The world is changing at a remarkable pace and organizations must look at responding efficiently to these
challenges. From shifting employee expectations to evolving consumer demands, the waves of change require a new
approach that has technology at its core. The future of the pharma industry will be driven by these emerging
trends and 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) technologies will shape how leaders chart the path.
The Global Lighthouse Network is a
WEF collaboration. It provides a framework for how manufacturing companies can gain financially and
operationally using 4IR technologies.
What are some of these emerging technologies? How can they play a role in the pharmaceutical industry? Let’s take
Get ahead of the curve using future-ready technology
The fast-changing applications of technologies mean that the pharmaceutical industry must look at solutions that
are flexible and scalable. Organizations can meet these goals by building in-house tech capabilities or
developing meaningful tech partnerships. As technology continues to reshape the way the industry works, there is
also a need to pay attention to the talent and upskill them to be ready for the digital future.
Here is a glimpse of 4IR technologies that have tremendous potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry:
- AI & Deep Learning:This is learning based on pattern identification, and has implications in drug
development including genome-based treatments. This technology can analyze complex data sets and predict
drug formulations resulting in fast-tracking of R&D. AI can look also at many different sources of
information and take out valuable insights about emerging processes and therapies.
- Internet of Things:IoT is a network of interconnected devices that can share data using sensors,
software, etc. The pharmaceutical industry can leverage this technology in many different ways. For example,
IoT can be used to identify potential abnormalities in equipment function, improve inventory visibility, and
improve clinical trial processes through real-time symptom monitoring. One interesting area of usage is
Smart Pill. Smart pills can remotely monitor pill adherence or be used for diagnostics purposes using
- Cloud computing: There is a massive amount of data generated by various functions of pharma that
needs to be available in an interconnected fashion. The use of the cloud makes way for easier data
analytics, faster innovation, and rapid scalability.
- 3-D Printing:This technology can lead to the creation of unique doses and special characteristics for
the personalization of pharmaceuticals. For this, the building materials are laid in layers using
predetermined features. These could be geometric and spatial spread, dose strength, active and inactive
component distribution, etc. For example, Spritam is an FDA-approved drug that allows quick disintegration
of the active product using 3-D printing for porous formulation.
- Blockchain:This decentralized ledger provides transparency and authenticity in digital interactions.
It cannot be tampered with and thus makes it valuable for regulatory purposes. Some examples of blockchain
usage in the pharmaceutical industry include managing accountability in the supply chain, ensuring data
authenticity in labs, and adherence to consent compliance in clinical trials.
- Robotic Process Automation:RPA has many applications in this industry. It can make processes at
various stages of drug development and manufacturing faster. These are best suited for repetitive tasks for
example sorting products, storage and retrieval activities in the warehouse, dose dispensing in experiments,
- VR and AR:Virtual and augmented reality will play a large role in education and training as
pharmaceutical products become more complex. This will also enable buyers and investors to understand the
offered solutions and thereby support research and sales of innovative products.
Are you using the latest technologies to your advantage? Get in touch with our experts to know how you can lead