The future of healthcare is precision
This is what the world of precision medicine looks like. It encompasses the convergence of genomic testing, advanced diagnostics, digital health records, 24/7 monitoring of patients and much more into an intensely data-driven approach to individual healthcare.
Big-production pharma will still be needed, no doubt. But this new trend is growing stronger and stronger: Healthcare is becoming increasingly personal and tailor-made.
Why precision medicine?
You could argue that medicine already is – and has always been - about precision. Nothing new about that. For instance, a blood transfusion is based on the blood type of the patient, and treatment of a patient is to a great extent based or his or her health, age, and lifestyle.
However, new discoveries and technologies take all this to a whole new level. The rapidly expanding field of genomic testing reveals that your genes can influence how you respond to medications. Also, new diagnostic methods are becoming more and more precise in measuring the effect of a treatment, allowing for tiny adjustments to find the optimal solution for each individual patient. And, as health records are digitalized and large health data bases are created, sophisticated algorithms can start looking for patterns and hidden similarities, and discover new causal relations, leading to even more precise and customized treatments.
Data is at the center
Looking at the Life Science product life cycle, data is at the center.
Each phase produces vast amounts of data. From the development of drugs to testing, documenting, and seeking approval, from manufacturing the drug and securing its consistency and traceability, all the way to what the industry calls “post-marketing”: After release, documenting its actual efficiency, investigating possible side effects etc.
However, Life Science is not yet a truly digitalized and data-driven domain. Typically, data is siloed and not standardized in a way so it can be utilized in large, cross-disciplinary analyses, using for instance AI. And although healthcare and life sciences are producing these vast amounts of data, the level of digitalization in the sector is still significantly lower than in other sectors such as banking and insurance.
New technologies coming
In the coming years, a lot of new solutions have to be implemented to secure state-of-the-art data collection, data management, and data cleansing in the sector. A common data infrastructure is sorely needed, and the winners of the future will be the companies that succeed in this.
Harnessing the power of a common data infrastructure will speed up drug development and secure the ability of pharmaceutical companies to use their patent time as efficiently as possible. Also, data scientists can extract new knowledge from the data, using advanced statistical methods and machine learning to crunch large data sets.
- Ubiquitous Sensors: Networks of stationary and wearable sensors gather simple baseline measurements and flag anomalies
- Standardized Diagnostics: Samples and data from advanced omics and non-invasive tests are collected using a standardized master protocol including key meta data to ensure comparability
- Data Platform: Standardized results are continuously streamed through a secure network to an integrated data storage and computational platform
- Impact Generation: The platform aggregates these data and uses advanced machine learning algorithms to come up with diagnoses, prognoses, and optimal treatment plans for each patiens
- Continuous Feedback: Patients are continuously monitored, and their outcomes data are used to adjust treatment plans and inform treatment algorithms for future patients
- Accelerated Discovery: Research and drug developers use this rich source of interconnected data to dramatically improve efficiency by rapidly testing hypotheses (Source: McKinsey: Precision Medicine: Opening the aperture)
As in the automotive and aerospace industries, future growth will mainly originate in software and data. For the Life Science industry this paradigm shift is challenging the traditional ways of doing business. Creating change on such a fundamental level can be difficult, as there is a high level of regulation in the sector, together with a long-standing tradition of manual skills and craftsmanship, for instance when it comes to lab work. Nevertheless, change is necessary, and it will come.
Currently, the life science world is only at the starting point of this fundamental change. Akkodis is aware of the multi-level challenges the industry is facing looking forward, adjusting to accelerated market needs and to the push towards precision medicine. Therefore, we are bundling our competences and offering end-to-end solutions, for instance when it comes to manufacturing or data management. Because that is what the industry needs to reach the next level of digitalization, be it in the laboratory, on the factory floor, orin the boardroom.
Akkodis is contributing to this transformation by offering a multitude of expert skills, refined through our work across different sectors. What’s more, we speak the language of the Life Science industry and are intimately familiar with the ground rules of this specific domain.
Welcome to the age of precision medicine. Together we are transforming the Life Science industry – for the benefit of everyone.