The pharmaceutical industry is currently booming, courtesy of the pandemic. But, operating in pharmaceutical companies is not easy, especially when working under varied industry-specific challenges, regulations, and compliances. Further, securing approval from FDA and releasing new drugs on the market is a long-haul process.- robotic process automation software
Hence, the industry presents enough scope for robotic process automation software to streamline the workflow and automate multiple repetitive, error-prone tasks, which are perfect candidates for improvement. With correct placements of robotic process automation software in pharma companies, pharma companies can accelerate the production lifecycle of drugs, from production to approval and delivery – this is where pharma companies lagged during the COVID pandemic.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic process automation software is a technology solution designed to build and deploy tools emulating human actions in near closeness when interacting with digital systems.
Robotic process automation tools have found their way into different industries, including pharmaceuticals, to automate time and labor-intensive, repetitive tasks by eliminating the human element from the loop.
For example, Chatbots are typical examples deployed to address and solve customer queries faster than human executives. This reduces operational costs for businesses.
How does Robotic Process Automation Software Help Pharmaceuticals?
The pharmaceutical industry came under the spotlight and attracted enough criticism during the COVID pandemic. The sector raises high expectations to keep the death toll under control by accelerating the deployment of novel drugs during global health crises like the pandemic.
Following a few initial setbacks, the drug companies managed to bring out the first vaccine for COVID.
Study shows that many pharmaceuticals have turned to automation to speed up the long-haul process of clinical testing, vaccine development and approval for the release of vaccines and other data entry and analysis tasks. And the medicine industry presents ample scope for RPA to take over, especially in areas where too much paperwork is involved.
Hence, it is only right to explore the robotic automation software benefits and use cases in the pharma industry.
Benefits of RPA software in the Pharma Industry
The entire pharma sector is ridden with routine tasks that comprise the entire workflow profile. The tasks mostly involve duplicating notes on several systems for consistent reporting, managing clinical trial data and periodic regulatory filings. All of these are perfect ingredients for automation.
The key benefits of RPA software involve –
Reducing Time to Market
RPA tools and robots are deployed to automate repetitive, tedious tasks and complete them in seconds with quasi perfect accuracy. Hence, sharing real-time information is much faster in facilitating clinical trials, allowing pharma companies to deliver new medicines within a shorter duration.
Facilitating Regulatory Compliance Requirements
Automated tools are designed to curb human error, strengthening compliance with stringent standards and increasingly complex regulations.
Robotic process automation tools take care of routine tasks to help pharmaceutical companies cut downtime and labor-intensive factors and reduce operational costs greatly. These factors transcend into a higher return on investments.
Deployment of robotic process automation software into existing legacy processes is again a back-breaking task. Many factors are considered, starting with realistic expectations, providing the right skill-development training to employees and supporting developers’ communication with users. These are useful approaches to ensure successful automation implementation within the company.
Robotic Process Automation Software Use-Cases in the Pharma Industry
The following are the use-cases where robotic process automation platforms contribute more to streamlining the workflow profile of the industry –
Chatbots and other software robots are designed to emulate medical companions for patients, addressing queries with tailored responses containing relevant information. These robots are trained to share responses based on historical customer data and share only information that answers their queries accurately.
These virtual assistants work independently except in areas where human understanding is needed.
Automation of this area resulted in a shorter response time, which transcends into more engaged and satisfied customers.
Faster Clinical Development
Robotic process automation software is much needed in clinical trials and drug development.
Drug development and approval duration exceed because of long-haul clinical trials. These trials are tricky, expensive and time-intensive. A few reported deaths following trials and the drug is sent back to the drawing board. The entire process is repetitive, delaying the release of important novel drugs, which we have all witnessed during the COVID pandemic.
RPA tools can easily step in and perform certain menial tasks, data entry or quality control, faster and with maximal accuracy. Additionally, bots aptly interpret and process large-scale clinical trials data, like radiology reports, and quickly identifies high-risk abnormalities in images.
Quicker Responses from Sales Team
As per statistics, medical representatives spend nearly 70% of their productive time on monotonous, time-consuming data entry tasks. Hence, time and ability to provide customer service are highly reduced. When RPA bots are deployed to perform inventories, such as recording and tracking customer feedback, retrieving accurate sales data in real-time, or managing orders and inventory, sales reps have more spare time and energy to invest in value-added tasks requiring human-to-human communication. This results in increased customer engagement and conversions.
Compliance and Reporting
According to Deloitte, compliance is a key area for RPA to make a real difference in the pharma sector. The rising cost of compliance and hefty fines imposed on those who fail to comply are arguments in support of using automation in this domain. The RPA tools are tasked with preparing accurate and errorless reports by integrating data captured from multiple systems. Tracking document status or compiling records is painstakingly time and labor-intensive; hence, RPA becomes the best bet to assure consistency in data entry, audit readiness, and quality control.
The pharmaceutical industry is segregated into multiple complex and hefty processes that eat away the human workforce’s valuable time. The most time-intensive areas are compliance and reporting and clinical trials. Too much dependency on the human workforce delays output and leaves room for enough errors. But, committing errors is something pharma companies cannot indulge in. Hence, automating such operations using robotic process automation software is the best way forward, especially to meet the sudden upsurge in novel drugs during health crises like the COVID pandemic.
The pandemic was an eye-opening experience for all industries, but it signalled the dawn of a new era for the pharma sector. The benefits mentioned above and use cases attest to this statement.