Content By Matthew M. Lowe

Matthew M. Lowe’s picture

By: Matthew M. Lowe

While most business sectors have welcomed the efficiencies and benefits that cloud technologies and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings bring, the life sciences industry has been slow to embrace external cloud networks. Merely a decade ago, in fact, an International Data Corp. survey showed that 75 percent of CIOs and IT executives in life sciences and healthcare fields surveyed said that security risks were their primary reason for opposing cloud technologies.

Cloud-averse attitudes are slow to change, and industry research shows that companies that manage health information continue to show major resistance to cloud technology.

Matthew M. Lowe’s picture

By: Matthew M. Lowe

Despite the life science industry’s infatuation with modernity and trend chasing, even its most forward-thinking organizations have struggled to fully digitize and integrate their operations.

Yet, while the industry lags behind most other sectors in implementing business-streamlining digital technologies, many shrewd life science companies are working to close the digital gap so they can capitalize on the competitive advantages digitization affords.

As digital initiatives gain more traction, and as advanced technologies increasingly perform more of our mundane tasks, skilled life science professionals’ fears about job displacement are intensifying. Their digital apprehensions are undeniably intertwined with the global workforce’s general anxieties about automation, as highlighted in a 2017 PwC survey that reports 37 percent of the world’s workers are worried about eventually losing their jobs to automation. The unease is worsening, it seems, as only 33 percent of workers reported concerns about job-eradicating automation in the same survey in 2014.

Matthew M. Lowe’s picture

By: Matthew M. Lowe

It’s human nature to resist change, and the life sciences industry is not exempt from a change-averse mindset. The proof: Life science organizations (LSOs) lag far behind counterparts in other sectors in implementing digital technologies that are designed to streamline business and manufacturing processes.

In fact, while the rest of the world continually vies for digital differentiators, only 21 percent of LSOs even view digital disruption as a potential threat, according to PwC’s most recent Digital IQ survey. The causes of LSOs’ digitization reluctance are abundant and legitimate—security, cost, data integrity and validation concerns are just a few—but fears about regulatory compliance are usually at the top of that list.

Matthew M. Lowe’s picture

By: Matthew M. Lowe

Life science companies play a major role in the global economy, with revenues expected to reach a staggering $1.5 trillion by 2020.1 Such a rosy forecast is likely to attract innovators and encourage current industry players to blaze new trails. Whether new or established, life science companies share a common need as a prerequisite to success: regulatory compliance.

A new medical product deemed unsafe or ineffective by regulators will never reach patients, no matter how innovative it is. Noncompliance can make or break a regulated company, especially if the violation leads to serious adverse events or a product recall.

Matthew M. Lowe’s picture

By: Matthew M. Lowe

The medical marijuana industry is being heralded as the new frontier in the life sciences, thanks to the potential of cannabis-derived products in treating ailments that range from chemotherapy-induced nausea to epilepsy and neuropathic pain. If you’re a startup in the industry, what does this mean for you? In a nutshell, it means opportunities abound, but regulatory uncertainty remains.

For the medical marijuana industry to earn public trust, it must find a clear regulatory path. The industry’s journey toward that path resembles what the nutraceutical and tobacco industries faced in the past.

Nutraceuticals and cigarettes are popular among consumers throughout the world, but their manufacturers suffered the stigma of being unregulated for a long time. Without the stamp of regulatory approval, many people considered dietary supplements dubious. Likewise, cigarette companies were deemed unethical.

It wasn’t until 1994 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to regulate the nutraceutical industry under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.1 The FDA’s regulation of tobacco products came in 2009, prompted by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.2