Globally, 71% of healthcare industry professionals expressed that the Covid-19 pandemic had the greatest impact on digital transformation in the healthcare sector during the last few years, among other macro events, according to a survey by GlobalData.

GlobalData’s latest Thematic Intelligence report, “Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies in the Healthcare Industry – 2023 Edition”, also reveals that the finding was consistent across surveyed regions, including globally-operated organisations.

Elton Kwok, market research manager in pharma at GlobalData, comments: “The healthcare industry has endured quite a lot of impact in the past few years, from the pandemic to other macro-events such as Brexit, inflation, or geopolitical conflicts.

“Businesses would have to adjust their investment strategies and growth projections when they were exposed to the disruption caused by these events, and the respondents in our survey seemed to see the pandemic as the event with the greatest impact on digitalisation.”

According to the report, which offers insights into the progress and investment trends of digital transformation in the healthcare industry, findings also show that among those respondents, over 80% believed that the pandemic had accelerated the digital transformation process within their organisations.

Kwok adds: “The pandemic was an unprecedented global event that brought a lot of never-been-experienced challenges to the industry. Restriction of movement, disruption in logistics, and lowered business activities are some examples of what pharma companies went through during the time.

“However, at the same time, the advantages and benefits introduced by emerging technologies have drawn more attention. Successful cases such as decentralized or virtual clinical trials, the use of AI, big data, telemedicine, digital wearables, cloud computing, or real-world evidence are increasing in numbers.”

Kwok concludes: “The business environment has been changing rapidly during and after COVID-19. Rather than obstacle, some might believe that the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for digital transformation. Innovative technologies can help their businesses to remain competitive and resilient in the industry.”