The Indian healthcare market is poised to grow from $100 billion in 2016 to $280 billion in 2020, creating huge opportunity for healthcare and healthtech companies.
The Indian healthcare market is poised to grow from $100 billion in 2016 to $280 billion in 2020, creating huge opportunity for healthcare and healthtech companies. The sector is expected to see adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data in the entire drug development lifecycle in a big way. Particularly, AI will help healthcare practitioners utilise data mining to identify risk factors for providing efficacious clinical treatment. Typically, the journey from a promising drug molecule to an approved therapy that can save lives can take more than a decade and cost billions of dollars due to redundant processes, increasing volumes and variety of patient data, and older technology systems that don’t communicate with one another. It is here that cloud-based e-clinical solution Clinical One comes into play. James Streeter, global vice president, Life Sciences Product Strategy for Oracle Health Sciences tells BV Mahalakshmi that the newly-launched Clinical One platform will unify clinical development operations and information in a single environment with shared functions and an easy-to-use interface for sites, clinical coordinators and their counterparts. Excerpts:
What are your views on clinical trials industry in India and the challenges in drug development?
Looking at the clinical trials industry in India and the challenges in drug development, we see India starting to change. India went through a dip in the field of clinical trials. Clinical research organisations (CROs) were centred around being more of a low-cost provider or even providing the generics industry with solutions for clinical trials. CROs are really enabling Indian pharmaceutical companies to not only become local providers of research and development but to address the global industry. As far as the life sciences industry is concerned, India is going to witness positive growth over the next couple of years because of the investment in R&D. This will help them to become players in drug offerings and in R&D for developing new drugs and new drug applications for the global market. So, Oracle is looking at it and wants to invest in India. We want to help India become a global player in the clinical trials industry and we believe our portfolio of solutions in life sciences can be a strong enabler.
What is Oracle Health Sciences’ Clinical One platform? How does it work
Oracle is probably the only company that can really reengineer the life sciences suite in a new way, with Clinical One. Developing a potentially life-saving drug from a promising molecule to an FDA-approved therapy can take more than a decade and cost billions of dollars due to redundant processes, increasing volumes and variety of patient data, and older technology systems that don’t communicate with one another. Oracle Health Sciences is tackling these issues with its Clinical One Platform, a new cloud-based eClinical solution that will unify clinical development operations and information in a single environment with shared functions and an easy-to-use interface for sites, clinical coordinators and their counterparts. Unlike other products in the market, which are point solutions that address only a single part of the drug development lifecycle or a single area within clinical research, Clinical One Platform is a holistic, unified cloud environment. It can be a game changer.
What are the challenges that Clinical One promises to solve?
We decided to build Clinical One to address the challenges that exist in the industry today. The industry has built software over the last 15 years in silos. They were built on old technologies that existed 15 years ago with different applications. One software was built to help randomise and supply drugs to the market, another was to run EEC, one was to run CTMS and one more to manage safety. Over the last five years, we have integrated all this software to create a single platform. As different, individual software solutions, they have not solved the inter-operability problem that exists. The integration of these different software come with its own problems because it is, technically, duplicating data across systems. It’s causing a lot of operational setup issues because pharma firms are having to set up systems separately. They face challenges on quality because they have data in different places and as the data is moved, the quality of data is impacted. Not all these issues are addressed when disparate solutions are implemented. Researchers in today’s world are the millennials and they expect to use applications the same way they would operate them on their smartphones and so there is the need for training. The previous systems were built on technology that was expensive and required separate pieces of hardware. The market has evolved since then.
The technological advancements in medicinal research has seen some game changing solutions. What are your views on the hopes for the healthcare sector.
Given the advancements in medical research technology, we are going to see a lot more abilities to record what’s going on in real-time with patients. At Oracle, our technology is incorporated into our solutions such that it will allow us to process this data to put it into data warehouses. What this means is that it can be applied to analytics or AI, all of which offers the healthcare sector a big advantage. Whether it is in hospitals or in clinical trials, the convergence of these two are important. Incidentally, nanotechnology will provide us more data and more solutions to what we are seeing in therapeutic areas today.
Preventive healthcare is the need of the hour, especially in India, that suffers from the burden of the non-communicable diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, etc. How could technological innovation help?
When we look at preventive healthcare, globally or in India, we look at heart disease and diabetes. Technology is changing. We are starting to see the use of technology in manufacturing pills, embedded technology being used in patients to enable more real-time data measuring about the patient, and understand what’s going on with the patient at a personalised level. Technology also plays a role in genomics, mobile health, Internet of Things (IoT) or Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. Bringing the data together is going to be a game-changer in terms of how we can help these other diseases, in India and globally. These vary by country and we will be able to measure day-to-day lifestyles and understand how drugs work, specifically how we should look at these, not only from a clinical trial or drug point of view, but also from how they could work within a healthcare industry point of view.