Pharma achieves new heights with IoT
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Pharma achieves new heights with IoT

Like other visionary organizations across sectors, pharmaceutical companies are rushing to implement IoT solutions. Clever devices have a role to play in a wide range of activities, from prompting patients to take the correct amount of medicine at the appropriate time to generating rich, real-time data flows that can revolutionize drug discovery. New technologies emerging into the pharmaceutical sector, such as connected inhalers, smart pills, implanted devices, and wearables, can be transformative for both patient outcomes and traditional pharma companies' fortunes if they help patients manage their chronic conditions more successfully.

Pharma meets IoT

Because of stringent rules and domain intricacies, the Life Sciences sector has been more reactive than proactive in adopting new technologies. However, Pharma businesses have been under enormous strain in recent years by falling R&D productivity, rising expenses, non-compliance, an increasing number of patents expiring, and growing stakeholder expectations for drug efficacy.

Some early adopters have already begun to explore the possibilities of IoT to extend end-to-end digital connectivity across the value chain. Organizations are already using IoT-based smart devices such as "Organ in a Chip," which allow running real-world testing scenarios. By combining data from these technologies with Big Data analytics and cognitive systems, you may create unique possibilities that would not previously have been possible. As a result, you'll be able to increase the hit rate and R&D productivity significantly.

Chip in a pill, an innovative ingestible medicine that captures one's health condition and transmits to a wearable device when consumed, is another example of how smart devices are becoming more popular.

Smart devices may be used in the clinical development, supply chain, and patient encounters to speed up time-to-market for medicines and proactively feed real-time data feeds to detect abnormalities throughout the value chain.

How is IoT used in pharma today?

There are several applications and methods to ensure the pharmaceutical industry has accurate information and data on how a treatment affects patients of all ages through the IoT.

Clinical tests

IoT improves clinical tests’ chances of finding successful formulations over less desirable ones and reduces development costs. Cell-in-a-Chip and Organ-in-a-Chip are minuscule laboratory plates produced with the science of tissue engineering that allows for an experiment and conveys the results of what occurred in the chip after the pharmaceutical compound was deposited.

Cell-in-a-Chip creates a real-time, living miniature world that imitates key physiological features of the human body while also providing real-time data through a smart interface. The new medical formulation is applied to the chip, and the live material's reaction is recorded, with insights into the absorption level of the new formulation, including its impact on multi-organ interactions and whether it affects the diseased condition.

IoT also reduces the burden of clinical research administration by monitoring subjects' health in their natural surroundings rather than in research centers where the treatment is generally given. It lightens the duty for frequent check-ins, but it also opens up the pool of eligible people to those who might not be able to travel long distances.

Quality control

IoT helps control quality in pharma production. IoT sensors monitor the status of the process, uploading minute-by-minute data on parameters like temperature, humidity, gas exposure, and radiation dose to the cloud. It monitors the temperature, humidity, gas exposure, and radiation emission. The AI in the cloud may detect minor deterioration, predict where the trend may lead, modify the environment as needed, or issue an alert that something bad will happen without remediation.


One of the most significant advantages that IoT may provide to the pharma business is the capacity to monitor a product from its beginning components through the patient's house, monitoring what happens when a bottle of pills leaves a well-controlled environment and enters shipment containers, trucks, pharmacies storage rooms, care delivery, and even into homes. Is the medication exposed to variables that might change its characteristics? The pharmaceutical business needs to clearly understand its products' complete supply chain and develop an individualized approach for each patient in an industrial environment with just a little margin for error.

Each patient has the right to know how their medicine got into their hands. Patients will be able to learn about the origins and transit of their medications thanks to IoT. This will raise public awareness of counterfeit medication smuggling in the long term.

According to the NCPIE, one out of two patients don't take their medications as prescribed by their doctor (National Council on Patient Information and Education). Forgetfulness and side effects are among the most common reasons. According to the American Heart Association, this issue will grow as the population ages. They stated that 24% of patients had not taken their heart medicine home after being discharged from the hospital in seven days. The lack of compliance costs lives and jeopardizes physicians’ ability to care for their patients.

Patient care

Hero Health's automated pill dispensers connect to a smart device with the correct drug administration time and a digital delivery record. Although this removes the worry of remembering, it does not guarantee to take the pills.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical launched an oral prescription medication to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The pill contains a sensor that sends information to a smartphone after the tablet is consumed, enabling patients to keep track of when they've taken their medications. Physiological reactions are another sign that the therapy is effective. Wearable sensors provide data about a patient's heart condition, mobility, and other remotely improved health indicators.