Healthcare and life sciences

What are the trends driving innovation in healthcare and life science? By offering an overview of the challenges and opportunities affecting this sector, Supertrends can help you anticipate and monitor them to keep your organization always one step ahead.

Healthcare and life science

What is changing?

Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare and life science sector has seen an acceleration in its transformation, giving shape above all to new forms of healthcare delivery and patient approach, as well as innovative therapies and medicines. The transformation of the industry is expected to address three areas specifically:

Patient-centered care approach and care delocalization

One emergent challenge for healthcare institutions in recent years has been the need to meet the growing expectations of patients and proceed with the necessary technological adoption to ensure a form of ubiquitous and delocalized healthcare while maintaining a close relationship with patients and providing them with the best possible experience. The new domain of delocalization of health services and patient-centricity is advancing in line with new developments in the fields of personalized medicine, virtual healthcare, telemedicine and telehealth, wearable technology, e-pharmacy, and “beyond the pill” treatment and prevention. In line with this trend, biotech, med-tech, and pharma companies will also need to consider the shifting application settings of the devices, drugs, and therapies when designing future production and distribution. At the same time, they must deal with the required adjustments to regulatory frameworks.

Digitalization to close skills gaps and workforce shortage

As care shifts to new delivery models, and with the emergence of new therapies and treatments, digitalization, technological adoption, and the acquisition of tech skills are becoming crucial to reduce the pressure on, and fill in the skill gaps of, the healthcare workforce. Due to a lack of digitalization and automation of processes, a significant part of the workforce is dedicated to manually handling minor tasks, with a consequent increase in human-resource costs, a decrease in care-delivery efficiency, and an increase in workforce pressure, dissatisfaction, and burn-out. In addition, numerous new treatments rely on advanced scientific, analytics, and digital knowledge and require the acquisition of new talents that go beyond the traditional healthcare competencies. Therefore, the main challenge is to re-think and find new ways of organizing the healthcare systems in the light of these changes, which affect every department from HR – which must re-evaluate skills criteria, and promote up-skilling and re-skilling of the workforce – to structural organization and technological adoption.

Meeting ESG targets

The healthcare sector accounts for 4 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions due to its round-the-clock operations, specialized medical equipment, and extensive use of air conditioning and refrigerated storage. Most hospitals and care facilities are not designed for energy efficiency. Addressing the environmental target becomes crucial, as it is linked to societal health as well: rising temperatures can have a direct effect on population health and further stress healthcare infrastructures and workforce. In addition, the healthcare system needs to face the challenge of a society struggling with health equity, mental health, stalled progress in combating infectious diseases, growing antimicrobial resistance, and the rising levels of noncommunicable diseases. All these areas are moving further up on institutional and policy agendas, and seen as issues that need to be addressed urgently. Socially responsible entities are creating new key performance indicators (KPIs). These are expected to enable better measurement for ESG progress and identification of areas of improvements, making organizations more accountable and transparent and, as a consequence, potentially more attractive for investors. In the future, success will depend on collaborating for shared value in a way that is transparent and sustainable.

Key technologies and innovations to watch

Robotic arm telerobotic therapy

Telerobotic therapy

Includes technologies that allows healthcare professionals to treat patients remotely, such as the telerobotic endovascular therapy system, which could help neurovascular surgeons to provide stroke treatment for patients in small hospitals remotely. 

This system prevents the aggravation of the physical condition of patients in need of immediate or short-term interventions by enabling the surgeon to perform the procedure directly from the main hospital without waiting for the transfer of the patient.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality systems

These systems are finding a wide range of uses in the healthcare and life science sector. Medical professional can use them for education purposes, to simulate surgical procedures, and for learning how to use equipment and devices. Patients can use them for pain management; for neurological, physical, and cognitive rehabilitation; and for other therapies.

VR is delivering excellent results in such use cases. Estimates predict an impressive growth of the global healthcare VR market by 2025.     

Bacteria, phage therapy, healthcare life science

Phage therapy

This therapeutic approach involves the use of either naturally-occurring or bioengineered phages to infect and destroy bacteria with special enzymes. It has the potential to be used as an alternative for treating antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” and to prevent infections.

Due to misuse and overuse of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance is accelerating globally, while increasing the occurrence of “superbugs” that are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Paint a map of the most likely future with data


We help you anticipate trends and their impact on your business and on the healthcare and life science sector as a whole. Through our multi-data sources, we enable more informed, faster, and actionable decisions:

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Multiple API data sources are scanned with machine learning and monitored over time.

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Crowdsourcing

The intelligence of the crowd validates predictions and improves accuracy.


 Ubiquitous health services and a deep focus on psychophysical care are leading this sector to research and develop technologies that enable deep personalization, representative of a sector that is increasingly shifting from health care institutions to the centrality and needs of patients. Do you want to know more?

 Ubiquitous health services and a deep focus on psychophysical care are leading this sector to research and develop technologies that enable deep personalization, representative of a sector that is increasingly shifting from health care institutions to the centrality and needs of patients. Do you want to know more?

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