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U.S. Life Sciences Industry Digitizing to Meet Pandemic-Related Demands

ISG Provider Lens™ report sees life sciences companies in the country looking to take advantage of innovations in wearables, artificial intelligence and automation

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of U.S. life science companies, particularly in the MedTech sector, according to a new report published by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

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“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”

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Life Sciences Digital Services Report for the U.S. finds MedTech companies turning to digital transformation providers to support their digitization of product development, engineering, production and logistics.

MedTech providers find themselves at the intersection of multiple influences, the report says. These include significant leaps in the capabilities of devices, wearables, AI and automation; sudden increased demand from both 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,” said Jenn Stein, partner, ISG Life Sciences in the Americas.

Stein noted the industry has an opportunity to drive new sources of growth and improve patient care through digital solutions, but it has a lot 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,” she said.

The medical device industry, in which the U.S. has a competitive edge, is looking for provider support in product lifecycle management, engineering services, logistics and distribution, and maintenance and repair, the report finds.

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The report also notes that life sciences companies are under increasing scrutiny, from both 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, the report says, 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.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Life Sciences Digital Services Report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 19 providers across two quadrants: MedTech Digital Transformation Services and Pharmacovigilance and Regulatory Affairs Digital Transformation Services.

The report names Cognizant, TCS and Wipro as Leaders in both quadrants and Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, HCL, IQVIA, LTTS and PPD as Leaders in one quadrant.

In addition, Harmon and HCL were named Rising Stars—companies with “promising portfolios” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant.

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