How Senior Leaders are Using AI in the Life Sciences Sector

December 11, 2023 – Unlocking value and automation through Artificial Intelligence (AI) is top of mind for business leaders today. As organizations across industries look to differentiate themselves and grow, technology leadership continues to be a key driver. A new report from talent advisory firm DHR Global’s John BakerSal DiFranco, and Patrick Haberland, explain how AI is impacting the life science industry today, where it’s going in the future, and what organizations need to be aware of in terms of talent implications. Continuing DHR’s latest trends and talent implications series, Artificial Intelligence Across Industries, the firm takes an in-depth look into the life science sector as it relates to AI and the talent that organizations need to navigate an ever-evolving industry.

“Critical life science businesses are always related to valid scientific studies, regulation, and finally, reimbursement. AI gives the opportunity to analyze medical data faster and with fewer errors,” the DHR report said. “Therefore, AI has the ability to greatly impact diagnostics, from radiology to molecular pathology.”

The report also explains that AI makes life sciences more dynamic because it delivers high speed and very little error when deployed correctly. “It enables an affordable and scientifically proven approach to prevention by not only collecting data through smart devices but also providing crucial medical advice,” said the study.

DHR notes that AI will and is already having an impact on many areas of life science, including:

Drug Discovery: Bringing drugs to market faster and more cost-effectively.

Medical Device and Drug Design: Analyzing best materials and accelerating prototypes via digital design, which reduces costs.

Supply Chain: Predicting demand, managing inventory, and reducing waste.

Disease Diagnosis: Analyzing substantial amounts of data from Electronic Medical Records, medical imaging, and more.

Personalized Medicine: Pulling data and insights from genetics and biomarkers and tailoring treatment by predicting outcomes, reducing costs, and avoiding adverse reactions.

Clinical Trials: Identifying the most appropriate patient populations through Machine Learning, including the use of Chatbots for customer support.

Precision Medicine: Supporting precision medicine and enabling rapid precision medicine by helping physicians detect possible disease patterns and proposing treatments. AI supports physicians with companion medicine as IBM claimed it some time ago.

Related: Leadership Void: Change Agents Sought for Life Sciences Sector

Digital Twins: Utilizing digital twins of patients to support better individual treatment. A collective of many digital twins enables pharma to do research without the risk of harming real patients.

As life science companies evolve, so will new uses for AI, which will continue to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes. The future of life science companies’ success will be predicated on the utilization of AI in the areas mentioned above and those that have yet to be identified.

What do Organizations Need to be Aware of in Terms of Talent Implications?

In the life science industry, DHR explains that companies will need executives with expert knowledge of regulations, scientific data models, and how to create commitment with scientists, physicians, and patients. The firm also says that data protection and storage will be the limiting factors for the use of AI in life science.

As Investors Retreat, Healthcare/Life Sciences Sector Stays Resilient
Healthcare and life science organizations are facing an increasingly complex landscape, with rapid technological advancements, changing regulatory environments, and heightened public scrutiny. As a result, these companies have been turning to executive search firms more than ever to acquire world-class leadership. The most pressing challenge has been finding high-impact, innovative leaders who can navigate this complex terrain and drive meaningful change.

“As life science is also a business, future talent must have a solid understanding of reimbursement to analyze if a product is viable and a scalable business case,” the DHR report said. “In Europe, for example, every country has its own reimbursement, and sometimes, one country has more than one reimbursement system. Overall, hiring to ensure AI methodologies are adopted, utilized, and developed will be critical to each company’s success. Failure to do so will cause those companies to fall behind their competitors. Since 1989, DHR Global has been a leading, privately held provider of executive search solutions with more than 50 wholly owned offices spanning the globe. The firm’s consultants specialize in all industries and functions, providing senior-level executive search, management assessment, and succession planning services.

Mr. DiFranco serves as managing partner of the global advanced technology and CIO/CTO practices specializing in cloud, digital transformation, IoT, data & analytics and software & applications including SaaS. He specializes in C-level technology searches across all practices, with a focus on industrial technology, fintech, healthcare IT, consumer & retail and professional services.

Mr. Haberland leads the life science practice in Europe and brings more than 20 years of experience in executive search. He has an in-depth understanding of how the correlation between medicine, innovation and business impacts the demands for executive talent. His clients cover large academic and medical institutions, hospitals of all levels of care, pharmaceutical, MedTech and digital health enterprises.

Mr. Baker is managing partner, global life science practice leader. Leveraging more than 25 years in the healthcare environment, he focuses on senior executive- and direct report-level assignments in the life sciences sector. Mr. Baker has worked with private equity, venture-backed, development stage and high-growth publicly-held companies across the device, diagnostic, biopharmaceutical and healthcare technology markets.

Related: Life Sciences: The Power of Supply-Chain Leadership in Today’s Market

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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