Technology and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Collaborating to make change

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If you are old enough, you may remember a time when the pharmacy was a small local shop that had limited hours of operation and very few employees. It was fairly common to know the pharmacist by name, and you may have had small conversations long enough to know his favorite sports teams, his children's names, and when he planned to take his next vacation. 

Likewise, it was not too long ago when the charts in doctor's offices were handwritten, placed in a file folder, and alphabetically stored either on tall metal shelves or pull-out file cabinets with a tiny key to lock them. Many doctor's offices now use digital technology to manage patient data, and the once-popular method of using manilla folders that hold patients' most personal information has become obsolete. Technology has reshaped business practices across the globe. 

For quite some time, consumers, manufacturers, and distributors have focused on fast-tracking every part of our everyday lives, making our experiences, both online and off, quicker and more convenient. Nowadays, it seems as if whichever company can make life the most convenient is the one that wins our business. Regardless of the industry, changes include increasing speed, effectiveness, and convenience.

Fast forward to the past year and a half; almost every industry has significantly improvised. Some may argue that the pharmaceutical industry has been the most impactful of all. As pharmaceutical companies raced to find an effective vaccine for COVID-19, they, like the rest of the world, learned that there was room for improvement in their then-current operations strategies. While talks of Big Tech infiltrating the pharma industry were already underway, the coronavirus pandemic expedited efforts for necessary collaborations, resulting in groundbreaking innovations with much more to come in the future. 

Big Tech companies had already been looking for seats at the pharma table, and pharma companies needed and still need to make massive changes to keep up with demand. Technology offers pharma solutions in Artificial Intelligence, new and improved data analytics, innovative data storage solutions, remote patient monitoring, and much more. Although the coronavirus pandemic caught the world by surprise, it also led to rapid changes that no one ever knew was possible. 

Of course, with change also comes concerns, and the security of patient data is a considerable concern. Understandably, not all patients accept change very well and having their personal data shared, even anonymously, may not be well accepted. For this reason, collaborations between companies from two different industries need transparency. When it is evident that the patient's best interest is the ultimate goal, patients may be more open to change.

Other concerns in the pharmaceutical industry include timing, efficiently gathering data, and the reliability and validity of said data. Fortunately, with the help of technology and the services provided in our Enterprise Analytics Suite, pharmaceutical companies can confidently run clinical trials faster and more accurately than ever before.

In the future, the time it takes to manufacture and distribute medical equipment and medication and deliver them directly to the patient's front door will improve dramatically. What technology offers to pharma is innovation—a chance to increase speed, be more efficient, and offer convenience. Having systems in place that will help execute new strategies is paramount. It will be interesting to see how collaborations between the technology world and the pharmaceutical world will reshape the future.