Big data – The Future of Supplement Industry

March 21, 2016
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We are witnessing a revolution in the healthcare industry and big data is key in this revolution. The healthcare industry recognizes the potential benefits of big data and considers it as a major factor in enhancing its efficiency and producing results. It is widely believed that big data will play a vital role in revolutionizing the industry’s growth in 21st century.

We are witnessing a revolution in the healthcare industry and big data is key in this revolution. The healthcare industry recognizes the potential benefits of big data and considers it as a major factor in enhancing its efficiency and producing results. It is widely believed that big data will play a vital role in revolutionizing the industry’s growth in 21st century. According to the Ukmedix blog only one out of every 10,000 discovered compounds is approved for development and sale while only three out of 20 generates enough revenue to cover development cost.  Big data strategies are compelling in the dynamic business environment and help in optimizing innovation, improving the efficiency of research, and clinical trials. It also helps in building new tools for physicians, consumers, insurers, and regulators to strengthen the industry.

So what is Big Data?

In layman’s terms big data is the process of examining huge amounts of data to identify the underlying patterns which are otherwise unknown to analysts by normal methods. The sheer volume of data is so large that ordinary processes cannot handle them. To identify hidden patterns, correlations and other useful information, highly advanced processors and data servers are used. The results generated by this information can provide competitive advantages over rival organizations and result in business benefits, such as more effective marketing and increased revenue.

The primary objective of big data analytics is to help companies make better business decisions by enabling data scientists and other users to analyse huge volumes of transactional data as well as other data sources that may be left untapped by conventional business intelligence programs. These other data sources may include web server logs and internet click stream data, social media activity repots, mobile phone call detail records, and information captured by sensors.

Big Data, A Big Deal in supplement industry?

Big data analytics offer a manner to harness vast amount of unleveraged and under leveraged data to gain timely insights for better decision making. It is considered to be a big deal with its unparalleled advantages including sustained advantages. Pharmaceutical companies are often swamped with data yet seem to lack timely actionable insights. It is believed that the challenges faced by the industry can be effectively addressed by harnessing power of big data. To create new molecules and identify the actives in complex molecules, a huge amount of data needs to be analysed. Along with it, the major obstacles including the declining R&D productivity, increased commercial demand, and globalization of supply chains can be easily dealt with the help of big data.

Key Highlights of Big Data:

  1. Effectively utilizing data to help pharmaceutical companies to identify potential drug candidates and develop them into effective, approved and reimbursed medicines at a rapid rate. By leveraging the diversity of available molecules and clinical data, predictive modelling of biological processes and drugs becomes significantly more sophisticated and widespread. Predictive modelling could help identify potential-candidate molecules with a high probability of being successfully developed into drugs that act on biological targets safely and effectively.
  2. Patients are identified to enroll in clinical trials based on more sources—for example, social media—than doctors’ visits. Furthermore, the criteria for including patients in a trial could take significantly more factors into account to target specific populations, thereby enabling trials that are smaller, shorter, less expensive, and more powerful.
  3. Real time monitoring of trials rapidly identify safety or operational signals requiring action to avoid significant and potentially costly issues such as adverse events and unnecessary delays.
  4. Instead of rigid data silos that are difficult to exploit, data are captured electronically and flow easily between functions, for example, discovery and clinical development, as well as to external partners, for instance, physicians and contract research organizations (CROs). This easy flow is essential for powering the real-time and predictive analytics that generate business value.

However, Pharmaceutical companies are cautious about investing in big-data analytical capabilities, partly because of the peers that extract value out of it. The journey is to yield long term benefits and accelerate the industrial growth. For this purpose small-scale pilot projects are gradually being considered keeping the potential benefits of big data in mind.