Proteus: How digital meds are pushing the boundaries of pharma manufacturing

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Pills embedded with sensor technology that verifies a patient has taken their medication can improve adherence and provide data on adverse effects, says Proteus Digital Health’s Nik Leist.

We spoke with Proteus’ senior director of ingestible sensor manufacturing in the lead up to his keynote address at CPhI North America in Philadelphia, US, to discuss how digital medicines are affecting the pharma industry, and what the future holds for these new-age drugs.

in-PharmaTechnologist (IPT): How is digital technology changing healthcare?

Nik Leist (NL): The digital health movement is changing the way that people can interact with their own healthcare. Patients no longer need to drive all the way to their doctor’s office just to get information about their well-being, because they can now do that from the comfort of their homes.

With Digital Medicines, for example, patients can see that they’ve taken their medications, and get objective information on how their bodies are responding to the prescribed treatment plan. This not only puts the patient in control of their health, but also gives them a starting point for more open conversations with their provider. This access to data allows patients and providers to actively engage and personalize the health treatment plan.

IPT: What impact do digital medicines have on the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry?

NL: Digital Medicines have been designed to be manufactured under current technology practices for semiconductor, electronics, and pharmaceutical industries. Digital medicines can be shaped into various solid oral form factors, some of which will be enabled on existing equipment within pharmaceutical manufacturing, and some which require feed system integration for the digital sensors. 

The latter leverages the knowledge and skillsets of pharmaceutical technicians, scientists, and engineers enabling those teams the ability to manufacture revolutionary Digital Medicines with their existing core competencies.

IPT: What do you see for the future of digital medicines?

NL: As real-world evidence supporting digital medicines continues to build, I imagine we’ll see a greater global adoption of the technology by healthcare providers and patients.

As the benefits are better understood and prescribed as the standard of care, digital medicines will expand into new treatment options, thus empowering even more patients to take control of their own health.

IPT: Why will your talk be of interest to the CPhI NA audience?

NL: I’m excited to discuss the ways in which digital health tools are already transforming the healthcare industry, and how they’re beginning to impact the pharmaceutical industry.

I will outline the manufacturing adaption and scalability required to integrate these novel technologies with the pharmaceutical industry, and highlight a few key benefits Digital Medicines can bring in terms of pharma efficiency, reduced costs, and improved outcomes.

Nik Leist leads the teams responsible for the end-to-end manufacturing operations for Proteus’ ingestible sensor technology. His keynote session at CPhI North America – ‘Integrating Silicon with Drugs: Pushing the Boundaries of Pharma Manufacturing with Digital Medicines’ – will take place on Wednesday April 25 at 1:15pm.

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