Frost & Sullivan forecasts the global healthcare & life sciences industry to hit revenues of $2.8 trillion by 2025, with some of the top life sciences growth coming from multi-omics blood tests, RNA-targeted therapeutics, at-home clinical trials, and digital therapeutics. (1)

Another group out of the UK listed several trends they are expecting to see this year, three of which are IT-driven innovations that will impact the life sciences sector: decentralized clinical trials, artificial intelligence, and personalized medicine. (2)

MIT also conducted a study to explore the future of many of these changes: (3)

  • scientific research and development
  • public health preparedness, science, and technologies
  • science communication; disruptive technologies
  • flexible and resilient manufacturing, supply, and distribution chains

These represent just a few areas where digital transformation is taking place across the broad life sciences sector. Change is happening at every biotech level imaginable: research, clinical trials, communications, manufacturing, distribution, and treatments. And these transformations are initiating digital makeovers at every infotech level conceivable, too: data collection/storage/analysis, applications, systems, networks, clouds, security, and privacy.

More services require more connectivity and result in much more data. One area that proves this is AI storage: a requirement commensurate with the shift in computing and analytics. AI storage is introducing changes that will force organizations to look closely at data sources, data processing, data governance, and data talent. (4)

The need for cloud speed and scale

The case for cloud in life sciences is intense and takes its business value beyond the traditional cost-savings and operational efficiencies originally pitched with the cloud. (5) Cloud computing may end up being the only material path to true success in life sciences: “Cloud computing will dramatically accelerate the rate of biological discovery, writes Markus Gershater.” (6)

New partnerships are forming to create many 1+1=3 scenarios

It’s one thing to keep up with this as an individual organization. It becomes an even bigger game when partnerships begin to form, collaborations occur, and technologies connect. Companies are forming alliances to uncover new ways to diagnose complex health issues, conduct new drug studies, and provide personalized treatments. Several of these partnerships have already been announced, and we can certainly see many more to come. (7)

Don’t forget the people

These trends point to another reality that is often overlooked when we talk about digital transformation; it’s not just about the technology; it’s also about the people and their drive to innovate. “The future of life science R&D is dependent upon having a creative and engaged community of innovators, from a pipeline of new talent to activating creatives from other disciplines.” (8)

It’s not a cliché; life sciences organizations are realizing that the key to competitive differentiation is their people. (9)

Complexity Introduces risk, and humans make mistakes

Technology can help with many things, but we need to remember that humans created the technology, and humans make mistakes. When we create complex systems, it can be challenging to keep track of where everything is, how it should work, and how to spot errors that could cause harm to the business, or worse, to the patients.

Organizations are dedicated to ensuring that safety measures are in place for medical treatments and the medical devices and drug trials that come before and with those treatments. These organizations, such as the FDA, are in the business of monitoring, regulating, and controlling the innovations connected to the care being provided to patients, looking to identify and mitigate risk. One such case related directly to the innovations we are likely to see this year is decentralized clinical trials. The risks they are seeking in this instance are related to data quality. (10)

Hopefully, many life sciences organizations will do their part to control some of the risk themselves by leveraging trusted partners and essential skilled resources to help identify areas of complexity and exposure that need to be managed. Sadly, it’s not always the case, and regulatory measures have to be put in place. We can expect to match the levels of innovation and transformation this year; we will likely see numerous safety enforcements coming online this year for the life sciences sector, including cybersecurity and FCA risk. (11)

Transformation is upon us. It’s up to each organization to align their risk management operations to their innovation programs to ensure we keep what matters in sight: patient safety.


1 – “ Top 10 Growth Opportunities in the Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry,” InForney/Frost & Sullivan, January 2022

2 – “Five Life Sciences trends for 2022,” Bristows LLP, January 2022

3, 8  – “Life Sciences SUPerMInD,” MilliporeSigma/MIT, December 2021

4 – “AI storage: a new requirement for the shift in computing and analytics,” Information Age, Accessed January 2022

5, 10  – “The case for cloud in life sciences,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

6 – “Four bioscience predictions for 2022,” Scientific Computing World, January 2022

7 – “Life Sciences Companies Leverage New Partnerships Against Severe Diseases,” Biospace, February 2022

9 – “The Key To Competitive Differentiation In Life Sciences Is People,” Life Science Leader, February 2022

11 – “What Healthcare Providers and Life Sciences Companies Can Expect for Enforcement in 2022,” Sidley, February 2022