Press releases

Deloitte Global 2019 life sciences outlook: Accelerating change in life sciences through focus and transformation

News release

  • Exponential advances in science and technology are transforming life sciences.
  • 2019 will be a year to focus on building a new business models for the future of the life sciences sector.

SINGAPORE, 11 February 2019 — Data is fast becoming the currency of life sciences, and digital enterprises are building a new business models for the future. This is according to Deloitte Global’s 2019 life sciences outlook, released today. To remain competitive in a rapidly changing market, life sciences leaders need to focus on aligning the enterprise to deliver an exceptional customer and patient experience, using data to create value, and create a sustainable digital culture with new leadership styles that embrace change.

“Trends in the life sciences industry typically take place over decades rather than years, but the pace of change now feels like it is moving faster than ever,” says Greg Reh, Deloitte Global Life Sciences & Health Care Industry leader. “Building strategic and relationship-driven partnerships with patients and regulators, focusing on external innovation and expanding richly networked ecosystems, mobilizing data and collaborating with nontraditional partners will be key to navigating the change life sciences will face in 2019 and beyond.”

Within Southeast Asia, the digitization and consumerization of health care is also changing the way patients, providers, and life sciences innovators interact. “With patients today becoming partners in the design of their health care experience, the future of customer experience is one that is personalized and patient-centric,” comments Mohit Grover, Deloitte Southeast Asia Life Sciences & Health Care Industry Leader. “In Southeast Asia, life sciences companies are increasingly focused on delivering personal health solutions. Innovations in this area include, for example, the integration of augmented reality into mobile applications to engage and empower patients to better manage their chronic health conditions, and the use of Internet of Things platforms to assist family members and carers with elderly care.”

As life sciences continues to evolve, companies should consider these key trends and strategies:


  • Strategic focus on deal-making and external innovation: The continuous search for the next generation of market-leading medicines and decreasing returns in R&D make external deals attractive sources of innovation for biopharma companies, either through licensing, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and/or joint ventures. In 2019, external innovation is likely to continue to be a strategic focus for pharma companies that may face patent expiries, competition from generics and biosimilars, weak new drug pipelines, and growing technology needs.
  • Focus on new entrants: As the world continues to digitize, life sciences’ incumbents may see next generation or technology startups and large tech companies continue to threaten the status quo. Some new entrants are diversifying from other industries, while others are innovating with new capabilities. Traditional pharma and medtech companies can take advantage of these opportunities and drive innovation or find themselves increasingly on the outside and in a reactive mode.
  • Focus on expanding a richly networked ecosystem: Digital technologies and massive connectivity are creating rich networks of connection, collaboration, and interdependence. Robust ecosystems could create new value, provide a competitive advantage, and accelerate learning. However, a growing, networked ecosystem may also carry risk. Companies will need to translate learning into innovation while managing third-party risk and keeping patients at the core.
  • Focus on outsourcing: Over the next few years, major pharmaceutical companies are expected to shift from transactional outsourcing relationships to more strategic, relationship-based models for biologics, data-driven clinical innovation, and novel therapy manufacturing capacity. Also, more companies will likely be outsourcing expertise in advanced technologies, such as AI, robotic and cognitive automation, and cloud computing. Outsourcing technology providers could increase efficiencies, lower costs, and decrease clinical timelines. We can expect a more collaborative relationship between sponsor and vendor.
  • Collaborating with new partners for transformation: The digitization and consumerization of health care is changing the way patients, providers and life sciences innovators interact. Today, patients are becoming partners in the design of their health care experience, and companies should explore a greater focus on customer experience. The future of customer experience could become more personalized and patient-centric using interoperable data and AI.


  • Transformative technologies in life sciences: Leading technologies advancing digital transformation in life sciences include: AI, robotic automation, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), Software-as-a-Medical Device (SaMD), blockchain, DIY diagnostics, virtual care, mobility in drug delivery and clinical trials, genomics, next-generation therapies, cloud computing, Real-World Evidence (RWE), and data-driven precision medicine. Life sciences organizations should look at how these disruptive technologies could work together symbiotically to drive meaningful, transformative change.
  • Mobilizing data, the currency of life sciences innovation: Effectively using data intelligence can help organizations uncover breakthrough business insights and develop products, services, and experiences tailored to customer needs. Digital could help life sciences deliver impactful experiences to customers, the workforce, and ecosystem partners. In 2019, innovative life sciences leaders who adopt big data analytics and digital platforms should be better able to measure value and outcomes, while also moving forward in their digital transformation.
  • Creating value with new business and operating models: Life science organizations should use digital transformation to learn how to scale, enterprise-wide solutions, creating value in novel ways and adopting a consumer-driven model. In today’s health care landscape, the life sciences sector will likely need to find new revenue models by transforming from not only a product sector, but also to a services sector, focusing on wellness, and using data as a revenue generator in medtech.
  • Advancing digital transformation in life sciences: To advance digital transformation in 2019, life sciences companies should start with determining and articulating their digital ambition. This means prioritizing initiatives, anchoring decisions, and focusing on the future. Leaders can then be poised for adapting new operating models and culture, implementing technology, and scaling solutions. Investment in digital technologies and the organizational transformation is critical not only for success but for survival.
  • Transforming work: The life sciences sector’s commitment to digital transformation is increasing, but more needs to be done to help organizations mature digitally. Organizations positioned for exponential growth appear to have leaders that embrace change and employees who are willing to get on board with new initiatives. They should continue to see digital well-being, the recruitment of digital and data-savvy talent and a focus on reskilling of the workforce as strategic priorities.

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited ("DTTL"), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as "Deloitte Global") and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more.

Deloitte is a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services. Our network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 286,000 people make an impact that matters at

About Deloitte Southeast Asia

Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd – a member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited comprising Deloitte practices operating in Brunei, Cambodia, Guam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – was established to deliver measurable value to the particular demands of increasingly intra-regional and fast growing companies and enterprises.

Comprising approximately 340 partners and 8,800 professionals in 25 office locations, the subsidiaries and affiliates of Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd combine their technical expertise and deep industry knowledge to deliver consistent high quality services to companies in the region.

All services are provided through the individual country practices, their subsidiaries and affiliates which are separate and independent legal entities.

© 2019 Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd

Press contact:

Clara Chee
Tel: +65 6800 3750

Did you find this useful?