Life Sciences after the pandemic – what’s gonna stick?
Despite bringing about a whole bunch of troubles, challenges and contradictions, the COVID-19 pandemic did manage to cause a few positive things. In the case of research in the Life Sciences industry new approaches and technologies are now boosting cooperation in increasingly diverse areas. And everywhere innovation slowly but surely reshapes work all across the fields. Nonetheless, experts agree that those positive (no matter how contradictory it may sound) consequences of the coronavirus will require considerable effort to ensure they stick after the crisis is over (however that is defined). Though practices like remote monitoring and decentralized trials were thoroughly discussed before, it is the pandemic that accelerated putting these tools into practice, while keeping emphasis on patient safety. And remote work and recruiting as a whole have become dominant topics in Executive Search as well. So what should we keep from these troubled times?
The pandemic urged to look for new innovative solutions that are worth keeping. Though at first some of the approaches were put into a drawer with a sticker “high risk”, lack of time and funding left no alternatives. Some of those have actually received more attention during the pandemic: master files (submissions about manufacturing processes and development platforms that can be used for multiple products), master protocols (which look at multiple treatments at once) and pragmatic trial design (trial in real-word conditions) – to name just a few.
Communicate, communicate and (guess what?) communicate
Technology enabled new means of communication that allowed, for example, staying in touch with trial participants and patients. This, in turn, creates multiple new opportunities to remotely provide the care and education patients in need require. Such approach can surely be taken into consideration even after the pandemic has subsided. Additionally, clear communication in times of crisis is the key to keep people on the same page, focused and well prepared to take necessary actions.
Sharing data and collaboration=everyone benefits
In order to deal with a newly appeared disease, a swift method of sharing information plays a critical role. The projects have been in development to create more centralized outlets to share and harmonize relevant data and COVID-19 has speeded up these processes. So, for example, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences in the US has been successfully working on such platform, providing information and putting in place data-use agreements. Even more inspiring, however, are the efforts of companies to create collaborative agreements. Due to the pandemic, those mutually beneficial agreements have been concluded in just a few weeks as opposed to regular few years! Everyone benefits.
Without a doubt, the footprint of the current global challenge will stay for quite a while. On the other hand, it has sped up processes that would normally take years to really settle in. This should be seen and treated as nothing but an advantage, and the best and the most efficient practices invented during these trying times should be maintained. One important way to do this is to get people on board, and prepare the people who already are on board, who are trained and fit to take on these new challenges. Who have the right mindset and the proper qualifications to already be fit for the next step. Are you?