Life sciences companies face unprecedented challenges as revenues come under pressure as a consequence of pricing pressures caused by healthcare reforms and austerity measures, increased competition, and challenges in bringing new drugs and other products to market.

They are responding by focusing on growth opportunities in emerging markets, pursuing breakthrough innovation through collaboration with industry and academic partners, challenging and revolutionizing the traditional sales, marketing and research and development (R&D) operating models and focusing on operational efficiency.

Shifts in the behavior of patients and healthcare professionals and emerging technologies are changing the relationship life sciences companies have with their traditional customers and creating new opportunities for collaboration, which will have a fundamental impact on the future success of businesses.

In a recent Accenture report, Technology Vision: What It Means for Life Sciences, the  firm found the following six technology trends will continue to influence the pharmaceutical industry over the next three to five years.

#1: Context-Based Services: Where You Are and What You’re Doing

Today, location-based capabilities and wide-scale use of smart phones and other 3G and 4G devices have helped pharmaceutical companies find new ways to engage patients and provide them with useful services that can improve quality of life. For example, the makers of Clarityn created an app which provides users with detailed information about local pollen count and where to find nearby medication to help ease seasonal allergy symptoms.

Beyond apps, technology can be used to collect patient data in real time. Imagine, for instance, a patient’s heart-rate monitor that could detect erratic heartbeats and send this information to a smart phone. The devices could then “talk” and automatically make an emergency call to a specified healthcare provider.

This new generation of wireless sensors opens up a whole world of potential for life sciences companies—for gathering targeted information for research, efficacy and compliance. “These technologies can help bring products to market more quickly by allowing patients to provide real-time data right from their own homes,” said Anne O’Riordan, Global Managing Director of Accenture’s Life Sciences industry group.