The Disruption Of The Pharma Industry By Emerging Disruptive Technologies
A 3-Dimensional Glance Into The Utility Of Precision Medicine In The Pharmaceutical Industry
Illumination initially published this article on Medium!
Photo by Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash
Like most other industries, the pharmaceutical industry sees its respective disruption by the digital technology domain. From inventory automation to human organ bioprinting, genomics-driven medications are a few of the endless benefits digital technology offers to the pharma industry.
Amidst all the recent developments in digital technologies, so has the initiatives to implement and promote precision medicine. That is why the pharmaceutical industry is rushingly taking precision into every sector of its domain. Those are drug discovery, development, production, and marketing that intend to treat and cure various patient diseases and prevent them from getting sick as much as possible. Furthermore, the rendering precision utilizing digital technology has opened the door to possibly offering patient-specific treatment options rather than disease-specific therapies.
The concept of prescribing indicated medication for a disease such as high cholesterol that may carry a spectrum of side effects is becoming more and more the science of the past.
Today thoughts of producing a cure that treats the specific disease in a particular individual without any side effects stand as a reality amidst digital technologies and genomics.
Healthcare Disruptive Technologies, Personalized Healthcare, Personalized Medicine, And Precision Medicine
Personalized healthcare Pertains to patients' experience while navigating the healthcare domain, from searching for a medical facility, scheduling an appointment, connecting with their physician, and receiving the pinpoint diagnosis and treatment option.
Personalized healthcare is a broader phenomenon that merely takes patient engagement in their health to a new level by making them partners in their care across the healthcare domain.
Within the spectrum of personalized healthcare, there stands the concept where a patient's experience of medical care and physician encounter is utterly in line with what they expect; that is what I call "personalized medicine."
Precision medicine, as described by its name, fulfills the precision aspect of personalized healthcare and personalized medicine, including artificial intelligence-powered scheduling and patient engagement or digital pills, which will release the medication at a specific location in the intestine.
The pharma industry, as mentioned earlier, contributes to one aspect of the personalization of the healthcare space. The industry is starting to contemplate including patients in their advisory board, allowing patients to take their well-being with the help of digital health technologies. The patients on the pharmaceutical board of advisors already have experience with the company's products.
Through their partnership, the pharma industry and patients can only activate the precise medical treatment they envision.
Another example of disruptive digital health in the pharmaceutical domain is the application of "Digital Pills."
Digital pills are medications that hold electronic circuits embedded in them. The course is a transducer remotely connected to a cellphone app via blue tooth technology, thus ensuring medication adherence and monitoring response.
One of the most promising applications of digital health technology is the utility of Virtual reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) for curbing chronic pain. Conceivably, pharmaceutical industries will be trekking into this novel field, as Brennan Spiegel and his team demonstrated a significant drop in pain scores when testing the concept on volunteers at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
In silico trials is another precision tool that employs computer simulation of various clinical trials. It intends to circumvent animal testing and reduce side effects for clinical trial participants. Experts can produce precise computer models of treatment and its possible deployment. It takes into account the patient's characteristics. Also, conductors of the test administer "virtual patients" the "virtual treatment" and thus observe their response to the novel biomedical product via a computer simulation. Whether it delivers the effect it intends without yielding adverse consequences. Although the feasibility of this system is still under scrutiny, it is a big step by pharma toward personalized healthcare.
Imagine expanding precision medicine by creating drugs based on individual genetic maps (pharmacogenetics) or producing a kidney for transplantation in the laboratory using "3-D bioprinting" technology that perfectly matches the receiving patient's body.
Automation technologies in the medical arena will also assist the pharma industries in enhancing their pharmaceutical development and production efficiency. Automation will streamline their processes from conception to delivery at the patient's doorstep.
Despite The Overwhelming Digital Health Technology Potential, We Still Need Transparency In Its Application.
Implementing precision medicine in the pharmaceutical domain using digital technology is beyond intriguing. Nonetheless, precision medicine will have shortcomings without satisfyingly clear transparency and enactments of additional indicators of personalized healthcare. For instance, relying purely on the genetic aspect of the disease to develop drugs will lead us to "Genetic reductionism," a vision that eliminates the environment and humanity from the patient care equation.
We should never fail to underscore the possibility that pharma industries are corporations. They have and will always have strategies to fiscally be ahead of the competition. And not surprisingly, pharmaceutical industries may even divert from their tactical mission, patient welfare, to money-making entities.
Big pharma will utilize lots of private patient information and potentially share it with 3rd party entities before delivering precision medical products if we are not mindful of their business and innovative strategies.
“Today data science is more about business enterprise strategy than a tactical service plan. It is merely designed to serve logistics of fiscal profit within an industry” — Adam Tabriz, MD