From coronavirus to the new strategy of Dassault Systèmes

2020/2/24   author:Yang Wang, e-works

Dassault Systèmes announced a major strategic initiative to take life sciences as the transformation focus in the coming years.
The turning point of the coronavirus epidemic has not yet arrived. From the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress (MWC2020), to the absence of the Chinese gymnastics team from the World Cup in Melbourne, to the rising cases in cruise ship Diamond Princess stranded in Japan... the impact of the epidemic on the global scale may be more than expected.

As the public health and medical care has become the focus around the globe, Dassault Systèmes, a French software company, announced a major strategic initiative to take life sciences as the transformation focus in the coming years.

So far, 12 people have been diagnosed with the infection in France, less affected by the coronavirus outbreak. What is certain is that the new strategy of Dassault Systèmes is not directly related to the epidemic situation, but is particularly striking when the virus is still raging and affecting the lives and health of tens of thousands of people. As a software company, Dassault Systèmes is committed to exploring the complex mysteries in DNA, organs and the human body through digital technology. In fact, it also starts everyone's reflection on how digital technology affects the development of life sciences and healthcare.

Recently Mr. Tang Jiliang, one former researcher of Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry, pointed out in an interview with e-works that through this novel coronavirus epidemic, people can see more clearly the accumulation, analysis and application of data and information, and start to understand the true meaning and value of big data technology. They can also see the importance and value of automation, informatization, flexible manpower and even unmanned intelligent production methods as well as cloud computing and IoT platforms, and the distributed and coordinated production and management model based on the entire industrial chain, entire life cycle and cloud-to-end industrial form.

It can be said that Dassault Systèmes taking the life sciences as focus is expecting to achieve exactly these significance and value that Mr. Tang has talked about. In addition, Dassault Systèmes hopes to establish a virtual twin of the human body that integrates modeling, simulation, information intelligence and collaboration, so as to achieve a more accurate and economical patient treatment program — this also echoes to its vision of "harmonizing product, nature and life".

The Strategic Transformation ofDassault Systèmes
To support its new ambition, Dassault Systèmes will focus on developing its leadership in the Life sciences and Healthcare sector alongside two other strategic sectors of the economy: Infrastructure and Cities, and Manufacturing industries.


The last important strategic move was the launch of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in 2012 when Dassault Systèmes was a PLM company dedicating to 3D experience technology. In the past eight years, Dassault Systèmes has continuously promoted the implementation of 3DEXPERIENCE platform and strategy. This time, the life sciences will be the focus of the transformation in the next few years. It is certain that Dassault Systèmes will spare no effort to increase investment and development in the life sciences industry.

As for this strategic transformation, Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman and CEO of Dassault Systèmes called it a new era of Dassault Systèmes.
“In 1989, we created the first virtual twin of a giant airplane, the Boeing 777. In 2012, observing that the world was shifting to an experience economy that values usage over product, we dared to imagine a platform that would use comprehensive virtual twins of things as the place to navigate, evaluate, and holistically experiment with an idea to make it reality. We named it the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Our customers, as they adopt it, are making it the catalyst and enabler of the Industry Renaissance,” said Bernard.

“Our ambition to harmonize product, nature and life remains the same, while its scope is broadening. It has led us to develop a new understanding of life and nature. Today, we're capable of applying the knowledge and know-how we acquired in the non-organic world to the living world, extending our focus from things to life. The virtual twin experience of the human body will enable us to invent new ways of representing life by understanding and representing the invisible, and make a lasting contribution for the benefit of all.”

In fact, in the development process in recent years, there are many indications of Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to life sciences. The biggest move is the acquisition of Medicare, a U.S. healthcare software company, for $ 5.8 billion last year. This is the largest acquisition in Dassault Systèmes history, even exceeded the amount of Siemens' 3.5 billion UGS acquisition and 4.5 billion Mentor acquisition in the PLM field.

As a software company that provides data management and analysis tools in life sciences, how does Medidata integrate with Dassault Systemes? What strategies does Dassault Systèmes digest this acquisition? It is bound to become a vital measure in its history.
From this perspective, the announcement of taking the life sciences as the focus of future transformation seems logical and reasonable.

3D technology and Nobel Prize
Back in 2018, Dassault Systèmes had another remarkable achievement in the field of life sciences. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 was awarded to three scientists at the same time. Among them, half of the awards were awarded to the American scientist Frances H. Arnold, for the directed evolution of the enzyme; the other half were awarded to the American scientist George P. Smith and the British scientist Sir Gregory P. Winter, for their phage presentation of peptides and antibodies.

In the study of enzymes and proteins, scientists have used Dassault Systèmes BIOVIA to digitally express them in three dimensions.

To put it more simply, the development of proteomics and metabolomics has been greatly facilitated by biological analysis, drug discovery, toxicology, disease diagnosis and surveillance, and food safety, which also puts forward higher requirements for researchers to obtain and process data.

With the functions of scientific data management, modeling and simulation of small molecules, biological agents and materials, chemistry and bioinformatics, systems biology and integrated therapy, collaborative network research, scientific pipeline technology, corporate laboratory management, regulations and quality management, process knowledge and collaboration, and chemical inventory management provided by BIOVIA, scientists can solve many difficult problems.
By leveraging the research results of Frances H. Arnold, industry can manufacture chemicals in a more environmentally friendly way, such as the production of drugs and renewable energy; while the research results of George P. Smith and Gregory P. Winter can be used against rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.

Digital technology hasa bright future in life sciences
According to Dassault Systèmes, virtual twin experiences open up new possibilities for life sciences and healthcare by enabling research, medical, surgical and other health-related disciplines to understand, model, search, test and treat a human body as precisely, safely and effectively as other industrial disciplines already can with cars, buildings or airplanes.
The latest report 2020 Global Life Science Sector Outlook of Deloitte explicitly stated that digital-driven technologies are driving the rapid development of biomedical and medical companies.

Combined in the practice of fighting against the novel coronavirus epidemic in China, emerging technologies have played an increasingly important role, such as tracking close contacts through big data, face recognition and temperature monitoring through surveillance cameras at airport rail stations, remote diagnosis, AI-assisted medical images diagnosis, and 3D printed isolated wards.
These advances and changes are prompting more and more Chinese people to expect "digitalization", which seems to be a new demand in the life sciences industry and medical institutions in China.

From the perspective of development trends, technologies including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, and medical IoT are reshaping the future of the life sciences and healthcare industry, making medical services more efficient and available. Increased data access and data sharing are improving personalized self-service and patient experiences.
Digitization will also continue to lay the foundation for new medical service models, creating predictive and preventive personalized medical services, promoting greater collaboration among various stakeholders, and facilitating the treatment service to be cheaper, more accurate and less invasive. In addition, the benefits of digitalization will permeate other related business such as drug research and development, quality management, clinical trials, supply chain management, financial transactions, certification and claims.

From the networking medical devices and equipment, to the informationization of hospitals and pharmacies, to the personalized medical services and health management, more and more signs show that the digital medical is the general trend, and digital technology is transforming the life sciences and healthcare industry.
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