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The future unmasked

Predicting the future of healthcare and life sciences in 2025

What does the future hold for the life sciences and healthcare industry? Our latest predictions report looks ahead to the year 2025 to help you see what’s coming and to keep your organisation moving forward.

Each prediction is brought to life through snapshots of how patients, healthcare and life science companies and their staff might behave and operate in this new world. We explore the major trends and the key constraints to be overcome; and identify the evidence today to predict how near that future might be.

This year, inevitably, our predictions have been informed by the unparalleled impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society in general and more specifically on how people perceive health risks. We have seen a new public appreciation of the contribution that healthcare and life sciences companies are making to each countries response and how these companies are paving the way for a new era of collaboration to identify and implement solutions. A key stand out has been the huge acceleration in the pace and scale of technology-enabled transformation across the whole health ecosystem.

Explore the predictions below to learn more.

From health(care) to healthy ageing

More people are fully informed about health risks and take a proactive approach to prevention and treatment. They’re aware of the risks of developing chronic disease and have embraced prevention based on hyper-personalised insights. Ageing well by maintaining physical and mental health (with tailored exercise and nutrition) is the focus of many people. People happily monitor their healthcare data through validated apps, wearables and connected devices. There has also been a shift to preventative measures – including vaccines, genetic testing and therapies to boost vitality, wellness and immune health. To enhance behavioural change, virtual health coaches and digital twins are on hand.

Better public health drives better productivity

Public health is a priority for governments everywhere, with a higher percentage of funding devoted to public health. National statutory public health organisations are responsible for building and maintaining a robust and responsive public health infrastructure – with regionally coordinated public health agencies, a diverse and well-qualified workforce and modern data systems. Non-traditional enterprises also work together, focussing on best-practice protection, prevention and promotion aimed at tackling health inequalities. Digital inclusion and adoption of scientific and technological advancements have reduced health risks and improved prevention. The public health system is underpinned by intelligent national screening and vaccination programmes that focus on high-risk populations through better use of technology, genomics and AI.

Clinicians are empowered by new diagnostic and treatment paradigms

Medicine has undergone a paradigm shift as clinicians base their diagnoses and treatment decisions on predictive, preventative, personalised and participatory medicine – a shift driven by tech/scientific advancements. Technological breakthroughs in AI, nanotechnology, quantum computing and 5G have enabled faster, customised diagnostic pathways. Clinicians are also supported by AI-enabled clinical decision tools to help deliver hyper-personalised evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions. Clinicians also use point-of-care diagnostics and knowledge about a disease to determine treatment most likely to benefit patients.

The who, what and where of work rearchitected

Advances in AI-enabled robotics, cognitive automation and digitalisation are helping HCPs work more productively – architecting the who, what, where and how work is done. As such, all HCPs now practice at the top of their professional license and have enriched career paths. Task shifting and task reorganisation are commonplace, leading to a diverse, blended workforce that provides care where and when needed. All HCPs participate in multi-professional training based on adaptive, agile ways of working to help them adopt innovation.

Care is designed around people not place

An integrated, digital-first healthcare delivery model signposts patients to the most appropriate care setting. Networks of primary care providers manage population health needs in a patient centric healthcare model. AI enabled remote patient monitoring (RPM) and point of care diagnostics collect and interpret real time data on vital signs. Enhanced Health Care Provider (HCP) to HCP communication provides more coordinated, efficient and cost effective care.

MedTech and the IoMT are crucial drivers of value-based care

MedTech companies drive the future of health, focusing on transformative technology to enhance products/services and enable 4P medicine. They also use sophisticated data analytics capabilities and work closely with end users to leverage new cognitive/robotic technologies to improve outcomes. MedTech companies partner with consumer focused tech companies to benefit from their experience of brand development, customer engagement and advanced analytics. Many have also become ‘Software as a Service’ providers, targeting preventative care at specific patient groups. Companion diagnostics have become a crucial tool for personalising patient therapy with MedTech playing a major role in driving value-based health care.

Companies have reversed the decline in the returns from pharma R&D

Pharma R&D processes use AI-enabled digital platforms, FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse) data principles and research partnerships with academia and AI for drug discovery and digital tech companies. This has improved success rates and reduced the time and cost of drug discovery. At the same time, innovative clinical trials (using digital technologies, AI and RWE) have defined new patient-centric digital endpoints and refined indications. Pharma companies employ data-rich visualisation tools to operate virtual clinical trials: enabling faster recruitment/enrolment/monitoring of more diverse patient groups. Apps, wearables, eConsent platforms and telehealth all reduce the time commitment and financial costs of bringing drugs to market.

Next generation supply chains are integrated into healthcare and the patient experience

Many companies use an interconnected digital supply network (utilising interoperable data) to improve end to end visibility of the supply chain. Track and trace is a blockchain-enabled reality: from manufacturing to the patient and HCPs. AI technologies transform the supply chain and manufacturing through real-time data processing and decision-making: reducing the risks of human subjectivity and bias. Advanced analytics unlock commercial, regulatory and operational data to identify non-linear and complex relationships, as well as provide strategic insights to improve the supply chain. Advanced analytics enable more efficient demand forecasting, inventory management, logistics optimisation, procurement and workforce planning. Biopharma companies also streamline their regulatory compliance functions to overcome functional siloes: improving efficiency across the product lifecycle.

Healthcare and life sciences companies have prioritised decarbonisation

Healthcare and life science organisations have adopted mitigation strategies to reduce their carbon footprint and improve sustainability. They prioritise suppliers that have zero-carbon landfill policies, recycle waste and water, and use sustainable materials in packaging and parts. They also save costs and improve sustainability: by using recyclable materials, choosing suppliers and equipment with lower carbon footprints, and reducing patient journeys via virtual models and remote monitoring.

Clusters of trusted partnerships have accelerated innovation

Multiple types of trusted partnerships between industry, academia and providers, with shared views on value exchange, are a central feature of successful health clusters. These are backed by a creative and reputable financial services sector and government initiatives, creating optimal conditions for the development of new business models and delivering savings across the health ecosystem. Clusters accelerate the pace digital transformation. New standards for data sharing, analysis and transparency have emerged, improving trust, driving efficiencies, expanding access and reducing costs.

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