Nino Giguashvili (Senior Research Analyst)

The European life sciences industry is looking at a promising year ahead, with very positive implications for growth in digital investments. In 2019, spending on digital technology is expected to grow in the majority of European life science organizations, even in those markets where expectations regarding general business prospects are relatively modest, as IDC’s recent pan-European survey of life sciences organizations shows.

So, what are the main forces driving the market? While the undeniable benefits span a range of impact areas such as operational efficiency, cost optimization, and performance, our survey shows that the European life sciences industry is beginning to embrace a more consumer-centric mindset, with improving patient engagement and experience being at the top of near-term business priorities. And this is true for all life science subindustries, including pharmaceutical, medical device, and clinical research and development organizations.

In fact, these findings are consistent with what we, at IDC Health Insights Europe, have recently been observing through our continuous monitoring of the market: European pharma is starting to take steps to break down the traditional boundaries, striving to directly engage with and get closer to the ultimate beneficiaries of their products — the patients.

Patients are, indeed, at the heart of digital strategies and innovation plans for European pharmaceutical companies. In the new paradigm of value-based healthcare, the industry is increasingly looking into the game-changing potential of digital advances to maximize clinical and financial outcomes and boost patient satisfaction. Not only will pharma companies leverage digital technologies (such as mobile, cloud, social media, IoT, robotics, and advanced analytics) to develop novel, more effective, and personalized therapies, they will also strive to create a greater “beyond-the-pill” value for achieving superior patient experience via, for example, utilizing digital platforms to support convenient and reliable drug delivery, medication adherence, and monitoring and management of various diseases, including self-management and care.

With an increasingly customer-centric mindset, European life science companies will be accelerating investments in both “traditional” and innovative information and communication technologies. Investments are expected to grow across all major technology categories (hardware, software, and IT services), with solid increases expected across various software solutions and IT services to support customer engagement, manage new administrative processes and regulatory challenges, and enable secure data exchange and effective collaboration across the broader life science ecosystem. For more insights into the digital spending patterns and future outlook, we invite you to visit the IDC Health Insights website and review our recently published research: