The COVID19 pandemic has forced organisations to accelerate their journey of digital transformation. Different sectors including the pharmaceutical sector are leveraging the latest technological advances to improve their business efficiency.
During the pandemic when in-person contact was limited. People relied on the digital world for various things from keeping in touch to ordering essentials, making payments and even consultations with doctors. The COVID19 pandemic has led to various technological advancements in organisations; one of the most important shifts in the healthcare industry adopting technological advancements.
The previous year in the month of June, the Government of India had launched a new AI-driven platform that will help in the early intervention of COVID-19 cases. This is done through rapid screening of COVID-19 with the help of Chest X-ray interpretation over Whatsapp for doctors who have the access to X-ray machines. The solution called XraySetu can work with low-resolution images sent via mobiles, is quick and easy to use, and can facilitate detection in rural areas.
According to a report in Pharmabiz India, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly adopting automation technologies despite the fact the sector has traditionally been based largely on manual operations. It is now adopting new automated operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) to remain competitive in a connected world. Only through continuous innovation and judicious adoption of new technologies will companies in this sector, domestic and global, succeed in surmounting today’s challenges. These include global regulatory compliance; quality issues; inconsistent manual manufacturing workflows; human errors; cost pressures; and increasing global competition.
The report further added increased automation can help the pharmaceutical industry make more efficient usage of energy and raw materials; improve safety in working conditions; enhance regulatory compliance, and improve both product quality and consistency. Information technology brings in the much–needed interconnectivity between equipment, operations, and people.
Connected devices in Pharma Manufacturing
Connected devices in pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities help improve business and manufacturing efficiency and reduce risk by enabling Remote access to equipment, Proactive maintenance, Real-time plant floor visibility, Ability to quickly recognize and respond to compliance issues, Alleviate and prevent human errors, Monitoring, control, and safety.
In a digital world, pharmaceutical companies must deploy these types of next-generation technologies to streamline and improve their manufacturing and business processes. They need to strive for real-time transparency of their R&D; smooth sales and operations planning in the supply chain; as well as meet new standards and expectations in efficiency and agility. The IT-OT (operations technology) convergence is now becoming a reality.
“Around 80 per cent of CEOs globally think COVID has accelerated their Digital Transformation journeys. However, about 72 per cent of the companies undergoing Digital Transformation do not know what to do with the data tsunami which is getting generated. This means that every industry/company wants to undergo Digital Transformation however lacks readiness for the future roadmap. Tech Leaders are seeing a paradigm shift in the way discussions are happening in the boardrooms around Digital,” said Tushar Zade, CIO & CDO, Aurigene Pharmaceutical Services Ltd.
Aurigene Pharmaceutical Services Limited is a leading contract research, development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) providing end-to-end solutions.
He further explained that CEOs these days have started believing Digital & Analytics can be used to even start a new line of business altogether – which is a huge change from where traditional companies thought of IT/Digital. The whole conversation is now shifting towards business benefit based & outcome-based engagements. Digital is no longer a cost centre and perhaps it has now become a profit centre.
Companies’ Digital alignment to business
Every business is broadly divided into three basic broad pillars; MX- Market Share & Customer Acquisition; CX- Providing an Amazing Customer eXperience and EX- Ensuring best-in-class Employee eXperience. “Technology has a major role to play in strengthening each of these pillars,” said Zade.
Market Share & Customer Acquisition – The whole process of identifying future customers/prospects is now digitised to a larger extent. The customer universe gets dumped into a data lake (which can also be bought) and they are further categorised based on their behaviour and traits. News/articles/contacts etc. are various other sources that contribute to this data lake too. New technology like AI/ML/DL are helping locate the right customer and assess what his needs are and finally serve him better.
Digital architecture for such systems has the system of record at the base then the system of intelligence which drives what needs to be shown to whom & how and finally a system of engagement.
Providing an Amazing Customer eXperience – Providing an amazing experience is the need of the hour these days. B2B businesses are relooking and shifting focus towards becoming B2C as at the end of the day even in B2B there is some person who is responsible for taking the decision. Every application/platform is trying to follow the Amazon model in making customer’s life easy in terms of order booking, tracking it online and even raising complaints/feedback. A lot of digital tracking can be seen here too. Big data, AI/ML is getting used to understanding the customer needs and address accordingly. Chatbots, real-time integrations of multiple platforms, Edge computing, etc. are good examples of this category.
Ensuring best-in-class Employee eXperience – This is another important piece for every business/industry and is very well served by digital. New technologies like RPA are making an employee’s life easy just by replacing a human with a machine for doing any mundane job where decisions can be taken by a bot using some business rule. AI/ML, IoT, also play an important role in reducing the whole turnaround time in manufacturing, even the supply chain. Many use cases are identified across industries for improving the way we operate today. A good example of this is to set up a bot to respond to all L1 support tickets.
“There is certainly a change in I(T)Q (Information Technology Quotient) to DQ (Digital Quotient) in every company’s mindset. New tech is helping organisation’s to reach newer & big-ticket customers, providing them with an amazing experience and helping to do faster operations. All these digital initiatives are aligned with business strategy and play a vital role in improving the efficiency of the business and taking it to the next level,” Zade concluded.