Data Viewpoint

Busted! It’s a myth that healthcare industry is a laggard in emerging technology adoption

July 27, 2021

There is a broad perception that healthcare lags other industries in terms of emerging technology adoption. However, the school of thought is that the healthcare industry has made smarter choices and adopted advanced technologies where it mattered.

Our recent OneOffice Pulse study surveying more than 150 healthcare and life sciences executives worldwide indicates much stronger technology investments in industry-specific areas such as research and development (R&D), operations, manufacturing, and supply chain than in corporate back and front office functions (shared services, F&A, HR, procurement, sales, marketing, etc.)

  • Pfizer leveraged digital investments in its R&D operations during the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. It used artificial intelligence (AI) to help find signals within the millions of data points in its 44,000-person study, helping deliver an mRNA-based vaccine in fewer than 12 months.
  • Pharma manufacturing scaled up significantly using the internet of things (IoT) and AI to proactively manage quality and accelerate delivery.
  • Hospitals have used robotics in surgery for more than a decade to increase precision and efficacy. With the increased adoption of telehealth, robotics is going remote.

So, does it matter that health plans use 35-year-old mainframes to process claims or can’t get their members to use mobile apps or websites, or that some doctors still use fax machines? There is an argument that healthcare has made the most impactful technology investments.

The Bottom Line: Healthcare enterprises’ investments in R&D and core operations saved the world from the pandemic, but enterprises will not be able to save themselves without modernizing legacy corporate functions that impact stakeholder experience.

Despite the R&D and innovation advancements, the healthcare and life sciences industry suffers from a poor brand image and shaky consumer confidence. Disruptive new entrants from other industries and smaller digital native players are shaking up the status quo. Corporate functions that impact stakeholder (health consumers, partners, and suppliers) experience cannot remain under-invested if the healthcare industry aspires to minimize the current trust deficit and grow.

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