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Leaders On the Impact of COVID-19: The Life Sciences

“What COVID-19 has brought upon the world is a triple inflection of change. Amazing technological advances, regulatory and reimbursement approval, and the profound social imperative for use all come together to make health tech no longer an option, but an imperative.”

By: Leah Kinthaert, Contributor. 9th December 2020.


“What COVID-19 has brought upon the world is a triple inflection of change. Amazing technological advances, regulatory and reimbursement approval, and the profound social imperative for use all come together to make health tech no longer an option, but an imperative.”

“My sense is that 20 years from now we will look back at COVID-19 with a vague recollection of its social impact and perhaps even a silly mispronounce of the name. What will endure–become a lasting aspect of our humanity–will be the inculcation of technology into our daily lives. From medicine to education, the toothpaste of technological innovation is out of the tube, and there’s no putting it back.”

John Nosta, President, NostaLab

John Nosta’s quote rings very true right now, and we can back it up with new data. In the 2020 Informa Connect report The Future of Business Post COVID-19, 87% of 1495 survey respondents said they believe that COVID-19 has impacted the need for digital transformation for businesses. From the sudden focus on healthcare workers and the biotech world, to the acceleration of the digitization of medicine and the difficulties of social distancing in labs, the life sciences industry in particular has been has been very much thrown into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Xconomy’s Dan Stanton tell us that “industry is rising to the challenge. Supported by nervous investors hit hard by volatile markets, products are whizzing through the clinic at unprecedented speed. Tech-sharing partnerships are beginning to blossom. Meanwhile, money is being thrown at clinical trials and manufacturing facilities with faith that diagnostic products, therapies, and vaccines will spin a stronger and healthier world out of the current crisis.”

CapGemini research declares that the solutions are there for life sciences R&D to excel during this crisis, but they lie in pushing beyond “old boundaries to accelerate”. Companies such as Novartis, recently interviewed by Pharma Intelligence, are successfully pushing those boundaries, as their Chief Digital Officer Bertrand Bodson explains: “Many things that we had planned to take a couple of years to get into full motion have happened in two months. Everybody, including the regulators, have come together on this, and so we have been able to change gears strongly.”

We decided to do a deep dive into how COVID-19 is impacting our global customers so we could share this crucial data with them and with you, the reader. Why are people in sectors from the life sciences to maritime innovating? Where are they doing it? How successful are their efforts? We surveyed our customers, our speakers and thought leader contacts of Informa Connect, to ask them how their organizations are responding to the crisis. Our initial research told us that the most important changes happening right now in organizations fell into these categories: how organizations manage crises, both before and after COVID-19; the shift to online and working from home or other changes in the workplace; how companies are trying to be relevant to their customers; and lastly, how they have applied innovations with new business initiatives or products and creating efficiencies. We’re offering our exclusive findings here, in this first-of-its-kind multi-sector report on The Future of Business Post COVID-19.

In our survey, 57% of professionals in the Life Sciences responded that there was negative financial impact to their businesses, but in many cases their companies have been able to turn this disruption into a positive force, by innovating and accelerating the creation of new products as well as cultivating deeper relationships with their customers. The list of new products and services that survey respondees shared with us were astounding in their diversity.

One organization, a telehealth provider, introduced mental health and wellness services, a second explained that they were in the process of “certifying the first 3D printing mask in the world”, a third “designed and developed Study Protocols for the COVID-19 response in Africa” and a fourth was developing peptides related to a COVID-19 treatment.

Whether you are interested in business strategy and innovation in biotech and pharma, or want to see what sectors such as finance, energy, marketing and human resources are up to post COVID-19 – our new Informa Connect report The Future of Business Post COVID-19 offers a wealth of information on how businesses are responding and thriving.