EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
KELLY DOERING , SENIOR DIRECTOR , ASPENTECH
Digitalisation is a necessity for healthcare organisations as they seek to thrive in the face of considerable pressures .
This is especially true in critical areas , such as pharmaceutical manufacturing . Having had to reshape their supply chains after COVID-19 , pharma companies are now coping with the wider effects of the conflict in Europe , rampant inflation and energy costs and continuing political uncertainty in the Far East . At the same time , a fast-rising global population includes two billion people who still lack access to basic medicine , according to the World Health Organisation .
Moving from myriad manual and semi-digital processes towards self-sustaining Digital Transformation is therefore critical . It allows companies to capitalise on revenue growth opportunities more readily and to deliver quality medicines around the world . The notion of building a facility to produce one or two products that remain the same for 15 years is outdated . Enhanced agility and resilience are therefore high on the list of aims because of these pressures .
It is why there is increased awareness that more advanced software solutions are the only way to meet all the challenges and excel as a profitable and growing organisation . For example , using digitalisation to improve the predictability of material flows means more patients have reliable access to medicines . Having greater supply chain predictability also allows companies to reduce strategic inventories , saving millions of dollars annually in material holding costs .
Digitalisation is also what will enable companies to innovate and bring important new products to the wider market . A survey of 400 pharma industry professionals across the US and Europe on the future of Digital Transformation and manufacturing showed 60 % of respondents expect cell and gene therapies and biologics to be the industry ’ s fastest-growing pharma / biopharma revenue opportunities up to 2027 .
The growing proportion of these modalities contributes to the demand for the implementation of digitalised smart manufacturing to improve production agility and flexibility and optimise efficiency and visibility across manufacturing processes . This is how to support timely , global access to medicines , vaccines and diagnostics , including those in low and middle-income countries .
Digitalisation is all about fully exploiting the expanding volumes of data from sensors and assets in supply chains and manufacturing processes . Cloud and SaaS systems offer the greatest opportunity , enabling global organisations to access and store data at scale in a much easier way than has been possible previously . Production facility data can , for example , become globally available in real-time to contribute to wider capabilities and address additional use cases .
Digitalisation will transform how an entire industry faces up to many of the severest challenges in the next five years or so . Implementation of digital technologies will save time , significantly increase efficiency in areas such as energy use , bolster data integrity and reduce waste products .
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