The pharma industry has started realizing the potential of collaborating with technology and is presently dominated by some the top spenders on pharmaceutical R&D from the U.S. This includes ace companies such as Pfizer, Merk, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene corp etc., each of them investing billions of dollars every quarter.
On similar lines, because of the availability of sophisticated technology and a well-developed infrastructure for R&D, Singapore has emerged as one of Asia’s most advanced hubs for pharmaceutical research and manufacturing.
With a combined market capitalization of approximately $1.9 trillion, the wave of technology has even influenced the big threes of the market i.e Apple, Google and Amazon to invest heavily in the pharma and health sector today.
How Technology Saves Revenue for Pharma Companies
Here are the ways technology is enabling the pharma industry to reduce its expenditure while continuing to sustain their longevity.
Building a Direct Connection with Your End-Users
Although the end-users for pharmaceutical companies are the patients who consume their products, the pharma companies don’t usually get the opportunity to connect with them directly. Technological advancements such as mobile apps have given the pharma companies a way to engage with their customers one on one.
Many pharmaceutical companies can now help patients directly with the availability of smartphones. Companies like Novartis have taken a similar initiative by introducing apps like Together in HF, a social network that connects the heart patient community and the doctors to provide useful medical content to the patients.
Technology has made it possible to deliver a personalized diagnosis to patients today. With devices like wearables in healthcare, a repository of customer data has become accessible to pharma companies.
With the help of smartphones, it has become possible to access this data in an organized fashion, thereby becoming an instrument for offering efficient diagnostics and bespoke patient care. Companies like Proteus Digital Health have been able to explore the utility of technology to produce ingestible sensors to help physicians track and monitor patients on smartphones.
End to Human Experimentation in future.
Technology in the pharmaceutical industry will also help to put end to ethical dilemmas of testing drugs on humans. Not only will this method save time and capital, but will also be more reliable.
Real-time Technology for R&D
Another advantage of teaming technology with the pharmaceutical industry is the improvement in research and development. Bringing real-time technology and clinical trials together, pharma companies can establish a stronger foothold in R&D.
With high levels of productivity, inventory, and service, the drug production process can reach its maximum potential in less time.
Availability of Analytics for Drug Development. The pharmaceutical companies will be able to access authentic patient data which will assist these companies in understanding the after-effects of a drug.
With the availability of constant monitoring of symptoms and signals, the drug development companies will be able to understand their products better and also provide relevant reporting to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Gamifying Health for Patients: Motivation works better than commands. The usage of mobile apps for gamifying procedures, medical advice, and products for both physicians and patients will increase their adherence and prompt them to follow a healthier lifestyle.
Replacing the traditional advertising and incentivization techniques with gamifying experiences will enable the customers to absorb the information about their options better and be better engaged.
Many reputed pharmaceutical companies have already started exploiting technology for the growth of their business. For example, Pharma giants, Sun Pharma launched a revolutionary mobile app for asthma patients called RespiTrack, back in 2016.
The app helps the doctors to monitor patient’s progress and increase their medical compliance. Similarly, Abbott Healthcare introduced a heart and liver app called Knowledge Genie that helps physicians to access the patient’s medical information easily. Such innovations in apps from the pharma industry can become an inspiration for creating similar apps for monitoring patient’s health.
Emerging Pharma Trends in the Coming Years
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
With the IoT healthcare market reaching an estimate of 136 billion USD by 2021, companies from the pharmaceutical sector are collaborating with tech companies to create devices that can track and monitor various chronic and lifestyle disorders using real-time data.
Presently 3D Bio printing or additive manufacturing is one of the leading innovations in the medicine production industry. It is still very novel in the pharmaceutical sector with the very first 3D printed prescription drug, Spritam being developed in 2016.
3D Bio-Printing can be widely used for printing drugs that have different release rates, printing live tissues and also for drug tablet printing with a personalized dosage.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Through AI and machine learning, it has become possible for pharma companies to interpret patient data to understand the physiological patterns of humans. Solutions driven by AI have been able to help the pharma companies to even identify and predict results in a virtual patient.
With the rapidly changing world of technology, the medicine and healthcare industry is beginning to revolutionize. It’s time that pharma companies who aspire to become business leaders in the pharma world found new disruptive solutions to thrive and rise on the digital wave to save on colossal resources and time.