Pharma 4.0

The future of pharmaceutical manufacturing is in its next step of evolution: pharma 4.0. This next stage in the pharmaceutical industry is what will allow manufacturers a more efficient, flexible and higher-quality production.

Unsurprisingly, not every company in the industry will remain relevant as technology engulfs us. Only companies that pay attention to key trends and lead by example will thrive in this coming-of-age digital climate. What exactly does pharma 4.0 look like, though? Which emerging technologies serve as key trends to pay attention to?


Key Trends that Mark the Coming of Pharma 4.0

Well-known players in the pharmaceutical sector have already taken notice to some or all of these pharma 4.0 features. In a matter of weeks or days instead of months or years, healthcare organizations will all transition, one by one. Which key trends will your company take note of first? As the digital age propels us forward, which of these examples will allow an organization to propel forward, too?

Big Data in Pharma

Healthcare facilities can better organize their staffing schedule if pharma analytics present them with estimated future admission rates. Likewise, patient record analysis can better tailor a health plan to the individual, or even identify an inconsistency between that patient’s health and their most recent drug prescription.

Data analytics for pharma is one of the most valuable trends to take place for pharma 4.0. By gathering data through online and financial transactions, ecommerce patterns, social media and other factors, organizations can identify deeper patterns and trends for how to use this data in the future.

On-Demand Healthcare

The world no longer revolves around appointments – appointments revolve around each individual patient. Pharma 4.0 brings with it the ability for healthcare organizations to engage with their customers through digital means.

With over 4 billion people (over half of the world’s population) using the internet nowadays, digital healthcare access couldn’t come fast enough. Whether this is through mobile scheduling, telehealth appointments, ease of access with apps or other technological advancements, it accommodates today’s busy schedule.

77% of the United States population own a smartphone – and that number increases every day. Mobile access is a necessity to keep up with such an overwhelming digital market.

Pharmaceutical AI in Practice

One of the first biggest trends to get into is artificial intelligence in pharma. With it, the pharmaceutical industry paves the way for efficient hospital droids, timely chatbots, better medical imaging, precision medicine, drug discovery and so much more.

A patient’s genetic makeup, lifestyle and a variety of other factors can be tailored into a finely-tuned health plan thanks to the power of AI pharma. And as artificial intelligence grows more sophisticated with its pattern recognition, this will get even easier.

Virtual Reality is HERE

To say it’s possible to treat a patient using virtual reality even 10 years ago would’ve sounded ludicrous. In 2021 and onwards, it’s a reality. Virtual reality, or VR, is a drug-free tool that may help patients with a variety of symptoms and conditions.

A big reason for its mention is VR’s potential for pain management, as well as symptoms attributed to other chronic conditions. With a country facing an opioid epidemic, virtual reality hitting key therapeutic targets is a technological miracle.

Predictive Healthcare on Stage

Corrective healthcare is costly, which is why preventive and especially predictive healthcare are preferred. The most cost-effective options, predictive maintenance for pharma is a pharma 4.0 key trend that cannot be left out. As it stands right now, wearable medical devices are only growing in popularity, meaning this will be a key example to keep paying attention to.

Even today, predictive analytics is paving the way for a more convenient, easier healthcare experience. Patients with wearable devices who take preventive measures are receiving insurance incentives in real-time. Insurance companies are able to estimate appropriate insurance pricing based on what a patient’s risk for illness or disease might be.


What Sped Up the Age of Pharma 4.0?

For over 20 years, healthcare companies have tried to gingerly start the age of digital transformation. Well before the pandemic was our reality, the pharmaceutical industry was experiencing rapid change, albeit more gradual before the pandemic than after.

COVID-19 kickstarted pharma 4.0 faster than some healthcare organizations were expecting. The environment has changed, and it is still rapidly changing.

To compare, back in 2014 very few healthcare companies had gone digital. In fact, digital transformation initiatives were only faintly being discussed by the majority.

Even in 2019, far more recently, healthcare companies felt as if they might be lost in a digitalization jungle. A whopping 59% of relevant companies surveyed still didn’t have a digital transformation strategy in place – and some didn’t even have one in the works.

Now, in contrast, the COVID crisis has resulted in about 74% of healthcare organizations speeding up their digital strategies. About 95% of companies in all industries seek new, more effective ways to engage and communicate with customers. Only energy and tech companies are projected to move faster than the speed we’re about to see from pharma 4.0.

To stay relevant in our digital future, healthcare organizations are making changes. Ever-forward, digital transformation is reshaping the pharmaceutical industry for the better. Embracing digital strategies and successful business models are the keys to remaining present. 



What is industry 4.0 in pharmaceutical manufacturing?

Industry 4.0 is a term used to describe the fourth industrial revolution, which involves industrial digitalization. In pharmaceutical manufacturing, it’s what propels pharma 4.0 forward.

What is pharmaceutical engineering?

Pharmaceutical engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to the development, manufacture and distribution of drugs, medicines and other healthcare products.