How Digitisation Is Set To Revolutionise The Pharmaceutical Industry
In my previous blog, I spoke about how the pharma industry is making most of digitisation in terms of adapting to changes and facing the growing challenges. Based on that, many of you asked me how digitisation would benefit the industry. I would like to point out that in the short time since its advent, digitisation has revolutionized the functioning of businesses. The availability of data, the advanced tools to analyze it, cloud-based platforms to make it more accessible have helped a range of small and big industries. And its impact on the pharmaceutical industry is no different. So what will drive this growth and such profits?
Availability of real-time information
Data is obviously an important tool which drives strategy and implementation. But its availability in real-time coupled with advanced analytics tools and business warehouse suits changes the game altogether. The status of a task, the deliverables, all the information you need to plan your day is only a click or a tap away. The dashboards that house this data are also designed to reduce complexities and present data in bite-sized actionable insights. These insights are then converted into KPIs, comparisons are provided against the target, previous period or competition.
Supply chain automation
Supply chain is an integral part of the pharmaceutical industry. There are stringent quality and safety standards and regulations to be followed at every junction which makes the supply chain even more important. Digitisation hence enables a smoother chain with minimal scope for errors. It allows the integration of the back-end and front-end supply chains building an efficient, scalable and shock-proof network. This integration further regulates the cost of operation and investments in inventories & infrastructure.
Automation of daily activities
Speed, efficiency, quality and regulatory compliance have become paramount to the success of a product and the company. Today, companies seek tools that can automate manufacturing, laboratory functions, data analysis, and warehousing. Tools such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition tools [SCADA], Laboratory Information Management System [LIMS] or automatic storage and retrieval systems are making processes fast and efficient along with robust assurance architecture and confidence to withstand any regulatory scrutiny. Operations such as loading-unloading, filling and packaging are more synergized because of this machine learning environment.
Digitisation of marketing processes
The key to survival in an ever-increasing competitive market is to have synchronized sales, marketing, and distribution teams. Organizations are now shifting to digital detailing by utilizing handheld devices, smartphones, and tablets. The hardware and software of these devices are synced which facilitates efficient call planning and quick assessment of the call. Availability of such data on-the-go allows the evaluation of the strategy and also gives a chance to alter the course whenever needed.
Another advantage of digitisation is the use of social media to reach out to various patrons. Social media is increasingly used to create brand awareness and reach more customers. Nowadays, it is interesting to see how leaders are connecting and conversing directly with stakeholders through social media. It not just helps in building the brand but also attracts potential talent and generates leads.
Patient satisfaction and patient outcome is an indispensable part of the pharmaceutical industry. It is believed that in the coming era, digitized services will be preferred over products to deliver patient value. Organizations are already developing therapy-specific mobile apps, leveraging social media platforms such as webinars and video chats to offer convenient and more personalized consultations. Now, who wouldn’t want a 24*7 access to healthcare that too just a click or a tap away!
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Innoventia – Search For Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare
Keeping up with Cipla’s innovation-driven credo, happy to share one of our big initiatives towards the same. Check out Innoventia.Cipla.Com to participate & reinvent the way we deliver healthcare.
I take this opportunity to also write my thoughts on why an initiative like Innoventia is much needed in our times.
They say when data is tortured enough, it will confess to anything! This couldn’t ring truer than now- when ‘sharing’ has become a way of life, thanks to the digital takeover of our lives. Everything is under the impact of the fastest moving phenomenon in recent times: CHANGE. In fact, change is the new technology, permeating everything, especially healthcare.
Have an IDEA that can disrupt healthcare? Here’s your chance to bring it to life with @CiplaInnoventia, an #Innovation challenge by @Cipla_Global. Curious to know more? Visit https://t.co/PBY16PKla2. #CiplaInnoventia pic.twitter.com/wEfBCGlnaJ
— Cipla (@Cipla_Global) May 4, 2018
We are already witnessing applications for blockchain and more uses for AI, especially in diagnosis. Analytics has become the new buzzword. In the broad sweep of AI’s current worldly ambitions, machine learning healthcare applications seem to top the list for funding. Clearly, healthcare is no longer about the passive delivery of diagnostics, drugs and infrastructure. Guess why?
Along with the diseases, patients are changing too – across the spectrum of understanding, knowledge, and management of diseases given the emerging technology canvas.
So what’s next? Innovation is the only answer – to tide this wave of life-altering times to transform the delivery of care.
Therefore, is it healthcare or tech care? A question that will perhaps be answered through the lens of innovation.
Meet Challenges Head On – Dr Ranjana Pathak To Women Leaders In The Making
My journey has been a roller coaster ride, filled with laughter and some tears. The challenges were numerous, since I started at the very bottom, this forces you to learn, understand the nuances of the job, the expectations of the organisation, and the regulators.
This job soon became a career and now a calling. I have always been driven, spent hours reading trade journals, studying books on key topics such as chromatography, the USP etc. By the way, the USP is a great book to learn from if you are in the lab. When I started my career, I was the only girl in the QC lab, it was daunting because I had zero experience, this was a challenge to overcome. For me it was a new country, working for the first time in my life, so I suppose the survival instinct kicked in. I have always been very focused. I have the drive to be the best in what I do. These two traits have enabled me to be a perennial student, keeping me in the learning mode. I never liked the status quo and always opted for harder tasks, taught courses because it would force me to learn and be challenged by pharma executives. The need to excel has been with me literally all my life which drives me to take challenges head-on.
