Pharma Forward: Digital Innovations Revolutionising the Industry

February 01, 2021

By Monstarlab

According to industry market research, two years after the IPO bumper year for stocks, the Life Science sector is at an inflection point. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology organisations are searching for new measures to future-proof their business and stay relevant in the rapidly-developing market – looking towards technology to improve and transform their businesses [1]. In response, from intelligent drug development to professional training and clinical trials, technology is creating new value for the pharmaceutical industry. How? With these following smart digital integrations.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What technologies are leading the industry’s digital transformation into 2021
  • How pharmacies across the globe are leveraging these technologies to optimise both normative and specialised business processes
  • How these integrations can impact your business

AI- and ML-Powered Data Processing

Pharmaceutical companies are driving data processing efficiency and overcoming scale-related challenges by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solutions in both data management and interpretation procedures. As data-driven technologies provide pharma and biotech organisations with increasing volumes of indispensable information, new process models are emerging in the industry – assigning both AI and Machine Learning bigger roles in business. In fact, according to the latest research, 35% of executives have already reported data migration to AI- and ML-governed interoperable systems, emphasising the shift in the weight of data responsibility from human to machine governance [2].

With these timely technologies, top players in the field are maximising data-powered insights in effectively matching patients with customised drug development, designing specialised therapies, and accurately filtering potential participants for clinical trials. According to the same resource, these strategic integrations have paved the way for speedy and cost-effective drug discovery and development methods. In support of this, recent research stated that 27% of organisations in their recent global survey have already reported more than a 10% labor cost reduction and 23% time savings in operations within the sector – results you can also enjoy with these technologies [3].

Robotics Process Automation

On the topic of driving efficiency, industry leaders are turning to automation to increase value and optimise speeds for workers, patients, and business owners alike. By automating routine tasks, enterprises are not only cutting labor costs significantly, but are also cultivating human strengths – allowing employees to focus on more skilled and meaningful research and development work.  

In their respective digital transformations, market research has reported that leaders in the sector are redesigning jobs around human-machine collaboration [4]. With process automation augmenting basic human abilities, employees are now given more tasks and opportunities that enhance their capabilities and provide more experiences for growth. 

Finally, by significantly reducing human contact with data processes and calculations requiring utmost precision, the risks of inaccuracy in drug development and research are also remarkably reduced. Illustrating this, a study from the same source shows that employing automation in data validation can eliminate manual errors by up to 99% [5]. Altogether, this boost in data accuracy and consistency translates into improving compliance to standard Good Manufacturing, Clinical, and Laboratory Practices.

Chatbots for the Complete CX

Emerging Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Conversational Intelligence technologies are also positively impacting each stage of the customer experience with chatbots. According to recent reports, popular applications of chatbot technologies in the industry include consumer education, real-time inquiry response, and more convenient feedback collection [6]

Becoming a built-in multifunctional channel for communication, chatbots streamline information dissemination to consumers as well as data collection. From health conditions and expected outcomes to procedures to proper drug usage, the integration of chatbots easily centralises data exchange between stakeholders. With the help of chatbots, 64% of professionals are able to spend focus on resolving more intricate cases, and increase sales, commerce, and promotion reach rates by 81%, 78%, and 77% respectively [6].

Key Takeaways

  • With the market increasingly saturated with highly valued real-time data, organisations fully harnessing AI technologies to optimise and expedite data processes are those collecting the greatest returns in cost and time savings.
  • Automation, contrary to beliefs on how it may replace the workforce, maximises human-machine collaboration and creates more meaningful opportunities for workers. 
  • In creating cost-efficient customer support channels, chatbots prove most efficient in cost-effective round-the-clock customer assistance, feedback collection, and alternative marketing. 
  • Increased adoption of new technologies like AI, ML, Chatbots, and RPA could increase access to data and human resources needed for research and development and catalyse such processes exponentially.


[1] Deloitte, “Capital Market Review and Outlook: Pharmaceutical & Biotech industry driven by brand name drugs”, 2019
[2] Salesforce, “Life Sciences – State of Service (Third Edition)”, 2019
[3] Statista, “Cost decreases from adopting artificial intelligence (AI) in organizations worldwide as of 2019, by function”, 2019
[4] Deloitte, “RPA and CA in medtech Increasing efficiency, reducing costs”, 2018
[5] Deloitte Insights, “Maintaining value in pharmaceutical compliance”, 2019
[6] Salesforce, “What Is a Chatbot and How Is It Changing Customer Experience?”, 2019

Other references:

AI Multiple, “15 RPA Benefits Compiled from Top Sources”, 2020
AI Multiple, “Top 12 Benefits of Chatbots in 2020: The Ultimate Guide”, 2020
Axtria, “Emerging Technology Trends In the Life Sciences Industry”, 2020
Deloitte, “Life sciences IT quality Validating cognitive solutions”, 2019
Deloitte, “The future of biopharma”, 2020
Ethoseo, “Pharma Marketing Trends in 2021”, 2020
Linchpin SEO, “Trends Transforming The Pharmaceutical Industry Outlook in 2021”, 2020
Reuters Pharma, “The Chatbots Are Coming”, 2019
Stefanini Group, “Top 5 Digital Trends in Life Sciences for 2021”, 2020

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