Five panellists and more than 100 delegates joined CIONET UK’s first Community event of the year. The event was moderated by Roger Camrass, Research Director of CIONET International, and organised by Jenniffer Tang, Director of the UK Community Programme. It was sponsored by EY, Gitlab, Hitachi, Zscaler and UiPath. Here is a summary of the discussion, edited by freelance business journalist, Mark Samuels.
Introduction: The ‘Intelligent Era’
David Smith, Chief Executive at Global Futures and Foresight, set the scene by introducing what he referred to as the ‘Intelligent Era’, which involves the automation of digital assets. This era will necessitate a focus on data and personalisation, where IT will enable the business to do new and exciting things. Companies must embrace this innovation opportunity, yet David pointed to research that suggests just 8% of CEOs believe their business models will survive digital disruption. Senior executives must create new business models that take advantage of technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing. Companies will need to think about how they can operate fundamentally differently to disrupt their markets.
How are sensors and data changing patient outcomes for the better?
Maureen Wedderburn, Non-Executive Chair on the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre Supervisory Board, explained how automation is driving productivity increases in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Sensors are being used to link operations and create insight that improves performance across the supply chain. Products can be tracked and traced across the life cycle globally, including monitoring temperature variations. On the shop floor, insights from sensor data can boost product quality, which helps create better healthcare for patients at lower cost.
Rapid product development due to COVID-19 provided a rarity in pharmaceuticals: analytical data on patient outcomes. New compute power, meanwhile, has opened data-led research opportunities. There is potential across databases of genetics and onto specialist web sites like 23andMe to bring information together and develop personalised medicine, either in areas of critical need, such as oncology, or through gene and stem-cell therapy.
The Medicine Manufacturing Innovation Centre is running ‘grand challenges’ with industry and academic institutions to develop answers to big questions, including the automation of pharmacy dispensing in hospitals. Providing answers to those kinds of questions will make it easier to develop and deliver the personalised medicines of the future.