Digital transformation in life sciences

How pharma and medtech can shift from doing digital to being digital

Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword—it’s a strategic imperative. How can life sciences companies advance their capabilities and take a more holistic view of their digital strategies?

The convergence of science and technology is ushering in a new era of health care. There has never been a better time to disrupt the status quo. How can life sciences companies advance their capabilities and take a more holistic view of their digital strategies? Watch the video.

Welcome to season 3 of the Tales of transformation podcast: Moving from doing digital to being digital

Digital transformation might be the buzzword of the day, but for life sciences companies it is becoming a critical imperative to succeed in a changing business environment. This season of Tales of Transformation explores digital transformation in life sciences and the challenges and opportunities companies face in moving from doing digital to being digital.

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Episode 1: Digital transformation, the buzzword of the day

New technologies and digital transformation offer biopharmaceutical and medtech companies opportunities across their organizations—from how they conduct research and interact with regulators to how they optimize their finance, supply chains, and manufacturing operations. New digital capabilities can also change the game in how companies engage with their customers, patients, and other stakeholders. However, life sciences companies have not traditionally been early adopters of new technologies. What is holding life sciences companies back? How can they better take advantage of new digital capabilities? And how do they demonstrate impact and ROI from their investments?

There are fundamental building blocks that will have to be put in place whether that's from a technology standpoint or an operating model and so digital transformation really becomes an enabler, it becomes a bit of a risk mitigator on one hand and an accelerator of strategies on the other.

– Greg Reh, US Life Sciences Sector Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Episode 2: Who’s leading the change in life sciences?

Digital Technologies are disrupting organizations of every size and shape, leaving many executives scrambling to find and assess the new technologies that will help their organizations compete now and in the future. Life science companies are no exception. However, while the technology itself is vital to digital transformation, the importance of strong leadership and culture cannot be overlooked. What roles do leadership and culture play in helping life sciences organizations move from simply doing digital to being digital?

You can have the best strategy in the world, but if you don’t really change the culture and the ways of working, you’re not going to pull through that strategy

– Dave Rosner, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Episode 3: Regulatory’s impact in life sciences digital transformation

The life sciences sector already operates in one of the most regulated industries in the world. The pace of technological advancement, including the emergence of new digital health products, is adding to this complexity, and in some cases, leading to some uncertainty regarding regulators’ expectations and requirements. How will industry regulations evolve to address emerging technologies and digital capabilities?

Episode 4: The consumer voice in life sciences regulatory

Consumer engagement in life sciences and health care continues to grow, from searching for care and accessing new channels of care to tracking and sharing health data and using new digital tools and technologies. How could this increased engagement spill over to the regulatory environment? Or will it?

Unleash digital opportunities

Opportunities for digital transformation are available throughout a life sciences organization, from improving finance, supply chain, and manufacturing operations, to developing new products and services, to engaging differently with customers and patients.

While many life sciences companies have been exploring the opportunities that digital technologies can offer, many have yet to make consistent, sustained, and bold moves to take advantage of the new capabilities. Only about 20 percent of biopharma companies are digitally maturing. Digitally maturing companies differ from those in the earlier stages of digital maturity in the way they apply digital, scale learnings, collaborate, and facilitate change. More digitally mature companies also implement digital initiatives in stages, establishing pilots and taking a measured approach to scaling initiatives based on lessons learned.

Realizing opportunities from a digital transformation requires an overall strategy: A digital foundation that can take advantage of emerging technologies—such as analytics, cognitive intelligence, blockchain, cloud, digital reality—harness data, and scale across the organization; a culture of collaboration and experimentation; and supportive leadership.

Biopharma companies are lagging in digital transformation.

It’s time for a sea change in strategy.

Explore the research

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A framework to guide your digital transformation

Digital transformation offers biopharma and medtech companies opportunities to execute efficiently, engage effectively, and innovate new products and services.


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New products and services
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Digitize and rationalize processes to drive efficiencies and cost savings, and develop a digital culture that enables new ways of thinking and capabilities.


Drive a new enegagement model that creates and delivers targeted interactions that address customer/patient/employee needs and fosters loyal relationships.


Catalyze the development of products, services, and new business models to drive value for customers using data and innovative platforms.

Developing and delivering a digital strategy is not an easy task. And there’s a tendency to manage digital initiatives in ways that take the form of projects or are limited to activities within a given division or function. Life sciences companies that want to move away from that tendency need to develop a digital DNA by which their digital activities, people, culture, and structure are aligned with the organization’s broad ambition. That goal requires seeing differently, thinking differently, and doing differently across the organization.

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Weighing the risk of digital transformation

Even as life sciences companies develop, implement, and refine their digital strategies, concerns about risks are likely to arise. Can digital systems work well enough to ensure the safety of products, security of consumers’ and company information, and compliance with regulatory requirements? These concerns can become a barrier to change in some organizations or parts of the organization. However, organizations should acknowledge that risk is inherent in digital transformation and take steps to address it rather than delay the opportunities digital can bring.

How Deloitte can help build your digital strategy and capabilities

There isn’t a one-size approach to digital transformation. Some companies may pursue a top-down approach. Others may opt for a bottom-up or even horizonal approach focused on a key business problem or technology. Regardless of the approach, we can help you create a digital view that illuminates new business opportunities and creative ways of solving problems.

Not only is Deloitte at the forefront of digital transformation across industries, we have deep, specific, hands-on experience in biopharma, medtech, and the health care ecosystem.

We can work collaboratively with you to define your strategy, develop an architecture aligned to business objectives, and design an operating model that enables seamless collaboration and connectivity—internally and externally—all while helping your organization bring its own digital DNA to life.

If done correctly, digital transformation can help you more effectively use data for making decisions on how to run the existing business and position the organization for the future.

Connect and converge with ConvergeHEALTH

In today’s market, truly actionable insights are derived from a combination of real-world information, evidence, and experience—not just data. How can you maximize the value of your data?

Learn how ConvergeHEALTH platforms can help you better manage evidence and engage patients.

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