The Life Sciences Technology Mediascape Part 1: Who’s Writing about PharmaTech?

The life sciences industry has come to the forefront of every individual’s mind amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Those in the industry know well that this crisis merely amplifies issues that have plagued the sector for years. The healthcare industry is working toward technology-enabled automation and system interoperability to make sense of increasingly massive amounts of data. Compared to other industries, however, it has had to do so at a much slower pace simply due to its highly regulated nature.

Healthcare and life sciences, like many industries, are increasingly driven by data. In fact, health data has grown 878% since 2016 and is expected to continue to grow exponentially according to research from Dell EMC as part of its 2019 Global Data Protection Index. While it has been historically conservative in its adoption of advanced technologies like deep learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and data management automation, this influx of data has shone a light on the industry’s need for scalable technology infrastructure.

Given the unique overlap of media topics including healthcare and life sciences, regulatory and legal issues, as well as technology trends, we see an expansive landscape of reporters and outlets covering life sciences technology. In an audit of media coverage over three months utilizing Meltwater and Google News, we searched for reporters and publications covering pharma and technology from December 28, 2019 to March 26, 2020, then filtered to the top U.S.-based business outlets and trades focused on technology, pharma and healthcare, resulting in 2,656 pieces of unique coverage. From these results, we determined the top 10 publications and individual reporters/editors covering life sciences technology most frequently.

Top 10 Publications (by total coverage)

Top 10 Influencers (by total coverage)

MEDIA-SCAPE: In the Wake of COVID-19

The results validate that advanced technologies (including deep learning, machine learning, IoT, AI, data automation) are being covered extensively in the context of life sciences not only in industry-specific trades (PharmaVOICE, Fierce Biotech, MedCity News), but also in broader technology trades (TechCrunch, SiliconANGLE, Wired) and in the business press (Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg.)

Most notably, Forbes accounted for the largest percentage of coverage with 240 pieces in our audit period – this coverage came from a number of contributors. While it should be noted that a segment of these are associated with the Forbes CIO Network or Technology Council, which are paid programs, many are from their regular contributors and staff writers like Leah Rosenbaum, Steve Banker, and John LaMattina.

“These trends have been the key focus of pharmaceutical trade media for years – the urgency of coronavirus has merely brought them to the world stage.”

The uptick in business and technology coverage makes sense considering that the audit period spans the period of time the coronavirus pandemic has dominated the news cycle. The global impact to individual consumers has certainly spurred a high level of coverage including significant exploration of the value of technology for advances in developing, approving, and delivering safe, effective and affordable treatments and vaccines. These trends, however, have been the key focus of pharmaceutical trade media for years – the urgency of coronavirus has merely brought them to the world stage.

Check out part two, where we talk about the life sciences technology news and trends that garner media coverage and what you need to be successful with media.