Biology/medicine/life sciences are becoming more intertwined with technology. This has resulted in new opportunities for healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.
Innovations in the fields of precision medicine and artificial intelligence have created new research fields, therapy models, and prevention approaches. It has revolutionized healthcare and continues to change it for the better.
Newer devices are replacing traditional treatments and machines are becoming more precise and economic.
Let’s look at some of the innovations that are affecting the pharma industry in particular.
1. Precision medicine
Precision medicine integrates clinical information with molecular information to determine the precise characteristics of a disease. This has led to targeted therapies, effective for individual patients.
Genomic testing is used to determine specific gene abnormalities, biomarkers and other information to determine if a particular treatment will be effective before it’s administered.
President Obama launched $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative in 2015 which has helped researchers and doctors to move forward.
2. 3D printing
Aprecia Pharmaceuticals has created the first 3 printed drug, the epilepsy medication, Spritam. The pharmaceutical has a proprietary 3D printing process manufacturing the pill in layers.
It has allowed them to prepare a drug that can deliver high dosage and still be porous enough to dissolve quickly.
University College London’s Department of Pharmacy is developing techniques to print pills in various shapes using ‘hot melt extrusion’ techniques. The future is 3D printed drugs! It’s changing not only the manufacturing but administration of drugs, making them easier to swallow.
3. mHealth technology
mHealth allows doctors and therapists to connect with patients through mobile technology. Pharma research institutions are taking advantage of these devices for clinical research.
Smartphones with advanced sensors and powerful processors can track movement, record measurements and take information that helps manage chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness bands also have sensors for biometric readings. As the sensors become more advanced, they are becoming able to track sleep, heart rate, temperature, stress, blood glucose, and other information.
This has allowed for remote monitoring, reducing the need for patients to visit hospitals for participating in clinical trials.
The technology occurs at nanoscale measurements. Microscopic size allows nanoparticles to easily travel in the blood stream. Based on biological materials, they’ve already been shown effective for delivery of cancer drugs while reducing toxicity.
Researchers are also investigating nanorobots to perform tasks like seeking out and destroying cancer cells. Pharma industries are designing nano-based solutions to help physicians administer better treatments.
5. Artificial intelligence (AI)
These are computers with learning abilities that can digest and interpret vast amount of information. For example, IBM Watson has been able to discover new connections between diseases, modifying recommendations based on this information.
Scientists at pharmaceutical companies are working to integrate AI. One such example is the collaboration of Johnson & Johnson with the Discovery Advisor team of IBM Watson. They are teaching Watson to assess scientific papers that detail clinical trial outcomes.
Sanofi, on the other hand, is discovering alternative indications of drugs that are already in the market (drug re-purposing).
The above-mentioned technologies are rapidly changing the healthcare setup, allowing hospitals and pharmaceuticals to launch and administer more efficient treatments. Keep up with the recent news about healthcare and pharmacies in North Dakota by following our pharmacy news blog.