The life science sector may have faced numerous challenges over the past two years, but as we look towards the rest of 2022 it would seem that there are also plenty of opportunities for growth. Here are our predictions for how the sector will develop over the year to come.
The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be a priority for the industry, but we predict that there will also be a focus on how to best ensure future collaborations with governments and public health organisations in order to provide the best possible response to future pandemics.
Digitisation of Healthcare
As digital healthcare solutions are rolled out, there will be chances for medtech innovators to offer creative solutions outside of traditional hospital settings, into broader care environments including home care. As evidenced by a recent decision by the UK’s NHS, digitised healthcare is set to become a central element of care: the previously standalone divisions NHS Digital is to become part of the centre of NHS England, a move which proves the maturity of digital operations in the NHS.
Big Data and AI
Data will soon become a critical element to the life science industry’s success. Without the large-scale sharing of data, it will become increasingly challenging to develop new drugs and to progress new treatments. However, it is crucial that data is stored and shared in an ethical manner in order to shore up public trust in the industry, with all patient data being de-identified and anonymised.
2022 will also see the establishment of AI as central within the mainstream of the industry, with its absence from areas like treatment discovery or data analysis as the exception to the rule. As reported by the WHO, specialised software can now now be used to identify tuberculosis from X-rays. It seems likely that more developments in this arena will follow later in the year.
Business and Workforce
The pandemic had the unexpected knock-on effect of leading many to reconsider their working lives and careers, resulting in a phenomenon which has been termed ‘the great resignation’. This represents both a challenge and an opportunity for virtually every employer, including those in life sciences. The resulting candidate-led market is making it difficult both to make new hires and to retain qualified staff, both of which will prove important elements to the success of life science companies in 2022.