December 16, 2021

3 health care priorities for 2022, according to a health care executive leader

Daily Briefing

In recent years, the health care industry has seen significant growth and change. Writing for Forbes, Anita Gupta, a health care leader, board member, and anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, identifies three health care trends industry leaders should consider to maintain a competitive advantage in 2022.

1. A social-impact focus on innovation 

According to Gupta, pharmaceutical and biotech companies have long identified new drugs and treatments through their in-house research and development programs, and now they're using social impact-focused ways to bring these therapies to market.

The life sciences industry has largely transitioned to a delivery model focused on environment, sustainability, and governance, along with customized therapies for specific patient populations, Gupta writes.

To remain competitive, Gupta urges life sciences companies to "look to manufacturing and supply chain partners that can help them streamline processes as well as socially responsible products that support environmental goals." According to Gupta, this strategy could help them meet financial benchmarks as well as any future patient-centric benchmarks.

2. Data analytics to accelerate biotechnology innovation

As the life sciences industry continues to develop a better understanding of genetics and disease, industry experts are relying on data analytics more than ever, Gupta writes.

In fact, Gupta writes, "Data can be used to improve the drug development and manufacturing processes by identifying patterns in clinical trial study results, as well as predicting patient response to medications or analyzing diagnostic results."

And according to Gupta, medical professionals are using machine learning algorithms to better understand why certain drugs are effective—which she says could "help inform future development efforts."

In particular, Gupta says data analytics could be a promising tool in the field of predictive medicine. She suggests, "using [artificial intelligence] (AI) to analyze tests and medical records and track the effects of different therapies on groups of patients over time." Since researchers can use AI to determine how someone will respond to a given treatment, they can help doctors identify the best treatments for a specific patient's needs—which Gupta says can be especially useful in neurology and oncology.

3. Digital care solutions

Many providers are implementing new technologies to help improve patient outcomes—particularly in acute and chronic disease management, Gupta writes.

For instance, doctors can now monitor their patients from anywhere with telemedicine and virtual care programs that utilize sensors to track patients' vital signs, health records, and other personal information.

"Finding more consumer-facing solutions that are hybrid models, including both face-to-face and telemedicine, could be the future," Gupta writes, "while making telemedicine more mainstream and improving consumer access."

Ultimately, Gupta says that companies "must remain innovative, continue to expand their digital product lines and address new topline market trends" if they want to remain competitive in 2022 and beyond. (Gupta, Forbes, 12/14)

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