Life sciences companies began the year 2020 with significant challenges, including COVID-19. The virus created an instant demand to fast-track products without sacrificing quality and profitability and to ensure continuity of medical supplies. Add to that challenge the increasing pressure on life sciences companies from generics. Development and manufacturing costs were increasing, along with customer expectations. And there were regulatory changes.
For many industry leaders, intelligent automation—a combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence—has helped them meet the challenges by transforming their operations to increase ROI, efficiency, quality, and compliance and supporting the accelerated push of the drug cycle from lab to market.
In its report, “Enterprise Value Chain Approach (EVCA) to Identify Automation Opportunities in Life Sciences,” the Everest Group examines life sciences challenges, how intelligent automation can help companies overcome them, and which life sciences processes are the best candidates for automation.
The Everest Group diagram below summarizes the business processes within life sciences.
The Everest Group evaluated all of these processes using a proprietary methodology to assess the suitability of processes for automation. Named the “Enterprise Value Chain Approach” (EVCA), this five-step methodology helps businesses identify business processes, analyze each process, spotlight high-value opportunities for automation, and define metrics to prioritize those opportunities.
Using EVCA scores, processes are divided into the following four quadrants based on cost savings potential and overall automation potential:
Based on Automation Anywhere research, we’ve identified four top life sciences use cases for automation. They are:
The Everest Group also considers pharmacovigilance to be a top use case for automation. The company has placed most of the processes listed in its “pursue” automation quadrant—such as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) intake and reporting and ADR case processing—under the umbrella of pharmacovigilance.
If nothing else, PV is about information: clinical trials, post-market surveillance, adverse event cases, and other types of data. With legacy systems, the process of gathering and analyzing that data—structured and unstructured—has been a labor- and time-intensive, manual task. And that can make pharmacovigilance a weak link in the life sciences business chain.
A manual system can slow down processing when the accelerated delivery of vaccines and therapies is essential not just for competitive advantage but for beating the clock to save lives. Manual processing can also be costly as the volume of data increases—requiring additional resources—such as in the current rush to find a vaccine for COVID-19.
Manual systems can lead to informational silos that can make it difficult to get an accurate view of a company’s PV landscape. They can lead to human errors with the potential to affect many areas of the business chain, including product development and quality as well as compliance. And they can keep employees from focusing on higher-value work to enhance a company’s efficiency and productivity.
Intelligent automation (IA), with the use of software bots, can automate, streamline, and accelerate complex, highly regulated life sciences processes. In terms of PV, it can reduce the time and effort spent on data entry—tracking safety issues, optimizing customer support, managing communications, and reporting—and increase the time for human workers to pursue higher-level work.
See how intelligent automation can help improve the health of your life sciences business.
GET IT NOW
Catherine Calarco, senior director of industry strategy and marketing for life sciences, has more than 20 years of global leadership in life sciences, digital medicine, and technology. She's known for driving significant B2C/B2B revenue growth and developing innovative, award-winning digital health and technology products.