Judging by the full auditorium at our annual DHL Global Life Sciences and Healthcare Conference in June, logistics managers are very keen to explore digital transformation and see the latest trends and innovations at first hand. This increasing appetite for digitalization is excellent news for the industry – the life sciences and healthcare sector is ranked in the bottom 20th percentile of the Industry Digitalization Index, as presented by McKinsey & Company.

Ahead of the official start of the conference in Singapore, many delegates took the opportunity to visit of DHL’s Advanced Regional Center, a new state-of-the art multi-user hub, and our Asia Pacific Innovation Center, which showcases the latest trends and innovations in logistics. 

New capabilities, disruptive business models, and opportunities for action bring a sense of urgency to transform. Our recently published report titled ‘The future of life sciences and healthcare logistics’ explores the most important trends and technologies currently enabling digital transformation in the life sciences and healthcare supply chain.

For example, companies can now predict demand more accurately and optimize supply chains, including storage, inventory, routing and risk planning. With an Advanced Data Analytics solution and a real-time view of operations, life sciences and healthcare companies can enable optimization across the entire value chain from manufacturing to consumption. Add Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled tagging capabilities, and you can more tightly control product inventories across the supply chain. This cuts waste while adding availability and customer satisfaction.

Other examples include new Healthcare On-Demand models which many life sciences and healthcare manufacturers are considering and already starting to use. Delivery is heading direct to consumers and hospitals, and moving faster and faster particularly in the last mile. Much anticipated, there is also the trend towards Robotics and Automation, enabling companies to further enhance productivity and improve supply chain operations. With new ways to display and present information, Augmented Reality is adding greater accuracy and efficiency to life sciences and healthcare supply chain operations. With Additive Manufacturing, companies can produce a small batch of drugs on demand and print a personalized medical device in a rural clinic, close to the patient who needs it.

This is going to be one heck of a journey to digital transformation in the life sciences and healthcare industry. For this reason, we will be deep diving into these topics in future articles. Jump onboard!

Published: August 2017

Images: DHL/Shutterstock