Covid-19 and the acceleration of digital transformation in the pharma industry

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the drive toward digital transformation in ways never seen before. This was especially evident in the pharmaceutical industry, which was quick to adapt and evolve. There’s no denying that the pandemic has increased humanity’s collective dependency on digital technology in a short period of time.

The pharmaceutical industry, like other industries, was severely impacted by the pandemic’s effects, especially in the early stages. Delays in routine treatments, budget constraints, and supply chain interruptions were just a few of the issues that plagued the sector. As a result, the pharmaceutical sector was forced to adopt digital technologies to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic.  And this transition, which was projected to gradually occur over the next five to ten years, happened in just months.

The application of novel machine learning algorithms and AI-powered technology is now speeding up the development of new drugs all around the world. A rapid increase in the use of remote consultations was also observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These remote consultations proved instrumental in providing support to COVID-19 patients who were not severely ill, reducing the pressure on inpatient services, and ensuring access to routine services. Other technologies, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity, were also used to implement remote working and conduct decentralized clinical trials.

Why does digital transformation in the pharma sector matter?

During the pandemic’s multiple economic repercussions, digital pharma played a critical role in patient monitoring, treatment, and care. Today, digital pharma offers a chance to reimagine healthcare via the pharmaceutical sector, with the goal of enhancing healthcare access, outcomes, and affordability. Without a doubt, patient care, cost-effectiveness, increased transparency, and production and drug discovery have all benefited from digital transformation in the pharmaceutical industry.

Digital pharma: Top technologies and trends

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The drug discovery and development processes are where AI has the most impact on the pharmaceutical sector. Furthermore, AI can help diagnose, plan treatment, and assist during operations employing robots, as well as improve forecasting, population identification for drug trials, and real-time data utilization for improved outcomes.

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

The pharmaceutical industry can utilize IoT to obtain better control over drug manufacturing, perform equipment maintenance, and enhance supply chain management. Furthermore, IoT enables companies to collect vast volumes of data about patient compliance and results, which might be useful to future patients. Using connected devices, inventory can be managed more efficiently, and costs can be reduced. Additionally, data-gathering devices in pharmaceutical warehouses, production facilities, and shipping and receiving stations can collect and correlate information from RFID tags and barcodes to verify that data is consistent.

  • Blockchain

Because it simplifies the process of producing and distributing pharmaceuticals, blockchain technology has become a game-changer in the pharmaceutical industry. The usage of blockchain has also proved to be critical in preventing the flow of counterfeit and substandard products into pharmaceutical supply chains, which kill thousands of people every year. Additionally, blockchain may also be used to promote transparency and assure compliance with various legislation.

  • Automation

Using automation to digitally transform a pharmaceutical supply chain is also highly effective. Everything relating to a case may be managed effortlessly by merging current patient data, research results, and clinical trial data into one system. This would allow pharma marketing executives to make critical decisions while staying practically invisible by patients and their doctors.

  • Precision medicine

The goal of precision medicine is to tailor treatment to specific patient groups, either at the clinical level or during drug discovery and development. This removes the need for guessing, varied diagnoses, and treatment plans based on broad demographics. Currently, all sectors of the healthcare industry are rapidly moving toward precision medicine, which takes advantage of genetic insights and technological advances to understand human physiology better.

  • Flexible production

In today’s world, there are no more one-size-fits-all medicines; it has become essential for manufacturers to become more flexible and look beyond the traditional manufacturing model. Flexibility in production makes precision medicine possible, as it allows small batches to be produced. Precision medicine is made feasible by flexible production, which permits small batches to be created. Smaller quantities offer better medicine quality, which is critical. The concept is also extremely sustainable since it eliminates not just downtime but also energy usage and waste production.

  • Digital training

For the pharma industry to meet its dynamic needs, the workforce must be properly trained. An average pharma sales representative will undergo 1-3 months of intensive classroom training depending on the company’s norms. Although this has always been widely accepted and is useful, it has become expensive for companies to constantly provide such training. This is where digital training comes in. Through digital platforms, employees can receive digital training that is not only cost-effective but also personalized and available at any time of the day.

  • Digital therapeutics

A digital therapeutic is a software-based product that prevents, diagnoses, manages and treats health conditions. This technology enables physicians and patients to work closely together and provide individualized care. The use of digital therapeutics can not only treat different medical conditions but can also assist patients at various stages of their health care journey, helping doctors manage their adherence to treatment regimens.

The future of digital pharma

Considering the above, it should now be obvious that the pharmaceutical industry will be dramatically reshaped by digital transformation in decades to come. The pharma industry is poised for its digital moment thanks to COVID-19, an unprecedented accelerator. However, to capitalize on these trends and gain a competitive advantage, pharma companies must determine their strengths and weaknesses and assess their capabilities to develop effective strategies.

Moreover, it is important to note that a successful digital transformation cannot be achieved overnight. With the right tools, though, not only can organizations be on the path to success but also maintain compliance without any extra effort. This is where Pharmision WMS from Bar Code India comes in. Pharmision is a leading Warehouse Management System that converts warehouse activities into a digital trail with micro and macro perspectives, thereby allowing pharma businesses to accomplish their goals while remaining compliant with regulations.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the risks are certainly high. But with efficient solutions like Pharmision, so are the opportunities. To learn more about how you can use Pharmision in your organization, click here.