In the inaugural session of engaging industry dialogue series ‘Make in India: Pharmacy of the World’ on March 2 in collaboration with Rockwell Automation, an esteemed panel of experts did a deep dive into how organisations can incorporate digital transformation technologies to boost operational efficiency.
Keeping the pharma and life sciences industry at the centre, these sessions uncovered the tectonic shift this industry witnessed in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual event curated an extensive list of topics related to the industry, which included technology-led innovations in life sciences, role of Big Data and AI in manufacturing, the key to overcoming cybersecurity threats, and building a future-forward framework for pharma manufacturing
The opening remarks saw speakers putting forth their experiences in how their companies have embraced automation and technologies amid disruptions to supply chains, as well as adapted to the new normal of remote working.
Tapping Into an Existing Resource
Dilip Sawhney, Managing Director, Rockwell Automation, said that the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year is a testament to how technology and subsequent automation have created the concept of a “digital thread”. He said that this digital thread already exists in the context of life sciences pharmaceuticals, right from the drug discovery stages, labs to the manufacturing. At the same time, it has emerged across product design, manufacturing and the supply chain. He further added, “The power of advanced analytics has empowered staff with vast amounts of data which was always available but in an unstructured format. Advanced analytics has brought this data on a common platform to help the line side operators plan and apply deep learning and machine learning to bring out insights which are never really available.”
The opening session concluded with the panellists agreeing on having a sound risk assessment strategy around digital technologies and then an appropriate mitigation plan as basic hygiene to avoid cyber-attacks in a digitally-connected world.
Proactively Creating Value With Data
The next session provided key insights into how companies can adopt pharma 4.0 principles for any segment, from small molecule pharmaceuticals to biotech personalised medicines and combination products. Arvind Kakru, Country Head, Rockwell Automation, put forth his views on utilising data to drive pharma business models and strategy and how it will increase by multi-fold in the future.
Citing examples of how advanced analytics automation in the cloud is making it easy for people and pharma companies to increase productivity and improve the quality of decision making, Mr Kakru said, “Digitisation can make tremendous strides in improving speed to market, providing better flexible manufacturing, and empowering patients”. He further stressed the need to have ingenuity and a pool of problem solvers, makers, and innovators who can provide personalised medicine, smaller implants, and faster launches.
The Next Industrial Transformation
The three-hour webinar concluded with a virtual tour of the Facility of the Future. The host from Rockwell Automation walked the participants through the facility, explaining why agility, connectivity, and speed are central to the facility and how giants like Microsoft and Rockwell Automation have helped create future-ready pharma and life sciences companies.
In light of the pandemic, digitalising operations and structuring the existing data can not only help the pharmaceutical industry adapt to the new normal but also improve productivity. By integrating technology in their day-to-day operations, these companies will transform India into a global life sciences innovation hub.
This is a partnered post.