“Technology has opened new avenues for industry, but it has also made it fast-paced for the supply chain.”

Deepa Param Sinhal

With the growing importance and demand with increasing population, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has to overcome several challenges at the same time. Supply chain disruptions are one of the biggest challenges for pharmaceutical company stocks Deepa Param SinhalVice President, Cloud Applications, Oracle with Garima pants from Elets News Network (ENN). Edited excerpts:

What factors are driving the growth of India’s pharma and healthcare industry?

India’s pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is expanding rapidly and showing strong momentum for a variety of reasons, and the pandemic has accelerated this growth. According to the IBEF report, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is developing at a robust pace and ranks third in terms of volume of pharmaceutical production with a CAGR of 9.43 percent over the past nine years. Another report by IBEF notes that India’s healthcare industry is witnessing tremendous growth driven by the country’s rising income, better health awareness and wider access to health insurance, and is expected to reach US$372 billion by the end of the current year becomes.

There are some significant and unique trends driving the growth of India’s healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. The pandemic has triggered numerous changes, starting with changing people’s perception and knowledge of medical services and health programs and making them more involved in the treatment process. Second, the teleconsultation model has emerged as the preferred means of communication, driving current healthcare processes. Concepts such as e-health and teleconsultation have created numerous opportunities to enable flexibility and easy communication. Third, the emphasis on digitization of the industry by government and private actors is revolutionizing and driving the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries by unifying data and streamlining internal processes through automation.

Rapid technological progress increases the risks. What is the biggest challenge for the pharmaceutical industry today?

With the growing importance and demand with increasing population, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has to overcome several challenges at the same time. These challenges relate to supply chain disruptions, the need for skilled labor, workforce optimization, the collection and analysis of massive amounts of data, and the need for agility and transparency.

Supply chain disruptions, for example, are one of the biggest challenges facing pharmaceutical companies. Post-pandemic, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have recognized the adversities of traditional supply chain models and the need for an integrated supply chain that is better equipped to coordinate with logistics and connect stakeholders easily and transparently. The digitization of the supply chain model is crucial for companies operating in the pharmaceutical field to ensure the timely delivery of services in a huge country like India with broader requirements.

Technology has opened up new avenues for the industry, but also made it fast-paced and created a bigger playing field for the supply chain. It has made it imperative for businesses to scale and accelerate their operations.

The adoption of smart technologies like Al/ML, cloud and other emerging technologies in healthcare and pharmaceutical companies is becoming increasingly important for the industry to address these existing challenges and create much more sustainable operations.

How is cloud computing transforming, supporting and empowering healthcare providers in serving India’s large population?

With the growing population, it is a huge burden for healthcare and pharmaceutical providers to penetrate the rural population with medicines and healthcare. As manual processes slow operations, the need to automate healthcare operations, make them scalable, fast, and agile is critical for healthcare organizations.

Empowered solutions empower organizations to address these challenges and help them improve quality, accessibility and affordability by reducing manual processes and providing a unified platform to monitor and deliver quality patient care to India’s massive population.

With cloud capabilities, companies offer better communication between healthcare professionals, improved medical security, fewer medical errors, and better access to medical information. Automating internal manual processes with cloud-enabled solutions opens up new possibilities and accelerates operational capabilities for healthcare organizations. Automating processes essentially serves to support the sector, freeing frontline workers from time-consuming manual processes and allowing them to spend more time on patient care. With cloud-enabled solutions, it is easier for companies to improve all their internal and external processes. In addition, cloud computing helps companies manage and upskill their workforce, preparing them for new techniques and approaches in a highly dynamic environment.

Digitization, big data and artificial intelligence are accelerating the transformation of the pharmaceutical industry and enabling companies to improve drug development and patient care. How are healthcare requirements and new technologies changing the pharmaceutical supply chain?

The pandemic has triggered significant changes and fundamentally changed the way the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries work. Given the large operational field, complex infrastructure and large population, the challenges for healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations are even more difficult to manage. The integration of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning and data analytics into the pharma system contributes significantly to the much-needed scalability and flexibility of the sector. Integration with technology has opened doors to superior patient care and drug development. Automation has made internal processes smooth and digital infrastructure is paving the way for fast and timely delivery of services. As organizations begin their digital journey, the adoption of enhanced solutions with embedded technologies such as AI, ML, and data analytics drives their journey.

With the rapid expansion and compromised efficiency of traditional supply chain services, companies are looking for alternatives. Here cloud computing serves as a support for pharmaceutical companies. Cloud SCM for Healthcare efficiently helps organizations guide them through the digital supply chain model, providing a unified platform to oversee all end-to-end logistics operations. Faced with fierce competition in the market, the pursuit of cost reduction and efficient drug development is driving the industry forward. Therefore, the adoption of cloud-based technologies is proving to be a differentiator for success and ultimately for improving the country’s pharmaceutical and healthcare infrastructure.

Can you elaborate on the recent announcements in healthcare and their impact on the development of the sector?

The integration of technology into healthcare infrastructure is creating tremendous efficiencies, and market trends suggest that both healthcare and pharma providers are recognizing this and therefore increasing their cloud investments. Oracle has been a technology provider to various healthcare and pharmaceutical providers such as Apollo Hospitals, Indira IVF, Omega Healthcare, Aurobindo Pharma, Shri Ganga Ram Hospitals and many more. Considering our experience in the industry, we are constantly striving to introduce new and advanced solutions. With our industry research and analysis, we realized that in the current scenario, the healthcare industry needs specialized, customized solutions to effectively manage their operations. Having recognized the challenges, we announced the availability of new industry-focused solutions at our flagship event, Oracle Cloud World (October 17-22, 2022), Human Capital Management for Healthcare, Enterprise Performance Management for Healthcare, and Supply Chain Management for Healthcare as part of our existing application portfolio with personalized healthcare functions.

As the adoption of cloud-based solutions becomes the norm, we have strived to provide customized solutions within our healthcare application portfolio to drive efficiency and growth. With the healthcare supply chain management solution, we aim to support the unique needs of healthcare organizations by automating processes, improving visibility and transparency, and streamlining planning across the entire supply chain. Similarly, for healthcare organizations, HCM benefits from employee experience, education and human resources management. Our healthcare solutions EPM is aimed at healthcare organizations with better planning and management of their internal processes. With these solutions, organizations can best optimize their internal strategies and leverage innovative technologies to improve insights, reduce costs and improve patient care.

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