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Hyper-collaboration in Healthcare and Life Sciences – The New Paradigm

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the ability of the healthcare and life science industry to respond to unexpected needs with unprecedented speed. However, independent of the pandemic, the industry was already facing transformation considering multiple, highly disruptive innovations, not only in the traditional field of drug modalities but also in related fields such as digital, AI, data and medical devices. This new “Future of Health” is driven by a multitude of new players and innovations with disruptive potential and new ways of thinking about health, both at a large scale for population health and at an ultra-targeted level through the potentially curative treatment of individual diseases, such as for CAR-T or gene therapies and precision medicine. Dr. Franziska Thomas, Ben van der Schaaf and Dr. Ulrica Sehlstedt at Arthur D. Little’s discuss how the industry’s response to the pandemic and its transformation towards the Future of Health may at first seem unconnected, but they share the same foundation.


‘Hyper-collaboration in Healthcare and Life Sciences – The New Paradigm’

Although hyper-collaboration itself is not new, it is now becoming central to success in a growing number of sectors. Companies that fail to change and adapt risk being sidelined by newer, more agile players. The remarkable success of small biotech companies in beating established players in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine is just one recent example of this trend. In this article we look at how hyper collaboration is now becoming a key success factor for the healthcare and life science industry, and draw some lessons on how to make it work effectively. These lessons are also relevant for other highly complex industries with new and potentially disruptive players, such as aerospace, transportation and finance.

A Fast-evolving Landscape Creates a Need for Hyper-collaboration

Innovation is happening at a faster pace than ever, with digital and data-driven technologies alongside new molecular treatments disrupting the healthcare and life sciences industry and causing new players to emerge. This is manifested through a greater ability to combine basic research and large data approaches to rapidly improve understanding of the human body and diseases, as well as new tools to develop and deliver medications in terms of both biological tools (such as CRISPR gene editing) and hardware such as robotics and 3D printing. The time from discovery to clinical concepts has therefore shortened significantly, with a multitude of new concepts rapidly emerging and moving into usage.

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