Change How Pharmaceutical Companies Connect with Medical Professionals (And Patients)
In order to reinvent their interactions with the healthcare system, particularly with healthcare professionals (HCP) in a post-covid environment, pharmaceutical and medical device businesses are making significant changes to their operational models. Over the past two years, virtual interactions have been accepted at an astounding rate to partially replace traditional face-to-face contacts. Additionally, we are seeing a shift toward customized communication that uses cutting-edge technologies to divide a target audience into smaller segments. The overarching objective is to ensure legal compliance while delivering the appropriate information to the appropriate stakeholder at the appropriate time. Virtual and augmented reality have been used in the life science business for a few years with a variety of applications.
With the Metaverse, we might advance a step thanks to a rich ecosystem of technologies that bring together novel communication methods, guarantee privacy, and enable safe tracking. As soon as an HCP interacts with a pharmaceutical business in a virtual ecosystem, expected or unexpected interactions might immediately produce smart contracts. Compared to conventional face-to-face meetings or events, which are difficult to plan, there is a significant added value. Additionally, a crypto-based payment might be simply arranged as soon as the service is rendered if an HCP offers consultation services to pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmaceutical firms are now creating websites with thoroughly vetted data on goods and therapeutic areas. A really thorough virtual library housed within the Metaverse might have this stuff as well as other scientific knowledge. This virtual setting might result in various forms of virtual or face-to-face engagement between healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical corporations that are much better, more open, and less complicated.
Digital Treatments And Well-Being
There are well-known examples of digital treatments that use virtual reality to treat disorders of the eyes or phobias. The generation of data using wearables connected with your heath status or lifestyle is another use that is now being examined. These data might be directly uploaded into a digital twin-based ecosystem that could be used to forecast events (like relapse). Startups are also putting out the idea of rewarding citizens or patients with cryptocurrency based on their (positive) conduct. We could eventually see connecting “real life” treatment and digital therapies that are available in the metaverse.
Rethink Drug Research
To find the ideal match between a ligand and a target, drug designers must have a thorough understanding of the target’s molecular structure. This procedure has been based on computer-based 2D molecular modelling methods for many years, which scientists are now accustomed to. To see and manipulate molecules, new virtual and immersive environments are now available thanks to the development of virtual reality apps, which combine significantly more data than conventional user interfaces. Researchers were able to investigate viral proteins in a fully virtual and collaborative environment during the Covid-19 epidemic thanks to VR software provider Nanome. Making accessible virtual settings is just the beginning of rethinking international collaboration in medical research. The brightest experts may work together in entire metaverse regions devoted to drug discovery and biomedical research.
The Ownership of Ideas
Concerns about intellectual property arise with new discoveries, whether in the medicinal or technical industries (IP). In the biological sciences, experiments are recorded in notebooks. Although digital notebooks have gradually replaced paper notebooks, there is still much opportunity for improvement. From upstream discovery through long-term monitoring and IP portfolio management, including partnerships with third parties, such as setting exploitation licenses, the metaverse may offer beneficial solutions. Some businesses, including Molecule, investigate NFTs as a means of funding biological research. The IP-NFT, as it is known, stands for complete legal IP rights and data access control for bio-pharmaceutical research. The agreement is drafted, signed, and stored on a blockchain when a company wants to license intellectual property. An NFT is made when the signing process is finished, representing the IP. The goal of Molecule is to create a comprehensive funding environment for early-stage medical research This idea can be used to the metaverse as a method of controlling IP related to discoveries made there.
Trials in Medicine
Digital presents a great possibility for clinical trials, from patient monitoring through recruitment. Notably, remote clinical trials offer a singular chance to both enhance patient inclusion and decrease patient loss to follow-up. This innovative method typically uses telemedicine platforms, wearables, and other remote monitoring tools and technology. But why not develop the concept even further by exploring the metaverse?
No matter where they are in the world, people enrolled in clinical trials could visit virtual health facilities in the metaverse to receive follow-up care and have their data tracked. By developing an alternative to routine follow-up, patients can contact a healthcare professional whenever necessary and get assistance with any questions or issues they may have throughout the study. Additionally, silico data and digital twins are gaining popularity. This method enables us to simulate a situation in a digital environment. To forecast a particular outcome (response to therapy, adverse events, etc.), we can, for instance, create a virtual patient based on clinical data.
Pharmaceutical corporations might use the metaverse to advertise their clinical studies and draw in new patients who wouldn’t otherwise be found. Additionally, new incentives might be developed, such as NFTs that grant access to specific services or crypto-based awards for study participants. However, before evaluating such business models, we must carefully analyze the regulatory framework and ethical specifics across cultures and nations.
Clinical Data Reusability
Real-world data is seen as a significant possibility for the healthcare system, but there are significant technical and legal barriers that must be overcome in order to produce tangible benefits for patients and healthcare professionals on a large scale. A lot of money, third parties (such contract research organizations), and contracts that have been discussed for months are typically needed to access clinical data. The majority of stakeholders seek contractual standards that are more straightforward and uniform, as well as common data science methods, to promote the reuse of clinical data for other purposes. The metaverse might provide a complete ecosystem to secure (anonymization and pseudo-anonymization), access (querying tools of heterogeneous data), analyze (which might entail using computational resources), and monitor accesses to data. It might completely alter how value is distributed among ecosystem stakeholders. Notably, startups have looked into the prospect of directly punishing physicians (instead of normally via healthcare organizations). This raises important ethical questions. Therefore, most firms that have attempted to use blockchain and cryptocurrency-based business models to access clinical data have failed to date, particularly as a result of their incompatibility with ethical standards and regulations. A sufficient number of stakeholders would also need to accept such an ecosystem, which is already a considerable challenge.
Reinvent the Provider-Buyer Relationship in Healthcare
There is one field that is undeniably already impacted by the development of the metaverse: retail. New purchase habits and shopping experiences are being designed and deployed in the metaverse. The way we pick our clothes will change. The way we shop for groceries will change. The way we buy tickets for an event will change.
How does this relate to pharma then? The way consumers purchase their medications and other health products may change if the entire retail experience is recreated in the metaverse. The availability of virtual pharmacies, which allow customers to pick up their prescriptions inside the metaverse and have their medications delivered to their homes (their actual homes! ), may become as widespread as the availability of virtual clothes stores.
In fact, the US pharmaceutical chain CVS plans to offer healthcare services, virtual commodities, and NFTs in the metaverse. The business has already applied for a patent and plans to operate its first virtual store soon. When it comes to health, nutrition, and well being-related services, CVS sees the metaverse as an opportunity to expand its customer base and develop brand-new offerings.
However, this new virtual experience has effects on more people than just the final users. The creation of virtual interfaces by pharmaceutical firms or wholesalers that enable pharmacists to shop for any kind of product they require for their physical or virtual pharmacy is another possibility. The whole supply chain for health products now has access to new economic prospects.