The Internet of Things (IoT) can be defined as a network of internet-connected devices that are able to collect, analyse and exchange critical information through installed sensors and can help in smart process automation. IOT has massive potential and is already transforming various industries across the globe. Application of IOT technologies in pharmaceutical and medical device companies could improve quality, reduce costs, change the way that medication would be delivered to the prescribers and help the industry leader to make informed long-term business decisions.
- Material Tracking & Management : IOT devices can be used to manage the inventory, as interconnected sensors which can communicate, easily track the availability of materials in real-time and reduce costs. Tracking the source of supplies is critical for maintaining quality, speed of production and potential risk of ingredient substitution while counterfeit medicines, or theft of drugs can pose serious threat to a pharma company.
- Production and quality control : Production and quality control need to be robust in the pharma industry. While working with potentially life-saving substances or devices something can go wrong such as 1) leakage of any dangerous liquid or gas could harm workers or create a fire hazard 2) An improperly produced medication can be ineffective or toxic 3) An equipment failure can interrupt production and require expensive clean-up procedures. However, adapting the IOT technology in quality control and production can significantly reduce the risk of machinery malfunctions and guarantee precision production by detecting issues and making adjustments before they cause a problem.
- Supply Chain management : Tracking of finished products throughout the supply chain are critical for pharmaceutical or device inventory. IOT Systems can communicate and determine how much production is needed and it can also identify batches that have passed their expiration date. If a batch needs to be recalled then IOT based tracking devices make it easier to locate and remove it from the supply chain.
- Production Process management: The data collected from IOT connected devices can be used in advanced ways using data analytics software. These software can identify the areas that are most prone to issues, pinpoint inefficiencies and potential cost overruns to improve productivity and profitability.
- Regulatory Compliance: Pharmaceutical production processes need to be well-documented to meet the regulatory compliance. Pharma IOT connected devices can continuously send data to a server to establish that quality standards and can reduce the amount of manual paperwork and potential margin for error.