The pharmaceutical industry generates massive data daily by conducting clinical trials, market research, compliance or safety testing, and environmental monitoring. This data must be stored, organized, analyzed, and shared with specific parties. Furthermore, much of this data is critical to keeping patients safe and supporting the continued growth of the pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmaceutical data management has gone through many changes as technology has developed. In the past, data was stored and organized using paper documents before computers paved the way for these documents to be digitized. Storing documents and electronic data allowed data to be more secure, organized, and quickly backed up. However, the downside of electronic data storage was that it required companies to buy, own, and continuously upgrade IT infrastructure that could house and manage this data.
Today, pharmaceutical companies are exploring options that maximize the advantages of digitization while minimizing its downsides. Pharmaceutical cloud computing has emerged as a leading solution for limiting costs while increasing data integrity for pharmaceutical companies.
However, the term cloud computing is still often misunderstood or unclear, even for people in the pharmaceutical industry. Since cloud computing is such a significant trend, let’s explore exactly what it is and some of its considerable benefits.
How Pharmaceutical Cloud Computing Makes Data More Shareable
One of the primary challenges for pharmaceutical companies that collect and store large amounts of data is that much of this data must organize and passed to third parties such as regulators, patients, or partners. However, this was extremely tedious in the days of paper records. Although the ability to fax and later digitize documents did help markedly, data was still by no means as shareable as it should have been. That’s where pharmaceutical cloud computing comes in.
Pharmaceutical companies can rent IT infrastructure from third-party cloud storage providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Cloud. Therefore, use this infrastructure to store data in the cloud, where multiple devices can access it over the internet.
Given the promising role of cloud computing in the pharmaceutical industry, it’s no surprise that leading cloud storage platforms have even taken steps to acquire large healthcare companies.
Pharma cloud computing providers make the process of sharing data far easier since it doesn’t require upload from internal hard drives to the internet and then transferred to other parties online. In addition, through cloud storage, the permissions of various third parties to access data can be carefully managed and dynamically updated.
Cloud Computing for Environmental Monitoring and Cold Chain Storage
One of the most important kinds of data that pharmaceutical companies must store is monitoring the environmental conditions of pharmaceutical products. As a result, many pharmaceutical products must keep at specific temperature ranges to remain stable and effective. Improper storage conditions can lead to the distribution of ineffective medical products that put patients at risk.
As a result, regulators take the job of overseeing the storage conditions of pharmaceutical products seriously. As a result, pharmaceutical companies must keep careful records of temperatures at different time intervals.
To accomplish this, pharmaceutical companies use small electronic devices called data loggers that measure and record environmental data such as temperature, humidity, and differential pressure. Traditionally, housing this cold data is stored in the internal memory of the data logger before being transferred to external hard drives and computer systems where it can be analyzed using powerful software. Creating and maintaining temperature-controlled supply chains is known as cold chain storage.
Today, some pharmaceutical companies opt to use data loggers in conjunction with cold data storage and cloud computing solutions, which offers several significant benefits. Namely, storing and viewing environmental data in the cloud can allow companies to get a picture of real-time temperatures in storage facilities. That’s a significant advantage since it will enable them to immediately detect deviations in temperatures from outside safe ranges, potentially saving substantial amounts of money in wasted products and legal liability.
Cloud computing can also offer advantages in organizing, formatting, and submitting temperature data to regulators. In addition, use cloud-based cold data storage analysis and data enrichment software to detect essential patterns in data and offer important insights to pharmaceutical companies.
In addition, the enhanced shareability of cloud computing gives companies the ability to pass formatted data to regulatory agencies more quickly and securely. Therefore, use cold data storage in the cloud to create helpful decision-making tools that improve treatment options for patients.
Costing Savings of Pharmaceutical Cloud Storage
In addition to the shareability, security, and environmental monitoring advantages of cloud computing, leveraging the cloud can also allow pharmaceutical companies to save substantial amounts of money. Cloud computing solutions enable companies to forgo buying much of the expensive IT infrastructure previously essential to store different data types. In addition, it can save companies from the high recruiting costs of hiring technical talent that manages in-house IT infrastructure.
Furthermore, the nature of technological progress today is that it happens so fast that continuous hardware, software, and workforce updates are required. By working with a third-party cloud provider, pharmaceutical companies can leverage the most sophisticated technical tools and remote-capable personnel in the industry from companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies spend more time and resources on what they do best and pour more efforts into drug development, marketing, and safety testing.
Having greater bandwidth to focus on these essential tasks ultimately benefits patients, who can access novel treatments and pharmaceutical products. It can also help patients directly by giving them greater access to pharmaceutical data stored in the cloud through patient management systems.
When it comes to personal health, information is power. The more patients can educate themselves about their health and the treatment options available to them, the better. As a result, this is especially true considering that many patients neglect to seek guidance from a qualified physician. In addition, increased data transparency can highlight the need for patients to maintain a trusting and consistent relationship with their doctor.
To wrap up, we’ve seen that cloud computing technologies are shaking up the pharmaceutical industry by offering decreased data storage costs, improving data shareability, and helping to enhance outcomes for patients.