Historical Contexts in Digital Operations in Pharma

Historical Contexts in Digital Operations in Pharma

Larry Taber and Krista White examine how industrial revolutions in history have shaped the world before us and the Pharma and Life Sciences industry today.

Krista: Thanks, Larry. Thanks for coming back today. So, today we were talking about a historical context in digital operations in Pharma.

Krista: So, can you set our historical precedence for what was digital operations in Pharma before?

Larry: Yeah, well, the way I'd like to answer that is maybe to talk about Industrial Revolutions in general. So, bear with me, I'm just going to walk through this. If you go all the way back to the First Industrial Revolution, what we saw was the advent of machines taking over for humans in terms of work that was non-value-added. Things that were maybe mechanical, and that we really didn't want to have to do. So it moved some of the farmers out of the field into other places where they could do things with their brains, and other kinds of more value-added activities for humans.

Larry: In the Second Industrial Revolution, we started to see how the lifestyles of individuals were changing as a result of technologies that could come along. What's interesting about the first two Industrial Revolutions is they lasted about 100 years each. Then came the Third Industrial Revolution. And the third Industrial Revolution, we all know, is basically the Computer Revolution, or the Information or Digital Revolution. Now what's amazing about that is that Digital Revolution only lasted about 30 years. So in this past 30 years, we've all been realizing the benefits of computing power and so forth. And that's started to translate into our lives even more specifically than what we've recognized in previous Industrial Revolutions.

Larry: This current Fourth Industrial Revolution is really unique. It's actually the fusion of machines and humans and digital information. And specifically, with respect to humans, I'd say it's the interaction with what we can do in terms of improving our lifestyles, improving our health, and improving our well-being. And so digital technology is actually advancing that. And this Fourth Industrial Revolution is being recognized throughout a number of industry sectors, most notably in the Pharma sector. Because again, as I've mentioned, I think, in a previous conversation we've had, the ability to be able to access information, exchange knowledge with patients, in terms of how they're feeling about their treatment, or how they're feeling about their health, is really changing things. And specifically, the bottom line is we're moving out of the age of just treating symptoms and the like, into preventative care. So now, patients are more directly involved and how it is that we can make their lives better. And digital technology's at the core of that. And that's why I think it matters so much to what's happening.

Krista: Yeah, so essentially the first revolution being taking people's handwork kind of jobs, and now the fourth revolution really taking people's brains and freeing them up to do more operational.

Larry: Absolutely, and I think the level of connectivity that we have within society now, and across the globe, worldwide, for us to be able to access patients anywhere in the world, and exchange information, and use that digital information to make people's lives better, is just tremendous, and it's taken off, and it's changing literally everything that we do in the Pharma industry.

Krista: Well, thank you for joining us and talking about all the Industrial Revolutions, taking us through a little bit of history.

Larry: Great.

Krista: I'll look forward to seeing you again.

Larry: Thank you.

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