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Spoonful of Tech

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

We highlight the top 3 emerging technologies in the world of pharma. Find out more about trends such as virtual reality, internet of medical things and biomolecular platform.


The demand for virtual reality (VR) technologies is increasing in healthcare settings; studies show that 80% of physicians indicate that the market is favouring VR, and 60–82% of patients inquire about medication after viewing educational material through VR. VR boosts short-term memory, reduces stress levels, and improves the formation of long-term memories — helping to educate patients on disease states and drug mechanisms, and the importance of medication adherence. By harnessing this market, pharma can use VR to elevate messaging about their products to both HCPs and patients, e.g., by providing VR counselling regarding efficacy and safety when a patient receives a new prescription or by demonstrating techniques or administration procedures through the use of VR.


New biomolecular platforms are set to speed up drug discovery and cause a seismic change in the industry. Platforms currently enable intervention at different points in the central dogma of biology to modify biomolecular processes at the source of various diseases. Here, they allow the design of new therapies, which modify the molecular biology – thus addressing disease. These platforms have already produced treatments, such as Novartis’ CAR-T therapy – Kymriah – that offer hope for treating life-threatening diseases. However, biotech companies are now applying digital techniques to platforms which allow the fast, replicable, and systematic application of the underlying biomolecular platform technology to a broad range of diseases. This is set to significantly disrupt the value chain in pharma by expediting drug discovery and development.


The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), is an interconnected group of MedTech innovations and smart devices, which connect to healthcare IT systems. The IoMT’s connected medical devices segment market, which comprises devices that help diagnose, monitor, and treat patients, is expected to rise in value from $14.9 billion in 2017 to $52.2 billion by 2022. For pharmaceutical companies, these devices will serve to support the industry’s patient-centric approach by enabling the use of continuous health data in research and innovation, alongside improving the management of clinical trials. Soon, trials will see information being shared between patients, providers, and regulators. Now, a number of tech companies are working with pharma to develop cutting-edge biotechnology allowing trial investigators to design digitally enabled trials and gather data remotely from patients.

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