pharmaceutical could iot also use data company

techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

What trends are transforming pharmaceutical manufacturing?Pharmaceutical manufacturers face challenges ranging from emerging drug needsto tighter regulatory controls. Here, Emily Newton looks at how many companyleaders are embracing trends that could forever change pharmaceuticalproduction.Embracing technology to overcome increasingly complex day to day activitieswithin the pharma industry could lead to higher production output, betterquality, and increased competitiveness.### Artificial IntelligenceThe pharmaceutical sector was not among the earliest adopters of artificialintelligence (AI). However, the technology’s diversity makes it well-suited tovarious needs that pharmaceutical representatives face.For example, a marketing professional could use AI to predict a patient’sjourney and learn which marketing efforts or media outlets would mosteffectively convince them to learn more about a medication or ask their doctorto prescribe it for them.AI can also prevent disruptions in pharmaceutical manufacturing plants. Onecommon approach is to use predictive maintenance tools. They featurealgorithms that assess a machine’s likelihood of failure. Then, theresponsible parties get alerts to schedule servicing or take other relevantactions before a breakdown occurs.One AI-based solution in development centres on enhancing risk managementmethods. Trained algorithms will spot abnormal aspects of processes orproducts and alert the appropriate parties. That proactive approach willprevent wasting supplies or production time on products that wouldn’t passquality control checks.Using AI in pharmaceutical production is not yet a widespread practice.However, as more company leaders invest in it and achieve desirable results,that should change.### RobotsThe industrial manufacturing sector has started using robots more often.Pharmaceutical plants are no exception. Robots can raise factory productivity,reduce error rates, and cut rates of fatigue-related injuries. Roboticimprovements also relieve humans from time-consuming or monotonous tasks,giving them more time to engage in more rewarding responsibilities.In one example, a partnership between Clemson University and NephronPharmaceuticals Corporation resulted in a syringe-filling robot that couldtackle drug shortages. Syringe-filling is a specialised process normallycompleted by technicians standing in clean rooms under laminar airflow hoods.When they don’t use robots, up to five employees per day for each hood helpmeet prefilled syringe demand. However, these advanced machines fill, cap, andseal syringes without human intervention.Another case involved developing a custom-built robot to coat plastic syringeswith a substance that gives them glass-like properties. Since glass costs morethan plastic for syringe production, this automated method cuts costs. Theserobots also coat 38 parts per minute, making them highly efficient.Robots could play a crucial role once products leave factories, too. Frenchpharmaceutical brand Sanofi developed a robotic booth that can vaccinatepeople against COVID-19 and other ailments. The company currently uses it toadminister influenza vaccines in China and plans to depend on it for massvaccination against the novel coronavirus, pending government approval.### The Internet of ThingsThe Internet of Things (IoT) concerns the vast and ever-growing assortment ofconnected devices. The rise in IoT innovations enables people to do varioustasks differently and provides them with better visibility throughout aprocess.From a pharmaceutical manufacturing perspective, that increased transparencycan keep operations on track and reduce complications. The IoT can alsocomplement other processing improvements.For example, many chemical processing technicians employed by pharmaceuticalcompanies now use continuous flow processing rather than batch processing.That approach involves producing chemical reactions in tubes or pipes. Ittypically requires only 10% to 20% of a batch processing setup’s footprint.Some IoT apps that work in the cloud let chemists remotely monitor theirchemical reactions and the pH of reaction mixes or samples.IoT sensors can also help pharmaceutical representatives verify that theyfollow the correct processes to meet regulatory requirements. Similarly, if aproduct recall occurs, IoT sensors can confirm where things went wrong andgive people the insights they need to make quick corrections.Another use of IoT in the pharmaceutical world concerns digital twins. Thoseare virtual representations of pieces of equipment, sections of factories, orcurrent processes. Some company leaders developed digital twins that connectto IoT sensors. Those give thorough perspectives into operations and showwhere things are working well or need improvement.### Data Analytics and ModellingCompanies from numerous sectors use business intelligence software to guidedecision-making and track trends. The pharmaceutical industry has followedsuit. Leaders want to know how to strengthen their supply chains and makebetter operational choices. Data allows people to look at evidence rather thanrelying primarily on instinct.Historical data also proves valuable for predicting future supply chaindisruptions and facilitating better preparedness. One study found that medicaltech companies could lose 38% of each year’s earnings due to supply chainshocks compounding over a decade. However, if company executives use data topinpoint the most likely sources of problems, safeguarding againstcatastrophic outcomes becomes more straightforward.Data analytics could also empower more strategic usage of IoT solutions. Forexample, many pharmaceutical companies rely on connected sensors for improvedcold-chain monitoring.That’s no surprise, considering the more than $35 billion lost annually due tocold-chain failures. A pharmaceutical representative might analyse all suchevents over a given period. They could then look for trends that identifypossible shortcomings.Moreover, if company executives consider expanding into a new market, dataanalytics tools can remove much of the associated guesswork and uncertainty.There’s no way to predict future events with certainty, but data analyticsproducts allow more confident assumptions.### Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Will Keep EvolvingImplementing new technologies is often crucial for helping pharmaceuticalcompanies stay competitive. The trends mentioned above are not automaticallysuccessful solutions for all issues, but they’re well worth considering whencompanies must continue meeting demands.Author: Emily Newton is the Editor-In-Chief of Revolutionized, a magazineexploring innovations in science and industry that shares ideas to promote abetter tomorrow

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