The medical sector is rapidly acknowledging the benefits of digital health, though there is still some sluggishness in embracing those innovations. However, these innovations need to be adopted with the speed they require. Here are some of the trends that are likely to be seen in the pharmaceutical industry in the years to come.
Digital health will revolve around the pill
Most of the pharmaceutical industries are noting that it is not only adequate to produce and manufacture medicine. Future trends show that they should go past the natural appearance of the drug and come up with the complete package. “Around the pill” is the complete package coming with digital health apps and services that could be prescribed by doctors.
For instance, “a mobile wrap around” is a drug that has been prescribed for atrial fibrillation, which will work with other a-fib drugs. It involves the use of wearable monitoring devices and apps. Patients will be able to receive feedback from their doctors and the automated personalized feedback generated from the app itself.
Digestible sensors are soon emerging
With the surprising improvements in nanotechnology, one promising future trend of the drug-making process is “digestibles.” Digestibles are tiny pills or gadgets combined with sensors to track digestion and the absorption of drugs after swallowing.
For example, in 2015, the first drug, combined with a digestible sensor, was approved by the FDA. Furthermore, Proteus Digital Health combined a digestible detector with a drug to treat mental illness in a patient, with promising results. The digestible sensors then transmitted the information collected to the smartphone of the caretaker.
Artificial intelligence (“AI”) to revolutionize medical decisions
Artificial intelligence is going to change healthcare through designing medical plans, speeding up the drug creation process, and mining medical records. Speeding up these processes will be cost-effective and will also bring greater changes to the pharmaceutical sector. Furthermore, through AI, one company has already predicted some drugs that will significantly reduce Ebola infection rates. Without AI, it would take years to discover that, but by using artificial intelligence, the discovery took only one day.
The use of 3D in the printing of drugs
Spritam, an epilepsy drug manufactured in 2015 from 3D printers, got approval from the FDA. The 3D printers print drugs out of powdered drug layer by layer, making it dissolve faster than an average pill. FabRx, a 3D drug manufacturing firm, has a vision of commercializing printed tablets in the next 6-10 years. Other firms are considering printing these drugs in some animal shapes to make it easy for children to take them. 3D printing is also being considered in home-based pharmacies in the coming years.
Precision medication through pharmacogenomics
Precision medicine is coming up as an approach for disease prevention and treatment. It also takes into consideration an individual’s genes variability, lifestyle, and environment. Besides, other medical professionals are trying to incorporate genetics in creating targeted therapies for personalized treatment. Pharmacogenomics is the only way to will help doctors prescribe the best medication based on one’s genetic composition.
It would be intriguing to learn which of these future trends companies like LexaGene Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: LXG) (OTCQB: LXXGF) are betting their R&D dollars on.
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