Pharma and academia R&D sectors are coming at a turning point with advancing through innovation and technology. In the current climate of fast and efficient information sharing and utilization to gain better insight into new developments, the cloud comes as an absolutely invaluable tool, facilitating the acceleration of scientific progress, which ultimately allows research bodies to bring these products to market faster in the healthcare sector, where they help save people’s lives.
How has the Cloud enabled the transformation in the R&D sector?
The global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was a major primer for the digital transformation journey in the R&D (Research and Development) sector. There was a sudden interest in developing new technologies such as contact-tracing apps and life-saving devices (i.e. ventilators for oxygenation) that required the infrastructure, information, and expertise to bring these solutions to market as quickly as possible. With the urgency of the global pandemic, there came the necessity for infrastructure, such as the cloud, which would enable fast, scalable and secure movement of resources in a direction of innovation and effective marketable solutions. Cloud computing gave organizations the capacity to operate, store and exchange valuable data over robust networks for making these developments happen in a remarkably short space of time.
The transformation Across the Whole R&D sector
At the core of this discussion lies data and the speed and security at which the cloud enabled the utilization of information across the whole R&D sector. The divisions of Research and Development which benefitted from cloud computing are many, across a number of industries. Here are several examples of sectors that adopted cloud technology and facilitated this transformation over the last year.
One of the key benefits of the great benefits of the cloud for the healthcare sector is with certainty the remote accessibility that practitioners had to patient data. In a fast-changing environment, the sector adapted promptly to the interchanging industry demands by offering patients healthcare functions remotely over the cloud. Telemedicine, as well as virtual medication adherence, and healthcare plans post-hospitalization, are only three practical uses that took place in this period thanks to virtual desktop solutions and the cloud. Another asset of the technology in the context of R&D for this sector was the computation aspect of big data. Storing patient data on the cloud actually fuelled a lot of medical research and innovation by gaining better visibility to large pools of valuable data sets. This also empowered the interoperability of the sector to collaborate on innovations and drive improvements in treatment and healthcare as a whole.
Nobody can argue about the speed and the efficiency at which R&D bodies around the world worked to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and move these developments to clinical testing. It has been reported that by far, there are 213 vaccines in a developmental stage and 319 drug candidates for treatment. Speed and efficiency come with robust technology that allows effective use and exchange of data between all stakeholders involved.
The next division of R&D that was transformed with the help of cloud computing was Biopharma and data management for the use of clinical trials following the major vaccine development programs. Fast and secure solutions powered by the cloud allowed clinical research facilities to speed up phase trials and bring the vaccine developments to market. This happened thanks to the technology that enabled communication between participants and researchers, fast reporting of data, and exchange of resources virtually where needed.
Bioinformatics is also a critical link in the scientific progress that took place over the last year and a half. R&D facilities in this field used the cloud to sequence the RNA of the viral genome and analyze this data so that new drugs can be brought to life in a shorter space of time. Being able to process big pools of data and collaborate by exchanging their findings virtually was made possible with robust computing technologies and skills that the scientific communities are lucky enough to have at their disposal.
Like many other sectors, R&D, and most importantly the general public, benefitted substantially from innovation in the past 2 years. Computing technologies empower innovation and scientific progress feeds back into new advancements in IT and ICT. This is why it is so important to have all these industries work together and partner their strengths for new developments which could improve the health of people, and our environment.