Life Sciences & Healthcare 2022 - Qtr 4 market update

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By :
Natalie Drew

And that’s a wrap! 2022 is drawing to a close. So let’s take a look back at what’s happened in the life sciences industry this year and predict some trends for 2023. 

Redundancies and layoffs 

This year we have seen many companies going through widespread layoffs across Europe, the USA and APAC, including:

  • Bayer
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • Illumina 
  • Novartis
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb 
  • Adaptimmune 

Although the specific reasons behind these have varied, there are similarities. We have seen drugs come off patent, leading to whole departments being cut in sales, marketing, R&D or service teams.

Others have been unable to avoid making significant cuts due to rising inflation costs and the commercial necessity of realigning operating expenses with financial objectives. 

Shortages – staff and supplies 

Throughout the year staff shortages have persisted, presenting serious challenges across the sector. 

All facets of the healthcare industry have suffered – with shortages of hospital staff, GPs and emergency service staff impacting patient care. And, staff shortages in industries like hospitality and retail have had an impact too.

Supply chains have been hard hit by a succession of disasters – Brexit, Covid and the Ukraine war – causing significant supply issues. Increasingly complex bureaucracy, global issues with international shipping and the inability to source key materials have left businesses scrambling to secure new suppliers, often having to pay an increased price. 

The outlook for 2023 is mixed. With global high inflation, the escalating threat of widespread industrial action in the UK, no sign of a resolution to the Ukraine war and an increasingly tense relationship between the US and China, supply chain uncertainty persists. 

To counter this, investment, innovation, harnessing technology, R&D breakthroughs – all of which have escalated partly due to the pandemic – are on the increase. As long as businesses can continue to think creatively, build resilience, change and adapt, the future looks bright. 

Securing the right people who can steer that change and accelerate growth will be crucial.

Digital health continues to revolutionise healthcare.

It’s a topic everyone is talking about, but why is it so important?  Because it has the potential to prevent disease, provide early diagnosis and manage long term health conditions, all of which leads to the perfect combination - better patient outcomes and lower costs. Win win! 

Advances in medical science, enabling treatment to be tailored to individual patients means clinicians can build bespoke care programmes for a person’s specific needs. 

Digital health innovations are also benefiting healthcare providers who are able to implement easier, faster processes to cut delivery time scales.

Above all, new digital ways of working can build consistency and a shared approach across various services. The resulting reduction in clinical variations and clinical errors is already starting to have a positive impact on patient safety, and this will continue as the digital revolution gathers pace.

However, digital transformation of healthcare does present other challenges. Data protection, cyber security, interoperability, privacy and misinformation are all major priorities for the coming year.

What else does 2023 have in store?

The proliferation of sophisticated digital tools like…

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Machine Learning (ML)
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  • Advanced Analytics 

…can help access, analyse and utilise data and technology in unimaginable ways with almost limitless potential. 

Put simply, these technologies enable us to make key predictions, create certainty and eliminate subjective opinion in an unpredictable and chaotic healthcare environment. 

It’s possible to develop predictive models that can forecast future outcomes and trends, meaning budget and resource can be deployed where they will be most needed. 

Advanced analytics, AI, ML and RPA provide the ability to make real-time decisions, faster and more accurately than humans, with far reaching consequences for our future health.

Kay Khan, CTO at our sister business Keystream Analytics, says:

“These technologies will play a significant role in improving patient care, whether by enhancing research capabilities or reducing costs to make treatments more widely available. The potential is huge for improvements to public health.”

From helping individual clinicians make a quick decision about a patient’s care to predicting and alleviating blockages in our healthcare system, the ability to make better, data-driven decisions is set to significantly improve healthcare outcomes for patients.

As we go into 2023, waiting lists, backlogs, staff shortages, supply issues and economic conditions are threatening global health. At a time when pressure on our healthcare system, and its’ staff, is at its highest, deploying and embedding digital technology is essential. 

People will be at the heart of the healthcare sectors’ ability to implement these technologies and navigate these challenges.


Contact Natalie Drew for more on emerging trends for 2023, to see how we can help find outstanding talent or to discuss job opportunities for the new year.


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