ACRP 2019

Getting out of its own way: How pharma can use tech to transform

By Maggie Lynch

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/DragonImages)
(Image: Getty/DragonImages)

Related tags ACRP Otsuka Pharma technological Data Data collection Data management

Debbie Profit, vice president of applied innovation and process improvement at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals addressed ACRP in April and discussed the various technologies that could ‘transform’ the pharmaceutical industry.

Profit began her talk by stating that when it comes to technologies enabling transformation in the pharmaceutical industry, there’s a journey ahead that is just beginning – and everyone in the field needs to be part of it.

According to Profit, life sciences is one of the largest areas of investments today with even the electronic store giant Best Buy investing $800m in telemedicine technologies over the last year. One of the major investments the company made into the sector was a retail partnership with Telemedicine startup TytoCare for its TytoHome product which comes with a stethoscope, otoscope, and tongue depressor to enable patients to perform self-exams.

Telemedicine and technologies like wearables enable patients to collect more data and may be the pathway forward as digital medicine takes a bigger role, Profit said.

However, despite mixed perceptions in the industry, Profit believes that digital medicine is “another tool in the toolkit.”​ To tap into this toolkit though, the industry may need to put aside its perceptions to think about what patients want and think about how that can be achieved.

While the industry is developing and using more technological tools to create data, there is a push for technology to improve data management.

Profit added that in today’s world, “Data is a currency, and one we all have ownership and stake in, and patients are more interested in what to do with their data.”

Lengthy informed consent forms may make the regulators feel better, but it doesn’t do the same for patients. “Do we really think patients understand what they are consenting to?”​ she added. 

Profit believes technology can transform clinical trials, but in what ways is not yet clear, though to collect, manage, consent, and provide patients with their clinical trial results is one area ripe for transformation.

Still, before anything can be achieved using these tools, Profit said change has to occur from within the industry: “We got to get out of our way.”

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