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Our Take

How clinicians will use evidence in 2032

15 Minute Read

How clinicians use evidence to guide clinical decision-making is changing due to many different but related factors. Evolving health care ecosystem dynamics, institutional forces, and clinician preferences will demand changes in both individual clinician competencies and the landscape of clinical practice.

This report outlines four predictions for the next decade of clinical decision-making and the implications for medical device and pharmaceutical companies.


What is clinical decision-making?

Clinical decision-making is a contextual, continual, and responsive process that integrates diagnosis, assessment, and management. This includes the tools used to gather, interpret, assess, and synthesize data to recommend evidence-based action.


Our take

Clinical decision-making is complex and becomes more so everyday. A multitude of factors influence how clinicians make decisions.

The framework below provides an overview of how we view the future of clinical decision-making. As new and evolving market influences drive change in the health care ecosystem, clinical decision-making will be shaped less by clinician identity and training than by the confluence of market dynamics and organizational forces. Therefore, the future of how clinicians make decisions will not be defined by any one stakeholder.

There are three trends that will influence clinical decision-making in the next 10 years. We explain each of these trends in detail below.

Structural changes to the health care ecosystem

Structural changes to the health care ecosystem are driving evolution across the industry. These changes include site-of-care shifts, the transition to value-based care (VBC), increasing focus on health equity, and digital transformation. The proliferation of wearable technology and remote patient monitoring (RPM) is generating a wealth of real-world evidence (RWE) allowing access to novel, real-time data. The shift to alternative sites of care means that customers are increasingly seeking evidence that demonstrates the value of products in non-clinical settings.

Evolving sources, uses, and perceptions of medical evidence

While medical journals still serve a useful purpose, they are no longer the go-to for busy clinicians looking to stay on top of the latest studies and medical innovations. In 2010, medical knowledge doubled in three and a half years. By 2020, that time was cut to just two months. As a result, clinicians are turning to technology and digital solutions to augment their knowledge. The influx of alternative channels to disseminate clinical information, beyond the traditional journals and conferences, means manufacturers must bolster their digital strategy to ensure the right information is being shared in the right places.

Changing interpretation of medical "expertise”

Medical expertise is becoming increasingly dispersed as more people are weighing in. For example, patients and journalists can provide their insights via social media and health-oriented news sites—and traditional experts are paying attention. Clinicians have access to knowledge beyond their own with the advent of e-consulting platforms and online clinician communities. The physician is no longer the pinnacle of expertise in many contexts.


4 predictions for how clinicians will use evidence in 2032

In the following sections, we’ll delve into four predictions about how clinicians will use evidence 10 years from now. For each prediction, we'll detail what life sciences leaders should be thinking about to prepare for the future of clinical decision-making.

  • Prediction

    Clinicians will need more nuanced evidence to support narrower populations

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  • Prediction

    Clinicians will take a dynamic, rather than static, approach to diagnosis

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  • Prediction

    Clinical practice will transition from memory-based to technology-assisted

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  • Prediction

    Clinicians will require evidence that better aligns with the decision-making process

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Parting thoughts

Clinical decision-making is a complex and evolving process that is becoming increasingly detached from the exam room. Life science leaders are positioned to shape much of the information clinicians will access and therefore influence the decisions they make.

This report should be used to guide your organization as you develop market access and clinical engagement strategies. Based on our predictions for how clinicians will use evidence in 2032, here’s what life sciences leaders should consider today:

  • Advances in technology have enabled rapid generation of novel evidence that the industry is still making sense of. Now is the time for life sciences leaders to form collaborative partnerships with clinical societies to standardize and communicate new data in ways that create clear, actionable insights for clinicians.
  • From an equity perspective, life sciences leaders should consider potential pitfalls if their data is not broadly accessible and digital inequities persist. Life sciences leaders should also pursue progressive partnerships with provider organizations and payers to collect and amplify meaningful data that will help clinicians make better decisions for marginalized populations.
  • There are both internal and external adaptive challenges impacting how the future of clinical decision-making will play forward. In addition to collaborative partnerships, life sciences leaders must strategize beyond traditional modes of evidence circulation to ensure they are helping to bridge these challenges and meeting changing clinician evidence needs.

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