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How is Digitisation Transforming R&D in the Life Sciences?

A digital revolution is quickly changing the way Research and Development works in the Life Sciences.

Our recent Talent in Science report found that a staggering 90,000 R&D (Research and Development) professionals are working in the Life Sciences across Europe. And this significant talent group is part of an industry that is quickly evolving. Digitisation is not only changing the way work gets done, it’s transforming the skills needed to succeed. We take a closer look at digitisation across R&D in the Life Sciences to find out how new technology is changing the industry as we know it.

It’s changing the way researchers engage with patients

One way that digital technology has fundamentally improved the R&D process is by providing easier access for patients participating in research and clinical trials. Documents can be processed electronically, readings quickly uploaded, and participants can even use wearable tech to share real-time data. Remote digital technology has made it easier than ever before to take part in research and significantly increased access to participants for researchers.

It is improving efficiency

Automated systems and streamlined digital processes can make it easier for R&D professionals to get the job done. And, in a multi-billion-dollar industry, it can be a small difference in efficiency that can put organisations ahead of the competition. Improving efficiency doesn’t just mean choosing the latest digital tools to hit the market, it’s about investing in the right digital technology and talent to meet an organisation’s unique business goals.

It is changing the skill sets needed to succeed

Digitisation isn’t only transforming the industry; it’s changing the people within it. Data scientists, engineers, and experts in AI and machine learning are now in high demand. Even those working within clinical roles must now have a working knowledge of the scope and purpose of key digital tools. People looking to pursue or grow their career in R&D must be literate in the latest technology and prepared to commit to lifelong learning to keep pace with change.

It is encouraging organisations to embed innovation at every level

No Life Sciences organisation can afford to be left behind when it comes to R&D, so it’s vital that they embrace digital innovation and transformation in every part of the business. From choosing the right digital talent to upskilling their current workforce to make sure they can leverage the latest technology and digital insights. Collecting and organising data is a key part of the R&D process and an area where digitisation can make an enormous impact. Machine learning advances are seeing technology that can not only organise data but that can use it to learn and produce accurate insights.

It can enhance the employee experience

Digital tools can not only improve how R&D work is done; they can make for a better employee experience. From providing user-friendly ways for employees and candidates to communicate with an organisation to automating many of the low-skill tasks that can add to their daily grind. Digital tools can free up skilled R&D professionals to focus on what they do best, discovering and developing life-enhancing treatments and technology.

The digital revolution isn’t coming, it’s already here and it is changing the rules in R&D. Life Sciences organisations who don’t embrace this seismic shift in technology and approach risk not only missing out on a significant opportunity but being left behind entirely.