Through a series of ups and downs, the whole healthcare industry has faced great challenges over the course of the pandemic. These difficulties opened their eyes to be more adaptive to new technologies that might help the future of humanity.
One of the industries that are facing big challenges right now is the pharmaceutical industry. As compared to other departments, the pharma industry is the slowest to adopt modern and complex innovations. But now, as the pandemic continues to surge, the industry is transforming itself digitally.
With the current risks and challenges in the medical field, investors and modern technology startups are working hand-in-hand to create advancement across the pharma industry. Now, the main goal of the industry is to address the need for advanced medical treatment. As the entire healthcare community continues to acknowledge the importance of digital health, the future of the pharma industry is becoming bright with more human-friendly advancements to come.
Here are the trends and innovations that are constantly shaping the pharma industry:
1. Innovative Aseptic Systems
Most pharmaceutical manufacturers find aseptic and sterile drug products as one of the most challenging products to produce. As the process continues to improve, many exciting advancements and ideas are being introduced such as:
- Modern aseptic packaging systems such as isolators, barrier systems, automation and robotics, blow-fill-seal process, form-fill-seal process, and closed-fill vial filling
- Post-aseptic lethal treatment
- Fast and real-time microbiological treatment
- Advanced statistical processes, quality risk management, and assessment strategies
- One-time use drug manufacturing and filling process
- Advanced sterilization strategies
- Advanced tools and equipment such as stoppers, components, and caps
As excellent as they may seem, the success of these equipment lies in the appreciation of the sterile processing industry. The good news is some companies are applying these ideas, and everyone may have access to outsource sterile drugs and medications.
2. Artificial Intelligence Systems
Artificial intelligence (AI) systems have made a significant impact in the pharmaceutical industry. It helps accelerate the process of discovery and development of new and powerful drugs. How does AI work in the field of pharma? AI uses an advanced and automated algorithm to perform duties that traditionally rely on human intelligence.
Over the decade, this advanced technology has helped the industry address new diseases, develop new drugs, and more. These are the ways on how AI can impact the pharmaceutical industry:
- Improvement on the conditions of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease through in-depth analysis to reduce their risk
- Development of affordable drugs with AI
- AI management to find better medical solutions by using sharp images through machine learning
- AI management to treat rare medical conditions and slow down their progress while focusing on analyzing possible cures
- AI management to determine drug adherence and to track the effects of various drugs used by patients, especially those who are suffering from schizophrenia
3. Digital Pills
It may sound like the ‘Silicon Valley’ of the pharma, especially with the term ‘digital’ on it. While it may seem futuristic and advanced, the idea can be dated back to 1957 when scientists tried to create a swallowable medical device. This will be used to track and analyze temperature and pressure readings.
Digital pills have micro-sized electric circuits embedded in them, which is helpful for patients with rare and specific conditions. These pills have ingestible sensors, and as it activates, it’ll signal through Bluetooth and notify the patient or the attending medical staff that the drug has been taken.
These pills are highly essential for those who have schizophrenia and severe depression as missing medications will likely lead to severe complications.
4. In Silico Medical Trials
In silico medical trial uses digital simulation to analyze and assess the results. This method is a time-saving and cost-efficient process that doesn’t use animals and humans as test subjects to determine different harmful side effects of newly developed drugs.
On the other hand, it uses ‘virtual patients’ as test subjects for new drugs using complicated algorithms. This is to make sure that those drugs are safe for human trials.
According to new studies, in silico trials can replicate the entire human-as-subject trials and may produce the same results. Also, this new method of medical trial has been helpful during the pandemic as most people are restricted from going anywhere and must adhere to ongoing lockdown protocols.
However, in silico trials has a long way to go before it becomes a routine process in the pharmaceutical industry.
5. Virtual Reality (VR) As Painkillers
Have you imagined virtual reality becoming your reality? That’s the case of using VR to safely reduce and alleviate pain in some patients. According to recent studies, VR headsets can lessen one’s pain signals and are found to be effective on some people such as a woman giving birth.
Virtual reality is a helpful tool that allows doctors and medical students to perform trial surgery without lifting an actual scalpel, reducing equipment costs and mess. Also, this could help patients suffering from mental conditions such as schizophrenia or paranoia and could also help you address your phobias such as fear of heights or deep waters.
With recent advancements in technology, the future of the pharmaceutical industry remains unclear. But one thing is for sure, the future of the sector will create a significant impact on the modernization of healthcare operations and systems.
As the industry learns to adapt to new technology, more diseases will be given solutions and medications will be attainable for those who are unable to receive proper treatment.