The manual and labour-intensive nature of some aspects of the pharmaceutical industry may soon be optimized due to metaverse-driven efficiencies
With everything in the real world needing a virtual twin in the metaverse, drugs and medical equipment will also have to play a key role in keeping virtual users medicated.
That is why Zuellig Pharma Digital & Data has created a first-of-its-kind healthcare metaverse experience to enhance existing pharmaceutical sales enablement and telemedicine experiences, to fuse both B2B and B2C experiences.
According to the firm, the future of pharma technology is patient-centric, and today’s dynamic industry environment has prompted the merger of B2B and B2C experiences to amplify value for the patient. Therefore, pharmaceuticals stakeholders will need innovative digital and data solutions for a connected and more accessible healthcare journey in a “borderless healthcare universe. This means enhanced capabilities including greater interconnectivity and data integration across the healthcare value chain in a single environment”.
The B2C environment, called ZP Metaverse, was built around three levels of user experiences, targeted at:
- healthcare professionals conducting consultations
- remote-patients accessing healthcare services
- pharma sales and warehouse personnel requiring better efficiency
Reconfiguring meta healthcare collaborations
In the metaverse, an outpatient clinic experience allows for a variety of services including a real-time virtual consultation and diagnosis, no need to queue and wait for hours, and no need to travel physically to a clinical facility just to get a first medical examination. Also:
- There are plans to integrate wearables data, and data from AI-enabled chatbot-based symptom checkers that allow healthcare professionals to provide meta-patients with more accurate and quicker diagnoses.
- Patients’ health records are stored and transferred securely on a blockchain that for non-intrusive, cloud-agnostic data exchange for data security. Even pharmacy and telemedicine services are slated to be integrated.
- Sales support functions to pharma business people to conduct borderless commercial operations including drug inventory reviews, pricing discussions, e-commerce and analytics operations.
- Optimization of warehouse operations with a digital twin: This involves integrating real-time inventory data from the physical warehouse, and continuously synchronizing to ensure that the digital twin always has the most updated inventory information. Stocktaking and inventory management processes can be automated using drones.
- Products and storage environments can be remotely monitored, and managing personnel will be notified in case of unusual events.
- Blockchain technology can be integrated for better quality assurance and end-to-end traceability on the supply chain. Pharmaceutical products that have gone missing or have reached expiry dates can also be traced and recalled.
- Acceptance of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens for payments for medical consultations and prescriptions.
According to the firm’s Chief Digital & Data Officer, Daniel Laverick: “(We) aim to enhance current healthcare experiences beyond the physical boundaries, and help make them more accessible and convenient. The interconnectivity brings forth the opportunity to collect richer real-time data across multiple workstreams. The pharma industry, which has been traditionally manual and manpower-heavy, can now rethink the operating model and how healthcare processes can be made more effective and efficient.”