Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: Connected Healthcare and the opportunities for IIOT

The connected healthcare concept: connecting people, processes and systems

Connected healthcare is a patient-centred model that uses technology for the delivery of remote healthcare services, connecting people and information together within one system.  It aims to maximise healthcare resources and provide better opportunities for consumers and patients to engage with clinicians and better self-manage their care.  According to experts, the healthcare industry must look at the significant impact that technology has had on other industries such as banking, retail and logistics to help transform the quality and delivery of its service and to ultimately increase efficiencies. 

As customer demands for better quality healthcare services increase, the industry must move away from traditional methods of connecting with healthcare professionals, patients, carers and organisations to fully utilise the available technology to improve the access to product and service information.  An example is a simple remote device used at a patient’s home to detect vital signs of being unwell.  The information is sent to a home health nurse who can intervene if there is a potential health risk.  The use of sensors and devices can reduce the need for patient hospitalisation, reducing any unnecessary associated costs. 

The view from many business leaders is that having smart factories alone will not be sufficient to efficiently operate in the global manufacturing market.  Businesses need to concentrate on creating smart value chains, which means connecting people, products, processes and communities.  Utilising data to turn smart factories into a smart value chain and connecting everybody in the value chain together – such as medical professionals, healthcare stakeholders, patients, suppliers, R&D teams, agencies and so on – is key to the future success of the industry.

As well as large pharmaceutical companies, small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are an important source of product innovation and boost the product pipeline of larger companies, and would be major beneficiary of adopting the same ‘connected philosophy’.  Having a connected and collaborated healthcare value chain, whether big or small, and sharing information more freely, should all have a positive effect on drug development and innovation, ensuring that future pipeline products enter the market quickly and are strong market contenders.

Innovative or disruptive?

Manufacturers in all industries are responding to changing market conditions, as demand for goods and services continues to increase, albeit with ever-changing consumption patterns.  Adoption of IoT technologies helps companies respond positively to these market changes, future proof their manufacturing operations and, inevitably, drive sustainable growth and innovation.

Pharmaceutical industry experts report that, to prosper, they need to be responsive to the changing environment and to develop new ways of providing patients with improved health outcome at a fraction of today’s cost.  Many pharmaceutical organisations are information factories, which is great, but the data collected needs to be analysed much more effectively to make better decisions to become more productive.

New job roles are evolving, such as business and operational analysts, and new manufacturing systems are being developed to cope with the ever-increasing demands for data.  People are at the centre of this new smart, connected world as we need people, along with processes and systems, to make sense of all the data.  High development costs, slow development processes and strict patient data privacy could all have a direct impact on rising medicine prices.  The collaboration of the value chain, along with the use of connected technology, is the key to address this, and contributes to the future success of the pharmaceutical industry.  IoT has been seen as a disruptive technology by some, but those who are gaining real benefits from it are those who understand the possibilities, see the gains and make it happen for them.

Watch our on-demand Webinar "The key drivers to IIoT technology adoption in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector" 

Cimlogic have a wealth of experience supporting pharmaceutical manufacturers in realising the benefits of IIoT.  Take a look at this whitepaper 'Tackling the Challenges of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing' from Parsec Corp, developers of TrakSYS™, leading real-time operations and performance management software.  Cimlogic are the only gold tier TrakSYS™ implementation partner in the UK.

If you'd like to discuss Industry 4.0 and our IoT enabled technology systems further please call +44(0)1274 59995 or email