By Anita Mangtani, Sr. Healthcare Consultant, Life Sciences, CitiusTech & Anchal Bhushan, Healthcare Business Analyst, Life Sciences, CitiusTech
The healthcare landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift toward digitalization. Life science organizations are progressively collaborating with technology partners to optimize their workflows using data-driven strategies. The industry is migrating from pursuing blockbuster drug development to cultivating a tech-driven ecosystem. With these advancements, the life sciences industry is evolving, and trends like real-world evidence, clinical data management, patient engagement, and decentralized clinical trials have taken a front seat.
We’ve outlined the top four digital technology trends that we see impacting all of life sciences, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and biomedical technologies.
Clinical Operations Digitization
Managing clinical operations has become increasingly complex globally. Life sciences organizations face many challenges, from site activation to designing patient-centric protocols, recruiting and retaining patient-participants to properly capturing and analyzing critical data.
Through automation and digital solutions, clinical operations digitization drives more efficient research and development and improves patient interactions by streamlining operations across the pharma value chain. Technologies like eConsent management, ePRO, and remote monitoring are accelerating patient recruitment and aiding retention. IoT-based device integration facilitates data collection and aids evidence-based medicine for better health outcomes. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in study automation with cloud computing decreases the clinical trial cycle time and enhances trial cost-effectiveness.
Technological intervention in clinical operations is moving life science organizations towards creating remote-hybrid trial setups with patient-centric trial design, enabling evidence-based medication strategies and disease progression models for a multifaceted healthcare ecosystem.
Modern Data Management
Modern data management solutions enable life science organizations to achieve faster time-to-market and build ‘analytics-ready’ databases from diverse sources according to regulatory standards. However, there are challenges, including optimizing the storage and retrieval of vast amounts of data, keeping pace with regulatory requirements while ensuring data privacy, accessing data from the cloud, and synchronizing data from multiple sources while maintaining accuracy.
Modern data management solutions leverage technology for data acquisition via eSource: engaging AI-augmented, orchestrated data management workflows, ensuring global regulatory compliance, creating interoperable databases, and developing self-service and intuitive data visualizations. Additionally, AI/ML can be integrated to realize greater value:
- Standardizing data and expediting study setup
- Developing protocols for care report form (CRF) design
- Assisting with direct data capture (DDC) and electronic data capture (EDC)
- Implementing cloud-based elastic data lakes
- Leveraging smart chatbots for data discrepancy management
In the future, life science organizations will witness technology trends come to fruition -- advanced augmented data analytics, conversational AI, and data fabric approaches -- that encompass the goal of weaving together disparate data from many origins.
Driving Real-world Evidence
Real-world data (RWD) has become a powerful tool in the life sciences industry, adding value at every stage of the drug development lifecycle. These value points have positively affected the RWD market, including the rapid adoption of big data in healthcare, shifting to value-based care, and focusing on personalized healthcare. However, the lack of standardized methodologies to generate RWD is holding the industry back.
Yet, the adoption curve around using real-world evidence (RWE) is accelerating. This is due to several trends, like expanding the application of RWD across the product development lifecycle and conducting post-market studies utilizing RWE. Pharma organizations want to increase the quality and number of data sources, including the EHR and claims data, as well as patient-generated data from wearable devices.
Realizing the full value of RWE requires compliant data that abide by interoperability standards. Digital solutions can generate high-density, real-world data alongside AI/ML and natural language processing (NLP) technologies to support faster ‘time-to-insight' and adverse event reporting.
Patient Services and Engagement
Patient engagement has been a priority for life sciences product marketing while gaining prominence and impact in research and development (R&D). Increased consumer interest and activism are driving change along the entire healthcare continuum. However, specific challenges like patient recruitment for rare diseases, ensuring patient compliance, and decreasing clinical trial attrition require attention.
Digital patient engagement solutions are helping organizations identify and hyper-focus on their required patient cohorts in critical ways:
- Supporting adherence with remote monitoring
- Sending personalized health status reminders
- Delivering visit schedules
- Facilitating virtual site-patient communication
Organizations can use these tools to optimize their R&D pipeline by understanding disease progression via patient journey mapping and supporting clinical research by accessing longitudinal healthcare data.
The future of digital patient engagement in clinical trials looks to be driven by robust, predictive AI facilitated by wireless implants and smart technologies and focused on patient experience as central to continuous, fruitful patient relationships.
CitiusTech works closely with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, CROs, and medical device companies to design best-in-class digital solutions. These tailored tools systematically advance its customers’ outcomes-based analytics, leveraging next-generation technologies, real-world intelligence, and management consulting. Our strength lies in a deep understanding of the life sciences industry across clinical operations, real-world evidence, patient engagement, and multidisciplinary data strategies. Our combination of specialized solutions and a dedicated life science consulting practice offers domain experts that help customers advance collaboration, drive efficiencies across clinical processes, and improve health outcomes while achieving regulatory compliance.