5 technology trends transforming healthcare and pharmaceuticals

Discover what's driving innovation as these industries become more digitally-focused

94% of healthcare executives believe that the pace of innovation in their organisation has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals are under increasing pressure to deliver access to affordable, high quality healthcare. But with the talent shortages, a growing and aging population and an increase of prevalent diseases, both industries are facing wide-ranging challenges on a global scale.

Technology is the key to revolutionising the way healthcare and pharmaceuticals organisations operate. However, 94 per cent of NHS trusts were still using handwritten notes for paper records in late 2018. Whilst there’s a long way to go, there’s plenty of interesting digital transformation already underway. Pharmaceutical companies can have greater control and visibility of their manufacturing and delivery processes using Blockchain. And in Sweden, their Patient Accessible Electronic Health Record enables medical professionals to have fast access to the accurate medical history of their patients.

Here we roundup the latest technology trends that will enable pharmaceutical and healthcare professionals feel confident in their decision making and provide trusted, personal and quick service.


Much more than just faster connection speeds, 5G will provide the infrastructure for us to benefit from the likes of AI and successful remote working. The speeds that 5G offers will provide truly connected workspaces. Instantaneous web connections mean patients could be treated via a computer or mobile in an online doctor’s visits. 5G will also support our use of cloud platforms which allow greater connectivity and collaboration between departments and across organisations.


Pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations are prime targets for cyber-attacks. The volume of personal data they possess from insurance details to personally identifiable information has a lot of value to cyber criminals. As these industries embrace technology, the need to identify risks and mitigate threats is increasingly important. In addition to this, the more that organisations grow their ecosystem by partnering with equipment manufacturers, device companies and online platforms they increase the risk of attack.

For a digital transformation in healthcare and pharma to succeed it needs the support of the customer but that won’t happen if their personal data is at risk and there’s a level of mistrust. Authenticating staff identities when entering secure facilities and keeping wearables and medical devices secure are just two examples of why cybersecurity needs to be a key priority.


Implementing artificial intelligence is already supporting decision making, improving system efficiency, screening and diagnosis processes. The NHS Artificial Intelligence Laboratory was launched in August 2019 to explore these practical applications of AI. Much of this is of course not about replacing skilled professionals with technology but, at least initially, about freeing up their time by using AI to automate repetitive tasks or create unified log in systems.

However, this hinges on having excellent data as well as trust from customers and patients that their data will be used appropriately. But the more AI is used the better it will become. Recently, the use of AI in NHS projects has come under fire due to an agreement due to Royal Free giving Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind access to healthcare data on the 1.6 million patients including identifying people who are HIV-positive and giving details of drug overdoses and abortions over the preceding five years. Going forward, marrying the needs of public and private organisations will be vital as they go through their digital evolution.


To truly reap the benefits of emerging technology often requires access to high volumes of accurate data. There is more data than ever before available about our personal lives. And we’re getting more comfortable sharing it, whether by filling in a health survey or posting on social media. Through this data, companies can better predict when people will become unwell. UK researchers have found that digital records of grocery bills can be used to predict or identify geographic areas with a prevalence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.


Consumer attitudes and behaviour will determine the success of digital transformation in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Currently, there is mistrust from customers and patients around technology adoption in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. But a personalised service could be the key to getting consumer’s support of technology in these sectors. As we continue to embrace digital, people expect to interact with pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations on their own terms. From delivering medication when the consumer wants it to understanding patient’s meal preferences, digital it vital to providing healthcare when and how consumers want it.

Today’s emerging workforce are well-equipped to support the healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations’ change programmes and offer a real solution to digital skills shortages. Having always lived in a digital and data-focused world, their inherent understanding of technology means they can provide a fresh perspective on challenges faced by healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations.

At Grayce, we develop bright graduates into well-rounded change professionals. Our Development Programme bolsters graduates’ inherent technical knowledge. Over three years, Grayce Analysts gain the accredited qualifications, training and career-coaching to add value to NHS change programmes from day one. We often provide a valued extension to an existing graduate programme to accelerate graduate intake and co-develop the digital workforce.

Grayce have been partnered with public and private sector organisations since 2013. Our growing Analyst Community are supporting cutting-edge change programmes in banking, cybersecurity, law, insurance, IT, retail – and much more. Working on industry-leading projects nationwide, our Analysts bring the technical skills and adaptability that’s vital in the fast-paced world of transformation.

Find out how Grayce Analysts are supporting healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations

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