Background: Digitization and automation are the buzzwords in clinical research and
pharma companies are investigating heavily here. Right from drug discovery to personalized
medicine, digital patients and patient engagement, there is great consideration of technology at
Methods: The published data and online information available is reviewed to give an overview of
digitization in pharma, across the drug development cycle, industry collaborations and innovations.
The regulatory guidelines, innovative collaborations across industry, academics and thought leadership
are presented. Also included are some ideas, suggestions, way forwards while digitizing the
pharma neurons, the regulatory stand, benefits and challenges.
Results: The innovations range from discovering personalized medicine to conducting virtual clinical
trials, and maximizing data collection from the real-world experience. To address the increasing
demand for the real-world data and the needs of tech-savvy patients, the innovations are shaping
up accordingly. Pharma companies are collaborating with academics and they are co-innovating
the technology for example Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s program. This focuses on
the modernization of clinical trials, strategic use of artificial intelligence and machine learning using
real-world evidence, assess the risk-benefit ratio of deploying digital analytics in medicine, and
proactively identifying the solutions.
Conclusion: With unfolding data on the impact of science and technology amalgamation, we need
shared mindset between data scientists and medical professionals to maximize the utility of enormous
health and medical data. To tackle this efficiently, there is a need of cross-collaboration and
education, and align with ethical and regulatory requirements. A perfect blend of industry, regulatory,
and academia will ensure successful digitization of pharma neurons.