By Kevin Deane and Bill Welch
Although it seems inevitable that drug delivery devices are becoming part of the connected world, it is difficult to see the precise path to this transformation. Here, Kevin Deane, Executive Vice-President, Front-End Innovation, Medicom Innovation Partner, and Bill Welch, Chief Technology Officer, Phillips-Medisize, show that clear trends are emerging, some helping to push connected healthcare forward and some that are slowing down progress, and describe the opportunities and challenges arising.
Connected healthcare has moved from being an exploratory technology to a subject that is regularly discussed
at the executive levels of most pharmaceutical companies. This is not surprising. Smart phones have proliferated, offering users instant access to information and the ability to interact in ways barely dreamt of 15 years ago. The number of connected devices has already surpassed the number of people on the planet, and is growing.
At the same time, devices have become central to the delivery of many new drugs. Biologics are the key blockbusters and, with this, injection systems have become the predominant form of drug delivery.
There is little question that connectivity and data analytics technologies could revolutionize healthcare. Companies such as Google and Apple are making significant investments in this space. Arguably, the increase in drug delivery devices provides pharmaceutical companies with a platform on which to build such technology. However, the entire industry remains remarkably resistant to change.