1. What is driving the digital transformation of the life sciences and healthcare sector?

The industry is tackling some extremely complex challenges. It needs to provide better, more personalized care to more people at lower cost. Digital technologies have the potential to help it do all those things. And while that potential has existed for some time, it is only today that some of the most exciting digital technologies are becoming sufficiently capable, robust and reliable to work in the healthcare context.

2. Where do you see digitalization having the biggest impact in the coming years?

I believe that the impact of digitalization is going to be universal. You only have to look at the extraordinary range of technologies that leading players are adopting today, from artificial intelligence and advanced analytics in diagnostics to 3D printing and sophisticated automation in manufacturing. The industry is only just beginning to explore some exciting new ideas, like the use of blockchain technologies to improve product identification and maintain security in the supply chain. And in the logistics space, there's huge potential for companies to use technologies, from advanced track and trace systems to warehouse automation, to improve the productivity, reliability and responsiveness of their operations.

3. Are there still barriers that the industry needs to overcome in order for digitalization to deliver its full potential?

Of course. New technologies always create new risks, and the healthcare sector will need to adapt and develop new ways of working to accommodate these new approaches. In such a tightly controlled industry, it's also important that the regulatory environment evolves along with the technology. But ultimately, I believe that the biggest challenge is a cultural one; stakeholders across the sector will need to be far-sighted enough to recognize the potential, and bold enough to reinvent their processes in order to capture it.

Published: June 2018

Images: DHL