Top 9 Digital Transformation Trends in Pharmaceutical Industry (Update 2021)
The pharmaceutical industry has seen massive growth in recent years, and it clearly shows the upward trend for 2021 as well. Technological advances are certainly helping in this tremendous transformation of the industry.
Technological advances have enhanced the safety measures in the field of pharmaceuticals. One such digital technology is a legally binding e-signature. With the whopping increase in the business, time management becomes one of the major concerns. Hence to save time and avoid human errors, electronic signatures have come to the rescue. Signing multiple documents is possible with just a click with these electronic signatures.
Following are the top 9 trends that will transform the pharmaceutical industry in 2021:
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is playing a crucial role in almost every industry and improves complicated and time-consuming tasks. AI also assists in problem-solving skills and development and has a wide range of applications. Next Move Strategy Consulting reports,“ the Global Healthcare Artificial Intelligence Software Market size was estimated to be USD 4.68 billion in 2019 and is predicted to reach USD 354.47 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 48.2% from 2020-2030.”
AI tasks in the pharma and healthcare industry involve identifying patients in drug discovery and development processes. It also aids diagnosis, designs treatment plans, and performs robot-assisted surgeries.
Particularly for clinical trials, it aids communication by translating data into different languages and fraud detection. AI eases the hazards related to signing medical documents, reports, journals, and agreements. Electronic signatures (legally binding e-signatures) help carry out the documentation tasks effectively.
2. Flexible production
Due to the dynamic nature of the market, pharmaceutical companies are continuously searching for new manufacturing techniques. The prime focus is on single-use technology as it decreases downtime and enhances productivity by removing complex methods.
This flexible production paves the way for the production of small batches for precision medicine. These smaller batches ensure the quality of drugs which is of the utmost importance. This model is sustainable as it does not just reduce downtime but also lowers the energy requirement and waste production. Legally binding e-signatures have made it easy to perform tasks related to production (signing approvals) with little or no supervision, especially during the pandemic.
3. Precision Medicine
Precision medicine production is essential when there is a demand for the diagnosis of a particular patient. The main aim is to produce a tailored drug that offers maximum results and enhances patient outcomes. The drawback of precision medicine is that it has to be produced in smaller quantities. It implies there exists more than one variation of diagnosis and treatment. Also, it needs facilities that are specially designed and smaller than most factories. Despite the drawbacks for manufacturers, this method has shown an upward trend as it is more refined. The upward trend is also evident as the number of investors is continuously increasing in recent years.
With the expansion of Blockchain technology in various industries, the pharmaceutical company has also realized its importance. Blockchain technology simplifies transactions and optimizes transparency and security without third-party requirements. In the pharma industry, BlockChain technology plays a crucial role in the production and distribution of drugs by streamlining the process. This technology is essential to block the flow of counterfeit medicines and substandard drugs, which make their way through the pharmaceutical supply chains killing thousands of patients every year. This technology enhances efficiency by simplifying the supply process and transactions related to hospitals, healthcare clinics, stakeholders, and other regulators.
5. Cloud Technology
We all are well aware of cloud technology which essential to store our data. This technology enables the pharma industry to effectively share its data with multiple stakeholders and partner with them. The strong and effective infrastructure that accompanies cloud technology improves data integrity.
The use of various cloud applications has also improved CGMP compliance with regulations and standard quality guidelines (GxP). This technology is a boon for the industry as it eases the flow of information and reduces the chances of error. Another aspect of cloud technology is the use of electronic signatures. These legally binding e-signatures streamline data-related processes.
6. Digital Training
One has to be sufficiently educated about the technology as the pharma industry undergoes technological advancement. Hence digital training is prominent and will show positive growth in 2021.
Digital training also plays a crucial role in meeting regulatory standards. Proper knowledge about the industry and technology is essential to maintain higher productivity and overall efficiency. Providing digital training to employees through digital platforms is cost-effective. It also offers them personalized training at any time of the day. Digital training can involve the use of electronic documentation software, electronic signatures, and patient scheduling.
7. Big Data and Analytics
The drug discovery and development process includes a high volume of data. This data requires proper analysis with high-performance systems to derive a usable value from it.
Pharmaceutical companies are outsourcing their data to third-party companies, which creates an immense scope in data management. The technical advancement has introduced new analytical techniques for real-time data management. Big data proves to be a valuable asset to pharmaceutical companies for predictive, prescriptive, and diagnostic analytics. These analytical techniques have applications in all forms of medical data ranging from medical imaging, hospital data, and patient records.
8. Extended Reality
Extended reality constitutes mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). This technology has changed the way of visualizing things. Knowing the potential of this field, pharmaceutical companies are exploring extended reality like never before for manufacturing and researches purposes.
These tools provide meaningful and data-rich real-time location-agonistic interaction between research groups. Pharms start-ups are working to bring human augmentation to the pharma industry with extended reality tools and wearables.
9. Digital Therapeutics
Digital Therapeutics involves fact-based therapeutic intervention with software to manage and treat physical, mental, and behavioral conditions. Since it is a technology-based solution, it is also used independently. However, it is also often used along with medications or therapies. Moreover, it enables an individual to have better control over their health and outcomes.
What do pharma companies have in store with these digital trends?
The ongoing pandemic has made companies discover and adopt variable approaches to continue the business, including the pharma industry. Today, the pharma industry demands speed and accuracy in the mass-production process of novel drugs, vaccines, and treatment methods. Response to these high-pressure and large-scale demands requires digital aid from technologies like electronic signature software, data management solutions, and more. These sudden demands have also made pharma companies realize the prominence of digital transformation and digitizing paperwork with legally binding e-signatures. The above top digital trends will add value and create a short-term and long-term impact on the industry.
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