In summary, it is my purpose, drive, doggedness, persistence and courage that have enabled me to overcome the numerous challenges that faced me and I know I am not alone! I have also been blessed with having a very supportive family, bosses and colleagues.
Challenges for women leaders
Time is the biggest challenge, the pharma industry is competitive and by nature, timeline bound. There is seldom tomorrow, everything seems to be needed yesterday, a very fast paced, exacting and demanding industry, full of challenges, some anticipated and others binding. For women, to play their classical roles in society and families becomes difficult, because of their innate nature.
Women from time immemorial have been jugglers, they must juggle the needs of their families, children, work, friends, communities etc…the list goes on and on.
Given that the number of hours is limited for all, women need to be able to prioritise the ‘must dos’, and let go of those tasks that cannot be done and will not matter in the long run, ‘take help’ from family members, friends, neighbours to be able to juggle everything on their plate.
Creating a conducive growth environment
The government can and should execute laws that are conducive for women to work, the organisations then must follow through to make the workplace environment safe. School and universities should promote science and maths so children join science rather than hanker for business degrees alone, don’t get me wrong we need those as well but I think I see a tip towards business. If there is no product, there will be no business to manage. Today’s generation wants instant gratification, the millennials are different from the baby boomer generation, their needs and tolerances are not the same. Careers in disciplines other science seem to be more popular. The pharma industry needs sharp scientists, engineers, biologists, microbiologists, physicists, computer science etc. to ensure that new drugs/devices are developed, existing drugs are made more affordable, the quality is uncompromised. This is a daunting task where the government can help in ensuring the platforms exist. The government can do a lot to make this feasible for women/ girls in urban and rural schools.
Need for regular campus placement
There are more number of science graduates coming out of universities who want to join the pharma sector. However, due to lack of job opportunities, they have to change their career goal. To address this, the pharma industry needs to be present on the campus to educate the graduates of tomorrow about the needs of humanity (need for medicines) and the need of society.
To my newcomers and those that are stalwarts: Always do the right thing, be courageous, know your subject, believe in yourself, look at yourself in the mirror each morning and say—Wow, I am looking at a great piece of art that is going to make a huge difference today!!! If I can do it…You can do it better!!
This article originally appeared in Express Pharma.
Books: A Cerebral Affair
“A Reader lives a thousand lives before dying. Those who never read live only once!”
All of us enter youth and the corporate world with the quiet confidence that we can change the world. Alas, this lasts only “until the coarse necessities of physical existence drag us from the height of thought into the mart of economic strife and gain”. Our everyday challenges – finding and then doing well in a good job, keeping up with an often fragile relationship, the heavy load of expectations from our parents and ourselves, lack of clarity on what we really want to do in life, the rat race and constant comparison with our peers – often pull us down into mediocrity. And the grand idea of being the very best we can gets quietly put aside.
So Why Read Books?
If we agree that good counsel can help us become much better, what better guide than books? Mentors and teachers can come and go and may turn out to be false Gods. Why not drink from the ageless wisdom of good books, learning from the myriad experiences of some of the best of our species?
As Durant said, “When life is bitter, or friendship slips away, or perhaps our children leave us for their own haunts and home, let us come and sit at the table with Shakespeare and Goethe…”
But What Exactly To Read?
There is a book for every mood and occasion. Choosing few recommendations is not easy (±130 million books have been written!), so let’s decide how we will choose:
- Life-changing: Will make us wiser. That can bring fundamental changes in our thinking and attitude, answer the big Why questions.
- Engaging and Fun: We want to grow, but also enjoy the journey. We may not have the patience (yet!) to go through deep but boring books.
Let me start with a few recommendations from my side (click each link for more recommendations and a short summary)…
- Are you feeling dejected and lost? Read Philosophy and delve into the deeper meaning of life. Start your journey of self-discovery through Siddhartha or ask a big question on God through The Case For God.
- Are you feeling low after your annual review? Lookup something in the Self-Help genre to improve yourself. Perhaps read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to understand what makes people successful or read The Happiness Project to understand what gives us happiness. Or even Tuesdays With Morrie to learn life’s greatest lessons from a dying man.
- Are you plain bored? Read good Literature, the narrative of our lives, and get entertained and glued. The Kite Runner will make you cry and cringe, and The Animal Farm will bring alive how power corrupts.
- Do you need more tips in managing people and work? Tons of Management books to choose from. The One Minute Manager to manage people and work better or Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff to get a new perspective on all the daily stress in our lives.
- The list wouldn’t stop. Popular Science like Physics Of The Impossible to wonder if science fiction can ever become reality under existing laws of science.
- Or History like Sapiens to read the beautiful and gripping story of our entire species.
- Or a great Autobiography like Screw It, Let’s Do It to learn lessons in life and business from none other than Sir Richard Branson.
(If you want more, see my blog on 100 Books To Make Us Wise).
Part of what makes a book memorable is our own life experiences that can relate to it. So look out for what appeals to you. Obviously, choose the books very carefully. Good books can be an everlasting love affair, just as bad books can be more enervating than a date gone horribly wrong.