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The interface of tech and biotech has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, but there’s still something missing

Dr Axel Bouchon, head of Leaps by BayerAxel Bouchon, head of Leaps by Bayer Bayer

  • The technology industry is becoming increasingly embedded into the world of life sciences. 
  • Axel Bouchon, who heads up Leaps by Bayer, an organization within Bayer focused on finding and funding breakthroughs, said he expects disruption of the healthcare industry within the decade to come from the intersection of tech and biotech. 
  • “The potential of how biophysical data could be combined with data management will revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry and all of life sciences,” Bouchon said. 
  • It likely won’t be a case of just bringing the two industries together, he said. It’ll take a new group of people that’s able to think differently.

Major tech companies are eyeing the healthcare world. And the pharmaceutical industry is starting to take note. 

“The true disruption of the next five to 10 years will come at the interface of tech and biotech,” Axel Bouchon, head of Leaps by Bayer, told Business Insider.

“The potential of how biophysical data could be combined with data management will revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry and all of life sciences,” he said. “And interestingly, nobody on the tech side nor on our side has the solution.”

Leaps by Bayer is an organization within the life sciences and pharmaceutical company that’s focused on finding and funding what Bouchon described as “fundamental breakthroughs that really change and cure.”

Carsten Brunn, head of pharmaceuticals in the Americas at Bayer, told Business Insider he’s already started seeing the influence of technology in his work.  For example, machine learning is helping companies better pinpoint which leaders within healthcare they might want to work with on a particular disease area or product launch. 

Ultimately, Bouchon hopes, this intersection of biotech and tech will benefit patients.

“What I would dream of is, if there’s a cancer patient entering a clinic, he or she should have data on hand for him or herself. Believe me this is hardly possible,” Bouchon said. Right now, there is a lot of data out there collected about patients that could potentially help. The problem is, that information isn’t exactly the easiest to use. 

For now, though, something’s still missing that’s keeping the healthcare world from being disrupted. 

“I believe that someone will just realize that both sides miss fundamental expertise,” Bouchon said. To fix that, it likely won’t be a case of just bringing the two industries together — it’ll take a new group of people that’s able to think differently, he said. 

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