Download Ascent Look Out 2016+


  • Global pharma market worth nearly $1.6 trillion by 2020
  • Focus on patient-centric health lifecycle management
  • 80% of consumer wearables measure health-related KPIs
  • Personalized medicine and value- based pricing
  • Increasing volume of digital patient data
  • Growing health needs of an aging global population
  • New sources of evidence: online communities, apps & sensors
  • Swelling counterfeit drug market

Digital Journey

We are in the midst of a significant shift, from a world in which one size fits all to one in which the individual’s diseases are treated with highly personalized drugs. Pharmaceutical companies’ key goal is to develop the right drugs to be administered to the right people at the right time.
The traditional drug company must transform itself into a disease management organization focused on delivering patient value. Additional patient-centric products and services will open up the new revenue streams. It’s important they collaborate with other parties in the value chain.
With revenues declining, pharmaceutical companies must increase efficiency and reduce costs to improve margins. A modern digital environment is vital for streamline both internal and external processes that reach across the pharmaceutical ecosystem.
Patient and product safety is increasing regulatory burden on drug development, manufacturing and supply. While any IT failures could impact manufacturing processes and the quality of the drug produced, all data and information exchanges must be kept safe from ever-increasing cyber-threats.

Markus Fuchslocher

Vice President Head of Pharmaceutical Industry

As pressure on the pipeline mounts, pharmaceutical companies are looking for ways to accelerate new product development and transform themselves from drug manufacturers into patient-centric organizations.

Technologies in the Digital Journey
Technology x y x (phone) y (phone) Impact Range Section Keys Description
3D printing 37 40 66 34 Adolescent 2019+ High experience,business,excellence With personalized medication high on the agenda, 3D printing technology will one day allow manufacturers to layer medication in precise dosages in pills. Medication can be tailored, based on each specific patient’s needs.
5G networks 32 41 54 40 Emerging 2019+ High experience,business,trust Future high speed, extended range 5G networks will ensure even participants in the remotest of locations can share their data from the comfort of their own homes. Clinical trial teams and other pharmaceutical company employees will also benefit from the more mobile and accessible work environment, which will allow them to access the tools and information they need, when they need it – even when they’re out on the road.
Advanced data visualization 82 49 84 50 Adolescent 2018 Low experience,business Graphs and other pictorial formats convey information concisely, making the exploration of complex information quicker and simpler. By providing an easy to interpret representation of data where the end point depends on a number of variables, 3D visualization technologies simplify access to meaningful insights and, in doing so, increase the odds of finding clinically significant insights.
Augmented reality 89 46 90 28 Early Adoption 2018 Low experience,excellence Plant maintenance engineers access vital information hands-free through modern wearable devices, improving productivity and safety. Augmented reality provides step-by-step instructions on how to maintain equipment, equipment maintenance or performance histories or even details on how to unlock a secure cabin. Embedded cameras relay pictures back to base to record activities or tap into the insight of a specialist engineer.
Cloud Service Integration 75 28 55 60 Adolescent 2017 Medium experience,business,excellence Integrated manufacturing, which ensures information transparency and collaboration between MES, ERP and PLM systems, is bridging the gap between demand, production and supply chain execution, and also with R&D. This vertical view along the value chain has become increasingly critical as pharmaceuticals move towards more personalized medicine. Cloud Service Integration ensures tight integration between all these different cloud services, from scanning an individual patient’s knee and sharing the picture in the cloud to gathering the raw materials and then manufacturing the one-off product.
73 14 71 22 Early Adoption 2017 High business At the end of a trial, pharmaceutical companies need to analyze the data gathered alongside up-to-date information about the participants, candidate drug and more. Distributed analytics allows diverse data sources to be analyzed together without the need to first copy the data to a central location. Companies can more rapidly understand how differences in genes result in an effective cure, non- effectiveness or severe side effects for a specific drug treatment.
High performance computing 65 6 52 13 Early Adoption 2017 Transformational business,excellence With the volumes, variety and velocity of data accelerating, high-performance computing is needed for handling complex simulations and analyses; for analyzing the DNA of clinical trial participants to try and identify the variants involved in different side effects, for instance. It also enables the virtual high throughput screening that is accelerating lead compound discovery processes.
Internet of Things 70 5 68 10 Early Adoption 2017 Transformational experience,business,excellence Intelligence from wearables and smart devices is combined with information from numerous other diverse sources – from electronic patient records to information about the drug candidate, trial itself and even all stakeholders involved – in the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT enables smart, timely and appropriate drug administration, amongst other things, where a patient’s KPIs measured by smart sensors regulate an ‘embedded’ active pharmaceutical ingredient depot (such as an insulin pump), for instance.
Pattern-matching technologies 77 15 80 17 Mainstream 2017 High experience,business,excellence In the event of a pandemic, the medical community and pharmaceutical companies need to understand how the disease is spreading in order to predict future spread and these future drug requirements. Pattern-matching technologies such as deep learning are helping them understand disease behaviors, revealing otherwise hidden patterns in transmission or remission, for example.
Prescriptive analytics 73 42 79 39 Adolescent 2018 Medium experience,business,excellence Pharmaceutical companies are adopting prescriptive analytics to ensure they meet significantly greater demand for specific drugs in the event of a pandemic. Prescriptive analytics takes intelligence on the spread of the disease, availability of raw materials and production schedules to suggest (or prescribe) an appropriate production schedule for the product.

