Life sciences companies must consider how to participate in emerging care platforms. Jürg Zürcher, Biotech/Medtech Leader at EY Switzerland, Germany and Austria, answers three questions.

What does EY mean by the term Life Sciences 4.0?

Increased customer expectations and rapid technological advances are disrupting the healthcare industry, causing power to shift across traditional stakeholder groups and creating opportunities for new entrants. As the data and algorithms that drive patient-centric health outcomes become the ultimate healthcare products, organizations that harness data-fueled insights will lead in this new industry paradigm. Life Sciences 4.0 examines this power shift, creates a future vision for the health care industry and suggests how life sciences companies should respond to this threat.

What are the major challenges facing companies in the world of Life Sciences 4.0?

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and passive, wearable sensors make it possible to capture and analyze diverse data streams even as advances in gene editing and cellular therapy open up completely new scientific opportunities. On the regulatory and reimbursement fronts, companies must satisfy new benchmarks, including collecting patient-reported clinical and real-world data demonstrating that drugs and devices improve health outcomes.

Outside the health arena, people experience customer interactions that are transparent, integrated into daily life, and tailored to their individual interests and needs. This positive customer experience stands in contrast to the myriad friction points associated with current delivery of healthcare. Patient expectations will drive radical change in the healthcare system.

What decisions should companies take to be a step ahead?

Life sciences companies must build – or participate in – interoperable information systems that collect, combine and share streams of data in a collaborative way. We see customer-focused, data-driven business emerging from the Life Sciences 4.0 concept as the next step in evolution.

Future (F) value (V) will be captured by those who can fuel innovation (I) by unlocking the power of data (D) through platforms (FV = ID).