The pharmaceutical, healthcare and medical device sectors are highly regulated and environmental, social and governance (ESG) . However, they are no strangers to controversy. As more companies are called upon to publicly confront social inequalities, corruption, tax evasion and lack of security, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical and medical device companies will need to improve their governance.
Below are the top technology trends impacting environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, as identified by GlobalData.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies are implementing AI to transform supply chains and better manage their operations. Through predictive analytics, AI provides increased visibility into supply chains, improving cost, logistics, warehousing, and inventory transparency. Data is collected at every step and then analyzed by AI algorithms to increase efficiency and productivity.
AI also speeds up the drug development process, which could translate into cheaper drugs for patients. BenevolentAI explores AI to modify disease over weeks rather than months. Additionally, AI can improve patient well-being by automating health records, predicting disease, and improving treatment efficiency.
For pharmaceutical and medical device companies, 3D printing can reduce costs, waste, and environmental burden. Aprecia Pharmaceuticals’ Spritam, an anti-epileptic drug, is the first and only 3D-printed pharmaceutical product, receiving approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015. While big pharma has been slow in this area, Merck and GSK are now using 3D printing for clinical trials and manufacturing.
3D bioprinting offers an alternative to animal testing in drug development. 3D tissues provide a much more accurate representation of reality, resulting in more predictive results for drug candidates and reduced late-stage failures.
The healthcare industry is vulnerable to cyberattacks due to the amount of valuable and sensitive data it produces. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been cyberattacks against hospitals and institutions in the United States and Europe, particularly those associated with Covid-19 research.
Telemedicine also poses significant privacy and security issues. Health staff should be trained on processes and systems and patients sensitized on best practices. Blockchain technology can mitigate cybersecurity risks by preventing unauthorized access to assets, such as networks and clinical data, thereby ensuring efficient systems for healthcare professionals and patients.
This is an edited excerpt from ESG – Main trends by sector – Thematic research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.