Mobile Health App:
Pharma research institutes are already beginning to take advantage of mobile health (mHealth) technology to conduct clinical research. Smartphones with powerful processors and advanced sensors that can track movement, take measurements and record information are highly useful in studies. This process works the best when more and more users share their data and users from different geographical locations contribute; this allows the app to have a more accurate representation of the population and their afflictions. There are currently apps targeting Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and breast cancer.
Recently, epilepsy drug Spritam became the first 3D printed drug to be approved by the FDA. The drug’s was manufactured by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals. The company says that it makes the medicine through a three-dimensional printing process.
This technique allows the pill to deliver a higher dose of medicine while being porous enough to dissolve quickly. Aprecia Pharmaceuticals was thinking about patients who have a hard time swallowing their medication when they invented this process.
This breakthrough clears the path for future 3D printed drugs – an area that could change not only the way that drugs are manufactured but also administered. The process would cost hospitals (and subsequently, patients) a whole lot less money because to amend the drug for an individual, one would only have to make a few, simple software changes.
Using Artificial Intelligence
Computers such as IBM Watson, are capable of digesting and interpreting millions of pages of scientific literature and data to assist pharma companies in the development of new drugs.
Researchers and scientists at pharmaceutical companies have already started using Watson to conduct research. Johnson & Johnson is collaborating with the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor team to teach Watson to digest scientific reports, while Sanofi is using Watson to research drug alternatives.
Drugs That Target Genes
Drugs that target genes, or precision medication as its often called, relies on genetic information to select a drug, or cocktail of drugs that is best for the individual in question. The information is garnered through genome sequencing. Researchers can use this data to identify specific gene abnormalities and subsequently, they will understand what drugs their patients’ genes will and will not respond to and they can make the best selection for the individual. This can aid in scientists creating new targeted drugs and also in recycling existing therapies.
Targeted therapies are tailored to the genetic makeup of individual patients so genomic testing is required to decide upon which course of treatment before it is administered. The relationship between a drug and an individual’s DNA is incredibly important to ascertain as it can help the drugs reach optimal performance and effectiveness as well as prevent things from going awry via a bad interaction between a drug and an individual’s system.