Industry findings: Health services

Since 2007, PwC has conducted research on the Digital IQ of companies worldwide. This year marks the release of our 10th anniversary survey of business and IT executives, and it contains unique insights into how healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences (PLS) businesses are capitalizing on technology and what they think about technology's role in their strategic approach to digital transformation.


Keeping pace with digital

In 2007, healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences (PLS) executives reported that they viewed technology of both strategic and operational importance, and they expressed confidence in their ability to harness the power of IT to grow their businesses. But today, as competition mounts from inside and outside of the health sector, executives are not as sure of their leadership’s ability to effectively leverage digital technologies. Only 63% of healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences executives believe their CEOs are champions for digital, down from 72% in 2015. Nevertheless, healthcare and PLS execs rate their organizations' Digital IQs higher than other industry execs rate theirs.

The human factor

Digital IQ is about an organization’s ability to adapt to change and use emerging tech to advance company goals as they apply to consumers. However, health employees’ emerging technology skills are lacking.

Not all clinicians are overly troubled by this, as many continue to cling to the belief that too much tech can obstruct and hinder the patient/clinician relationship. Nevertheless, healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences executives continue to push for tech that incorporates patient-centered design that enhances—rather than replaces—patient encounters, ultimately creating more time for one-on-one patient communication.

The changing definition of digital

Today, 34% of health executives define digital as synonymous with IT. This number hasn’t moved much from 2015, in which 36% of healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences executives also equated the two.

But the definition of digital is in flux. Other up-and-coming definitions of digital technologies health execs cite include all technology innovation-related activities (21%), investments that integrate technology across the business (19%), and all customer-facing technology activities (13%).

Contact us

Dan Garrett
Principal, Health Industries
Tel: +1 (610) 256 2055

Patrick Figgis
Global Leader, Health Industries
Tel: +44 (0) 207 804 7718

Michael Swanick
Global Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Leader
Tel: +1 (267) 330 6060

Follow us