In 2024, life sciences companies find themselves navigating through a landscape fraught with challenges and opportunities. From regulatory changes to supply chain disruptions to the surge of artificial intelligence, organizations are faced with complex issues that require innovative solutions. In response, many are turning to automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to address these challenges head-on.

Challenges facing the industry

Life sciences companies are contending with a myriad of industry drivers that are reshaping the landscape:

  1. Regulatory and pricing changes: Regulatory shifts such as the Inflation Reduction Act, alongside patent cliffs and evolving federal and FDA policies, are creating uncertainty. Coupled with reimbursement constraints, these changes are putting pressure on profitability and market access.
  2. Supply chain disruption: Geopolitical unrest and supply chain disruptions have led to increased costs for raw materials, logistics, and energy. These challenges are impacting production efficiency and driving up operational costs.
  3. Healthcare provider and consumer engagement: Suboptimal post-pandemic digital strategies continue to challenge engagement with healthcare providers and consumers. Additionally, health system mergers are leading to prescribing and pricing constraints, further complicating market dynamics.
  4. Artificial intelligence surge: The proliferation of AI is revolutionizing the industry, but it also brings challenges such as decentralized use of shadow IT, data readiness issues, and heightened regulatory and security risks.

Addressing challenges with automation and AI

To tackle these challenges, organizations are deploying automation and AI technologies across various lines of business:

  1. Early R&D: Leveraging AI for knowledge processing, IoT smart labs, large dataset analysis, and target discovery to accelerate the drug discovery process.
  2. Clinical development: Implementing automation and AI for protocol design, patient recruitment, data collection, analytics, trial safety monitoring and pharmacovigilance to streamline clinical trials.
  3. Commercial operations: Utilizing AI for precision marketing, population health tracking, regulatory filings, sales intelligence, omnichannel engagement and real-world data analysis to enhance commercial effectiveness.
  4. Manufacturing: Deploying automation for predictive maintenance, inventory optimization, QA/QC automation, demand forecasting, and issue detection to improve efficiency and reduce costs in manufacturing processes.

Foundational requirements for success

To effectively deploy these digital solutions, organizations need solid infrastructural building blocks.

  1. Data: Clean, current, complete, and consumable data is essential. Establishing data governance and scalable strategies for data aggregation, cleansing and maintenance are crucial.
  2. Cloud: A modern cloud strategy is necessary to drive speed, scale, and flexibility securely. The right cloud architecture will accelerate technologies for advanced analytics, automation, collaboration and AI capabilities.
  3. Security: A robust enterprise and site security strategy is essential to protect digital assets. Investments in asset visibility, network security, access control and secure collaboration are essential to safeguarding sensitive information.

Partnering for success

At WWT, we collaborate with life sciences companies to succeed in their automation and AI initiatives. From modernizing infrastructure to designing and deploying advanced solutions, our team of industry experts is committed to helping clients achieve their business outcomes. By leveraging automation and AI technologies effectively, life sciences companies can navigate the complexities of the industry and unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation.