Digital transformation and pharmaceutical laboratories, challenge or reality?

The digital transformation is being implemented in all sectors of Spanish economic activity. Some of them are more prepared than others. In the case of pharmaceutical laboratories, these changes may be more complicated by the specific conditions of the sector, but that does not mean that it is impossible. Rather, on the contrary, it is a process that must be carried out as soon as possible for all its benefits and not to be left behind with respect to the competition.

The laboratory sector is in the midst of a digital transformation process, but is this really possible? Without a doubt, this is a complicated context for any change, however small it may be, even more so when it is a structural and radical modification that goes beyond implementing a couple of new processes or tools.

For starters, the sector has many regulations and bureaucratic obstacles, which, on the one hand, are necessary and beneficial, but on the other, they make the change more difficult than normal and require a greater boost than in other industries at the time to embrace new points of view and ways of working.

The economic situation of the country has also affected the health of the sector, with numerous cuts and lack of investment in R & D & I, and meant a slowdown in the structural changes that were necessary to address, such as the same digital transformation.

The demands of a very high security due to the confidentiality of their products and the sensitivity of the data they work with affects when implementing new processes and tools, which must necessarily respect these high standards.

In addition, the pharmaceutical industry was in an inertia that was difficult to leave, since traditional methods had been working for some time. Making changes within a context in which the way of working continues to pay off and bet on something unknown is always complicated and produces uncertainty, but taking the step is something beneficial in the long term at all levels and even necessary for the survival of the model.

This is what is known as digital Darwinism, through which many companies end up disappearing because they do not adapt to the current demands of the market and its consumers. According to digital analyst Brian Solis, it is a “phenomenon of retardation associated with the advancement of technology and society”.

A change beyond the surface

The digital transformation is not the mere implementation of new processes and technological tools within an already established system, but it seeks to go beyond this and to deepen in a change of mentality and the attitude of all the workers of the company, from the highest in the organizational pyramid to the end.

Traditionally, the executive positions maintain a more stagnant mentality in the past, because those ideas are those that have taken them to the point where they are, for that very reason this digital transformation is necessary.

This disruptive process, in addition, offers any company that is willing to embrace change a series of competitive advantages thanks to the tools that simplify processes and make them more efficient.

What solutions are there for all these difficulties?

The difficulties mentioned above can be solved through solutions such as those offered by the viafirma suite, through the concept of a, based on the principles of technological neutrality.

The bureaucracy and the documentation of the laboratory sector is inherent to it and necessary, but it is possible to act so that this does not affect too much the work that is carried out. That is what is sought with the application of the universal signature, which can be used from any mobile device, operating system and browser, due to that commitment to technological neutrality.

The digital signature opens the doors to the simplification of many processes that were previously slow and cumbersome. The geographical barriers disappear, eliminating the need to be in the same room to place the rubric.

In addition, this type of solutions have important additional advantages that the delegation of signature, that is, give another person the power to sign on your behalf, with exactly the same validity as if the owner of that signature did, but without the owner of the certificate loses control of it at any time.

What is achieved with the signature delegation is to reduce the workload of executive positions, with important responsibilities, which cannot be present in all meetings. Thus, what CEOs do is to delegate their signature to their closest associates of the company so that the processes are streamlined which, otherwise, would be much longer and delay the rest of the workers.

These solutions also take into account other needs of laboratories, such as the security that should be required with data and projects of great sensitivity and confidentiality. To meet the high security requirements of these processes, different technologies are used, such as biometrics for identity verification.

This type of technology has a series of advantages that make it ideal to implement it as a protection action in the processes of any laboratory. To begin with, it does not need to be remembered, unlike long passwords, and any one has access, since one of the characteristics of biometrics is its universality.

Its combination with other technologies (such as NFC, which is used in bracelets in hospital environments to indicate patients’ medications) allows a greater increase in safety if possible. This also entails an increase in the control of privacy of the personal data of the customers, something required both by the company and the General Regulation of Data Protection recently established.

Issues such as the simplification of processes or the implementation of new security actions end up redundant in the general operation of the company and, ultimately, in its efficiency as a system and also in the corporate image that the company projects abroad.