COVID-19: Pushing Top Tech Talent To Move to Pharma?

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A new report by Novartis looks at how leading talent in the technology industry is increasingly looking to bring their skillsets into the healthcare and life sciences industries against the backdrop of the fight against COVID-19.

 

Top tech talent sees a myriad of opportunities to leverage its knowledge in the healthcare and pharma sectors, according to a recent report by Novartis. The report, titled A Powerful Pairing studied the perceptions of tech professionals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study involved surveying over 2,500 tech workers from the US, UK, Germany, China and India about the industries they would consider working in if they could switch from their current roles.

 

[The COVID-19 pandemic] has shown us that we must grasp the clear opportunities that the powerful pairing of data science and technology provides to not only reshape our sector but also to create better experiences for patients and physicians

Bertrand Bodson, Chief Digital Officer, Novartis

 

The healthcare and pharma industries topped the list at 49 percent each. The report discovered a lesser willingness to switch to industries such as finance or telecommunications, around 25 percent. Respondents also demonstrated a favourable shift in opinion toward healthcare and pharma, with a full 73 percent reporting that their opinions have improved due to healthcare and pharma’s reaction to the pandemic, and furthermore, 85 percent stated that the utilisation of data science has played a crucial role. According to Novartis Chief Digital Officer Bertrand Bodson, “The global COVID-19 pandemic sparked a seismic shift in the adoption and scaling of digital technologies across the healthcare sector at a pace never before seen… It has shown us that we must grasp the clear opportunities that the powerful pairing of data science and technology provides to not only reshape our sector but also to create better experiences for patients and physicians.”

 

Tech professionals now see the healthcare and pharma industry as a more desired career destination, and the findings of the study further detailed the reasons behind participants’ interest in switching industries. Having the opportunity to innovate through tech drew a 52 percent response, the draw of improving quality of care and improving systems efficiency received 49 percent, and 48 percent toward solving practical real-world problems.  However, a lack of experience in the sector is potentially keeping some tech workers away. 40 percent of respondents cited a fear that they don’t possess the industry knowledge to do the work well, and another 20 percent stated they wouldn’t feel qualified to work in a pharma company.

 

Bodson further highlighted the crucial need for tech talent in healthcare, elaborating that “our existing investment in core platforms has enabled us to respond rapidly to the needs of patients, physicians and our associates – as well as dial up our work rethinking how we discover and develop new medicines; work smarter; and create better customer experiences. Attracting and nurturing highly sought-after tech talent into the sector is now critical to grasping the clear opportunity that comes with combining the power of data, science and technology.”

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