The UK pharmaceutical industry is booming and is expected to exceed GBP 37 billion by the end of this year. It’s attracting more domestic and foreign investment than ever before, and the next 12 months appear to be equally promising. At the same time, technology is infiltrating the sector and finding new ways of streamlining, improving, and saving money. From healthcare apps to chatbots, machine learning to robot drug testing, the future is very much here.
Read on to discover more about how innovative tech is disrupting this once very traditional industry.
Chatbots are increasingly being utilized by health care providers around the world in the patient diagnosis process. A chatbot can ask a series of questions to non-emergency patients and based on their answers it can funnel them to a pharmacist, GP, nurse, or emergency services. This application of AI has the power to significantly decrease waiting list sizes and times as well as freeing up the time of medical personnel.
AI in pharmaceuticals
AI algorithms are also being used to handle several tedious and repetitive tasks previously carried out by humans in the field of pharmaceuticals. The technology can facilitate networks that screen molecules, analyze drug effects, and create data visuals that demonstrate how drugs work. This can create a deeper understanding of how drugs are created and how they treat conditions. In the future, this could lead to lower-cost drugs being developed in shorter time frames.
Machine learning in research
The application of machine learning in healthcare can greatly increase the capacity of researchers and lead to breakthroughs in treatment. From analyzing patient data relating to demographics, existing conditions, symptoms, and various other factors, summaries can be made quicker and more accurately than ever before. Information derived via machine learning and big data can improve hospital efficiency and reduce costs associated with patient care and administration.
There are more than 47,000 healthcare apps available with more being launched each day. These apps give users the ability to monitor all sorts of factors including weight, blood pressure, diet, alcohol, exercise, blood sugars and much more. These apps can help with preventative healthcare, flagging issues before they develop further. We can expect to see greater integration of apps and remote monitoring in the future.
Other sectors embracing tech
But it’s not just healthcare where technology is making waves. A growing number of traditional sectors are embracing technology and the benefits it brings.
For example, mortgage advisors, brokers, and comparison services have now shifted online. This means prospective property buyers can evaluate and compare different mortgage deals from their mobile or tablet. By inputting how much they want to borrow and how they want to pay it back, they can see their options in seconds instead of hours or even days.
Other once traditional sectors experiencing a technological revolution include banking, dating, and education. Banking is particularly interesting as we have seen an almost total shift to online services. More and more brick-and-mortar banks are closing their branches as apps and AI takes over. The majority of customer issues and tasks can now be completed via Artificial Intelligence integrated into their website or application.
Customers can also transfer money, open accounts, get paid, and make investments with just a swipe of their thumb. The sector is also looking at blockchain-based payments and even the possibility of doing away with cards altogether and using biometrics to authorize payments.
In education, learning via Zoom and other video streaming platforms is being increasingly adopted. Courses can be done entirely online, exams can be taken via the cloud, and exam results are being recorded on blockchain networks. In the near future, we will also see AI tailoring curricula for students and even delivering some courses via online platforms.
As we move into 2021, we can expect to see increases of tech usage in pharma, healthcare, and other industries. Blockchain and virtual reality are some examples of technologies that are finding growing numbers of use cases in the most unexpected areas.