The last decade has been nothing short of a revolution for pharma and medical device industries, and the swell in innovations have made it possible to treat people that would not have been treatable ever before. With these transformations have come a rise in the use of new technology and big data, allowing us to find new ways of preventing illness rather than trying to cure it. With any positive change comes new challenges and those challenges will, in turn, lead to potential opportunities.
One of the most significant ways the pharma and medical device revolution can be measured is through the increase in population and lifespan. The world population is projected to see massive growth as people are living well into old age. The challenge that comes with this increase is that there are many more people who need to access medical and pharmaceutical services. Already, we see a massive demand for medical services and long waiting lists are only more likely to grow.
Portable and Wearable Devices
With the rise in population comes an increase in those people who suffer from chronic diseases. There has been a shift in expectations of which provider is best placed to manage it. One way this is being done is through wearable devices that patients can use to help manage their conditions with minimal medical input. Wearables are incredibly popular right now, and the price of these devices is set to make the pharma industry nearly £22 billion by the end of 2029.
There has been a sharp increase in virtual medicine in response to the overloaded need for medical services. Technology has been created to help diagnose and treat patients, allowing people to get healthcare from the comfort of their own home when they are unwell. However, with this rise in technology comes the disparity we have come to see across all technological advancements; this type of medicine is currently only available to those that can afford it and will need support from the government if it is to become a mainstream option.
Artificial Intelligence is helping to revolutionise many industries, and the medical arena is using it to change the way that we diagnose, manage patients, detect disease and discover new treatments and drugs. By using AI to analyse big data, we now can undertake processes that have typically required a human and complete them at a speed that is impossible for humans to replicate. While this will never replace human input, the potential that AI has on medicine is one that is sure to grow exponentially over the coming years.
The rise of gene editing and immune-oncology is big business as it is helping patients to avoid unpleasant side effects from treatments that would traditionally cause them to feel unwell after being administered. This opportunity to tailor-make treatments is both hugely positive but comes with the challenge of finding the level of funding that will be required to ensure parity of service.
It is a hugely exciting time to be part of the pharma and medical devices industry, and one thing is sure; significant changes are on the horizon and will be developed in our lifetime.
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