The work-from-home culture became the primary business model since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the corporate sector worldwide.
But the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry went through a major shock because it is one of those industries where the physical presence of employees is mandatory for running operations.
Due to the absence of a robust digital equivalent, the industry suffered significant losses due to rampant lockdowns worldwide. As a result, supply chains were disrupted, maintaining top-notch quality became challenging, and overall costs were skyrocketing.
Experts suggest that Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will play an essential role in transforming the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry by introducing quality control processes and helping with pharmaceutical audits.
Reports suggest that the healthcare sector will swell to USD 406.7 billion by 2030 with the help of new and improved technologies.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have understood the importance of AR/VR technologies in assisting lab operators and medical equipment developers in ensuring that knowledge transfer happens quickly and conveniently.
How AR/VR is improving digital quality in pharma manufacturing?
AR/VR has made significant contributions across several areas such as drug discovery, product demos, and maintaining top-notch quality and safety standards. It has immense potential to do the same in other areas like auditing, which comprises analyzing business processes and recommending solutions.
With AR/VR modules attached to their ERP systems, manufacturers can audit their suppliers to ensure they send only the best quality materials. Otherwise, they can harm their brand reputation and damage the entire product lifecycle.
AR/VR substantially reduce the human error component while developing medicines and preparing chemicals by providing visual and audio prompts and eliminating dosage error. Moreover, it also provides guided instruction manuals that train staff and minimizes process divergence. The best part is that this technology allows auditors to approve quality standards from a remote location digitally.
Other benefits of AR/VR are:
1. Improves audit readiness quality
2. Enhances lab environment safety
3. Refines Product/process quality
4. Address supplier regulation compliance
5. Guarantees GMP regulations
How is AR/VR improving the lifecycle of a quality audit?
AR/VR helps the management to discover potential high-risk areas that can be resolved immediately. It provides real-time insights on products and process quality standards that help gain brand loyalty during investor presentations and management reviews. Moreover, AR/VR also helps in detecting potential flaws in the high-speed manufacturing lines.
Another benefit of AR/VR is that it allows pharma auditors to tour the manufacturing floor virtually through a smart glass.
The best part is that AR/VR technology and AI allow a rigorous quality check according to in-built regulatory information. This feature helps pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to remain compliant with global regulatory standards and avoid penalties.
Additionally, smart glasses remotely attached to ERP systems allow employees to access critical information from anywhere and anytime. It also enables them to host sessions with different teams and share data instantly.
Do you know that scientists spend about 30% of their time in transcribing process documentation? The same stands for pharma auditors during inspections. Smart glasses with AR automatically collect numerical data, video clips, audio notes, sample volumes, and pictures, thereby reducing scientists’ load and enhancing their efficiency and productivity.
How is AR/VR helping the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in the post covid era?
Since the covid-19 pandemic disrupted the entire healthcare industry, the use of AR/VR has increased dramatically. It’s helping organizations expand their collective knowledge and introduce new products to the market quickly and efficiently.
Today, AR/VR dominates the sales stream. But in the coming days, it’s expected to dominate mainstream business activities also. For example, the creation of top-notch quality products that fit perfectly well with customers’ needs, wants, and aspirations. In addition, it will help streamline the pharma auditing process and introduce the next level of automation by eliminating manual SOP management.
The post-COVID-19 world is full of new challenges. Companies require systems that bring transparency and precision, and AR/VR will play a significant role in this area. They will allow pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to make their product cycle audit-ready using the AI-assisted guided instruction software.
AI/VR uses AI-assisted smart lenses to validate that the product and process development cycle is compliant with GMP regulations. Most importantly, they will transform the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry into a fully augmented remote operation.
AR/VR is revolutionizing the entire healthcare industry. Some of the critical applications of this technology are aiding surgeons to avoid invasive procedures, facilitating remote diagnosis, and reducing complications. They are also transforming the pre and post-surgery care areas by helping new nurses and doctors to train in immersive scenarios. From diagnosing and treating mental and physical illnesses to manufacturing medical equipment with laser precision, AR/VR apps are transforming the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry for good.
Nishant likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of modern-day and age like Web Apps, machine learning, data science, AI, and robotics. His expertise in content marketing has helped grow countless business opportunities. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of Business Management Software to small and mid-sized businesses in India.