In response to technological progress, we can observe more and more global pharmaceutical companies computerizing their services. It is not surprising that IoT, cloud solutions and Big Data are becoming new trends in pharmaceutical industry.
It is above all necessary that the number of pharmaceutical companies collaborating with technological corporations has become increasingly larger. To give an example, a well-known Swiss company Novartis partnership with Qualcomm that resulted in connected inhaler. This device is being used with Novartis’s program that sends information about frequency of drug usage to cloud. Such recordings will not only let patients to be aware of their exact drug usage but it will also give doctors a constant access to their patients’ data, so that they can monitor their health state any time.
These companies are also working on creating a host containing “big data” medical information about patients’ conditions or their drugs’ usage efficiency. Potentially, this database will contain information about thousands of people who can communicate wirelessly and be co-joined into so-called “Medical Internet of Things”.
It’s not a surprise that all the benefits of this potential medical Internet of Things are seen by many pharmaceutical companies looking for new opportunities and technical ones, who are willing to provide opportunities for their products. So, Novartis’ home competitor Roche is also working with Qualcomm, Danish company Novo Nordisk and is collaborating with IBM, while healthcare devices manufacturer Medtronic is working together with Glooko. Besides, Aerocrine is in cooperation with Microsoft, and Google – with Sanofi.
Of course, benefits of IoT for pharmaceutical industry go far beyond simply collecting data and comprise almost all industry aspects. For instance, manufacturing process tends to be more cooperative while managing projects and helps to make machines more intelligent, so that the plant will have less product waste and spoilage. In addition to this, Iot may be particularly useful for packing or delivering the products in pharmaceutical industry.
However, any new opportunity always puts us under certain risks. There is a bunch of security issues of cloud-based medical information being transmitted across medical IoT. In some cases, stolen medical information may cause more damage than any other personal details. For instance, it can be used for buying and reselling some drugs or for filing fake insurance claims. And at the worst: if someone can hack connected medical devices, it cannot only ruin the reputation of manufacturer, but also threaten patients’ lives.
“Medical Internet of Things” is gaining its momentum for more and more connected medical devices appear and more and more confidential medical data enters the cloud. That is why the risks become tremendous respectively. For example, medical device developer, Medtronic reports that some of its patients’ records were lost because of hackers’ attacks. However, all the pharmaceutical and medical companies are aware of risks and are promising to take all the possible actions as for security of their databases.