Today, we’ve drugs that send a message to caregivers after a patient swallows it. Healthcare expert can offer migraine treatment through virtual reality and doctor consultation apps. If you think it’s merely science fiction, then perhaps you should rethink as all of this is now possible and rather a trend revolutionising the future of pharmaceutical industry.
The medical community acknowledges importance of digital health but the acceptance rate is less due to less understanding of the technology. Here’s how pharma is being shaped by digitalisation and disruptive healthcare tech.
- Patients partaking in the pharma advisory board
Digital health paved way for patients to monitor their health and manage a healthy lifestyle. They should be treated as equal opportunity partners in the pharmacies, hospitals and associated medical companies. Including drug producers in the advisory boards being consumers would surely help pharma industry to thrive for betterment.
The possibility of creating a futuristic healthcare system is also there when patients partake in the strategy planning or least allow themselves to be heard. Healthcare event organisers should also include patients in the planning of their conferences which means they’ve a go-to- cue of speaking at the event or are members of the organisation committee.
- Digital health moves “around the medication”
Pharmaceutical companies around the world have realised that production and development of drugs isn’t enough anymore. The trends reveal going beyond the physical appearance of the medicine itself and rather provide a complete package that’s known as “around the medication/pill” digital offerings. These trends are driven by doctor consultation apps, digital health apps, devices and services prescribed by actual healthcare specialist, a doctor in UAE perhaps or come as a bundle alongside the drug.
Take for example a healthcare centre team partnered with a drug-making organisation that introduced a wearable monitoring device and an app allowing patients to connect with their doctors and have a personalised feedback generated by the app itself.
- Digestible sensors are coming
Further advancement of nanotechnology shaped future of drug production and introduced “digestible”. A name given to the tiny pills integrated with sensor that can track digestions, absorption of the drugs after they’re being swallowed and after effects on health.
It was in 2015 when FDA first approved the drug combined with a digestible sensor for diagnosis and plausible treatment of a certain mental illness. Such drug is only administered on patient’s consent after which the ingestible sensor communicated with a wearable patch. The information is then transferred to a smartphone or tablet of the patient after which expert’s advice can be obtained from the many doctor consultation apps. The ultimate aim is measuring adherence of the drug for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults as well as acute treatment of mix and manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder. Adjunctive therapy for the treatment of major depressive disorders in the grownups is also provided.
- Drug test on virtual organisms
Gone are the days of costly and lengthy clinical trials of various drugs on humans and animals. Imagine the characteristics of living organisms are stimulated with such perfection that clinical trials can be performed in half the time with less money and promising outcome. The method is known as “in silico trial” carried out by personalised computer simulation during regulatory evaluation of a medicinal product, device or intervention.
- Augmented Reality (AR) for drug description
AR has many exciting and excellent applications in healthcare. Finding blood vessels or veins in a body is lot easier with an AR vein scanner while more advance versions can even describe eye conditions. For those who’re ever curious of how a drug works in the body can now trace a medicine the moment it’s being swallowed. The results are displayed in 3D so that patients can read the description and see things in actual which is quite a breakthrough in medical science.
From simple doctor consultation apps to advanced and sophisticated tech, it’s time to embrace digital health and how pharma innovations reach patients.