2020 has been a bit of a year, to say the least. It has also, though, been a year of invention, opportunity, and possibility for life science innovators. As the new year begins, we are looking ahead to four key megatrends that we expect to shape the landscape in the year to come.

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AI / Machine Learning

As more innovators, payers, providers, and purchasers gather more information, health care data volume is growing exponentially. Deep learning and analysis are changing the way we work, evolving how we learn, and extending automation from doing to thinking.

Data is also opening the door for translational medicine in a new ways. Not only can innovators take advantage of AI and machine learning technologies to increase the speed of product development, but they can also work to demonstrate how efficacy translates into effectiveness. In many ways, growth of AI and machine learning also form the foundation on which all of our other megatrends rest.

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Precision Medicine

As our understanding of the molecular basis of disease grows, so does our capacity to develop products to identify and treat the patients most likely to respond. Now, more than ever, science is enabling the ability to treat the right patient at the right time with the right treatment.

For innovators, this means that smaller numbers of patients may be eligible for treatment with a targeted therapeutic or a evaluation with a highly specialized diagnostic. Rapid development, appropriate pricing, and successful launch with optimized targeting are key to ensuring return on investment.

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Value-Based Healthcare

Payors, providers, and patients are all seeking value in healthcare: increasing quality, improving outcomes and optimizing patient experience while reducing costs. That value can come in many forms:  risk-sharing contracts between manufacturers and payers, or even a push for earlier intervention to reduce long-term healthcare costs across an aging global population.

While the drive for value-based healthcare drives increased pressure to offer better products at lower costs overall, it also highlights the importance of data collection – including real-world and health economic evidence.

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Pandemics in a Global Economy

COVID-19 has had an immeasurable impact on economies and healthcare systems worldwide. It has also taught us about the importance of previously underutilized, underdeveloped, and underappreciated areas of the healthcare arena. Technologies designed to keep patients out of the physician’s office and hospital – like telemedicine projects and digital therapeutics – have a spotlight on them like never before. An increased focus on efficient use of resources provides an opportunity for innovations that offer better diagnostic and patient management strategies. Supply chain resiliency and efficiency is being tested with the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines – timelines and challenges that are well-known to innovators in the cell and gene therapy space. Even as vaccines become available, the lessons we have learned will remain relevant, as will the technologies and innovators that stepped up to meet the new challenges.

For more than 25 years, Boston Healthcare has provided best-in-class strategic consulting services focused on value and access-related issues for emerging and established medical device, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, and health informatics companies. Contact us to learn how we can help unlock the value of your innovative products or services.