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The term big data commanded the attention executives and management consultants everywhere. Digital technologies provide the ability to rapidly and easily collect, store, analyze and transmit data on a large scale. This ability unlocks a huge potential in clinical development. The potential impact of data in healthcare is being discussed today. For an industry with research and development at its core can harness the full power of data to enhance efficiency and success in clinical trials, and the approval process.
Large data sets can help improve clinical trials with data-driven sample sizing and aid researchers to pick up on the signals as they emerge. Data also provides a wealth of information that can be used to update the label for a product, aiding in identifying new indications, define the target population and refine dosing. The excitement surrounding new technologies such as these is somewhat tempered by the fact that pockets of the pharmaceutical industry have yet to realize the full potential of digital technology. The following are such areas.
Pharma Supply Chains
The legacy IT systems, manual processes, and lack of integration in pharma supply chain management make it difficult for manufacturing and distributing companies to drive efficiency, prove traceability and compliance, and reduce time-to-market. The problem is that they tend to adopt less effective ERP solutions which provide limited actionable insights.
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In pharmaceutical warehousing, the real-time data in warehouse management systems gives full visibility over every process, enabling prioritization of tasks, monitor progress and identify slow-moving or obsolete stock. This becomes critical in pharmaceuticals because treatments have expiry dates, and must be kept in a temperature controlled environment. The effectiveness and safety of medical treatments can never be compromised. Real-time data can also be used to analyze the movement of stocks through the warehouse.
Enhancing Production Process
Logistics is one part of the pharma supply chain and another is critical planning and scheduling in pharmaceuticals production. Using previous batch production data enables development of a capacity model for a new plant. Using software to ensure resources are used optimally to keep every task on track can provide the data. This data supports better decision making at a strategic level.
The pharmaceutical industry is now engulfed with large datasets. Despite the concerns about the safety, health bodies continue to embrace these sources of data and this trend is likely to continue.