISG).
The report, 2021 ISG Provider Lens Life Sciences Digital Services Report for the U.S., finds medical technology companies turning to digital transformation providers to support their digitization of product development, engineering, production and logistics. Medical technology providers find themselves at the intersection of multiple influences, according to the report. These influences include: significant leaps in the capabilities of devices, wearables, AI and automation; sudden increased demand from the life sciences industry and patient populations; new opportunities in IoT; and the need for upskilled resources.
“The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the medtech industry, changing its approach to business and the way healthcare systems interact with medical device companies,” says Jenn Stein, partner with ISG Life Sciences in the Americas, adding that while the industry has an opportunity to drive new sources of growth and improve patient care through digital solutions, it has a great deal of ground to cover.
“Through the use of digital technologies, medtech companies can increase supply chain visibility, reduce maintenance and R&D costs, and deliver greater customer satisfaction and improved patient experience,” Stein says.
The medical device industry, in which the United States has a competitive edge, is looking for provider support in product lifecycle management, engineering services, logistics and distribution, and maintenance and repair, according to the report.
Life sciences companies are under increasing scrutiny from regulatory agencies and consumer watchdog groups to ensure patient safety and monitor quality and compliance. The industry’s pharmacovigilance and regulatory affairs functions have traditionally been reluctant to rely on outsourcing, according to the report, but the increased volume of data and growing regulatory requirements have them rethinking that position. Life sciences companies are looking for providers that can leverage AI, natural language processing, machine learning and automation to deliver the insights, analytics and reporting needed for regulatory compliance and patient safety.
The report finds the COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for record increases in employment and venture capital funding in the U.S. life sciences industry. Driven by these trends, the demand and pricing for facilities, talent, technology innovations and other resources are steadily increasing.