2022 Global Life Sciences Outlook

Digitalization at scale: Delivering on the promise of science

Published date: 23 May 2022

Viewpoints / key findings

2022 Global Life Sciences Outlook--Digitalization at scale: Delivering on the promise of science focuses on the current state of the sector, explores seven trends shaping the industry and prepares stakeholders to take advantage of the many opportunities that a new era of science presents.

While valuations for the life sciences sector in this past year have been mixed, the underlying performance and outlook for the sector is healthy. We saw many companies’ growth buoyed by COVID-19 therapeutics, and the majority of others remaining fairly immune to some of the pandemic impacts initially feared. We anticipate further growth in the industry as life sciences companies continue to transform.

Accelerate the digital transformation and build supply chain resilience

Those that made significant digital investments prior to the pandemic are benefitting from their bold vision as digital transformation accelerates every part of the life sciences value chain. In 2022, visionary leaders will continue to drive investments focused on long-term, strategic digital objectives—using automation, smart factories, and artificial intelligence to transform manufacturing and using new technologies to build supply chain resilience.

Create a human-centered experience in the workplace

The new world of virtual and hybrid work demands flexibility, and most life sciences companies will still be adjusting to new norms and a highly competitive talent landscape in the near future. Reimagining work with a focus on corporate and working culture is a CEO strategic priority and meeting the needs of humans—and human-centered experience in the workplace—has never been more important.

Co-create a more patient-centric experience model

The last two years of the pandemic saw unprecedented collaboration across life sciences and with stakeholders. Everyone was mobilized in the interest of patients, including regulatory agencies around the world digitally sharing research. Over the next year, more patient-centric, co-created experiences will evolve to make patients more equal partners in decision-making throughout their journeys and help life sciences deliver better, more personalized outcomes.

Speed up the development of drugs and treatments

In 2022, data-driven scientists, armed with new sources of insights and real-world evidence, will be solving problems for diseases that were once thought intractable. Scientific breakthroughs, like the mRNA technologies behind the COVID-19 vaccines and cell and gene therapies, have many potential use-cases for the future. The new processes adopted to expedite COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic products are now also being applied to speed up the development of other drugs and treatments.

Close attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements

ESG is expected to remain front and center in 2022, as companies face enhanced disclosures and new global standards. Watchdogs, investors, and customers will be scrutinizing life sciences’ progress. In the year ahead, life sciences leaders will be expected to focus on material ESG factors for the sector such as access to medicines, drug pricing, environmental sustainability, health and race equity, and diversity in leadership.


The greatest challenge for leaders in 2022 will be how to ensure they accelerate the progress made. Bold leaders with a clear, cohesive vision will continue to take advantage of the many opportunities the pandemic has surfaced and accelerated. Change will persist through 2022 and beyond. Agile companies that willing to move beyond convention to solve the toughest challenges, stand to reap the biggest benefits.

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