These technologies also have a vital role to play in production plants where they help determine configuration or maintenance requirements, prescribing a course of action that will both ensure optimal production levels and ensure failing parts are repaired or replaced long before they threaten to cause down time. This type of condition-based maintenance helps companies save on labor and service cost, reduce unscheduled downtime and improve operational efficiency.

Privacy-enhancing technologies 79 35 66 72 Adolescent 2017 Medium trust As companies gather more and more information about patients during their clinical trials privacy-enhancing technologies control the disclosure of data. They help companies manage privacy risk by ensuring compliance with data protection legislation and regulation.
Self-adaptive security 60 47 58 61 Adolescent 2018 Medium trust Contextual dynamic access control provides companies, patients and partners with access to information and systems only when needed, raising levels of security and privacy protection.
82 22 85 24 Early Adoption 2017 Medium experience,business,excellence Semantic technologies enable the integration of the diverse formats of data that come from disparate systems into the cloud. They ensure analytics systems can understand the meaning of the data they process, whatever its format.

Cloud enables people to share their health KPIs – clinical trial data, for example – from anywhere and allows other stakeholders to act on that data in real time. Examples might include physicians increasing insulin on seeing blood sugar levels decrease.

Social network analysis 87 13 66 47 Mainstream 2016 Medium experience,business,trust Pharmaceutical companies are striving to move from a product-centric to a patient-centric world while patients want to take a greater role in their choice of medicine. Social media is taking an active role in enabling that transformation and participation. In combination with social network analysis it’s helping companies to understand how patients feel about their drugs and which side effects impact them most. Meanwhile companies are participating in or creating specific disease communities that help educate patients about their disease and to encourage them to lead the healthier lifestyles that will improve outcomes.
Streaming analytics 59 9 20 19 Adolescent 2017 Transformational experience,business,excellence Real-time streaming analytics gives organizations a means of extracting intelligence from data as it emerges so that intelligence can be derived and acted on at a moment’s notice. It ensures a clinical trial or physician can react quickly to any change in a participant’s vital signs, for instance.
Trusted information brokers 63 25 36 52 Adolescent 2017 High experience,business,trust Pharma companies are looking for a trusted mediator to host personal health information. Trusted information brokers will act as the central verification service eliminating the risk of manipulation – especially in clinical trials – and ensuring integrity of data.
Virtual assistants 70 41 75 37 Adolescent 2018 Medium experience,business Innovations, such as virtual assistants, will have a significant important role to play in patient compliance. This might be both during clinical trials and once the candidate drug has been approved and released to market. Carried on a smartphone or a 3D visualization, the avatar may remind the patient to take their medication or simply provide help and advice.
80 6 29 21 Early Adoption 2016 Transformational experience,business Just a few years into the future and we will see the speed at which pharmaceutical companies gather, combine and explore information continuing to increase – during research, in the manufacturing plant and across the entire pharmaceutical supply chain. Patients participating in clinical trials will be more connected and sharing more information than ever before. Smartphones, wearables and other smart sensor devices are constantly collecting information on health KPIs (oxygen levels, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and more) and storing it in the cloud.

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