Bench International

Four Technology Trends in Life Sciences to Pay Attention to in 2022

Four Technology Trends in Life Sciences to Pay Attention to in 2022

Insight by: Daniel Jue

The pharmaceutical industry relies more heavily on technology today than ever before, especially since the pandemic. Life science companies have been pushed to adopt technologies faster, especially since everyone is remote, from the clinical study teams to the patients.

Here are four technology trends in life sciences to pay attention to in 2022:

Decentralized Clinical Trials (DCTs)
DCTs is the technique and use of technology to remotely conduct clinical trials. This includes the use of sensors and software platforms to remote monitor and manage clinical trials. Traditional clinical trials place a significant burden on both patients and family caregivers. Study participants face costs for transportation, lodging, meals, and dependent care. These burdens mean that getting adequate patient enrollment is one of the top issues facing medical investigators.

With the rise of COVID-19, enrolling patients in traditional studies has become even more difficult. DCTs offer an alternative means of study participation. They offer several advantages over traditional, site-based clinical trials.

Decentralized clinical trials existed before the pandemic, but COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of decentralized trial techniques. Many of the methods traditionally used in clinical trials were no longer practical when people had to remain at home.

Decentralized trials are uniquely suited to the COVID-19 environment: Patients can be recruited remotely, physician visits can take place via telemedicine, and mobile technology can be used for remote data collection. Patient consents can be collected via telemedicine as well.

For the last decade, the use of decentralized elements in clinical trials has been increasing steadily. In the past two years, it has spiked significantly due to the pandemic.

Using Social Media for Patient Recruitment
Patient recruitment is one of the top issues in clinical studies. Therefore, the idea of using social media platforms for the purpose of patient recruitment should not be surprising. Reaching people ‘where they are’ is a fundamental principle of marketing,
and patients are spending more and more time on social media.

Social media should become a complement to traditional methods of patient recruitment. In fact, a recent study found that ~18% of patients were recruited via social media at a fraction of the cost of direct mailings.

Real Applications of Artificial intelligence
in 2022 we will see more practical applications of AI in life sciences, versus merely high-level thinking. With more strategic thinking around AI, we are likely to see more effective uses of it day-to-day in everything, from drug discovery to data collection and
post-approval.

Patient data ownership
Data privacy has been an important issue for years. Patients were previously more guarded about having their health information public, and policies and regulations were set in place to protect patient data.

However, as technology has become more ubiquitous, society in general has likewise become more tolerant to having personal data floating around on the digital highway. In fact, understanding the role technology plays during the pandemic, the US government even temporarily stopped regulating HIPAA under the emergency decree. Now, the emphasis is on patients being able to own and manage their own data, which will call for some radical changes in patient data management. Instead of secret and secured data, the goal will be to keep data safe and manageable.