“For the cardiovascular space, a lot of the inventory is on consignment,” said Lars Rohrberg, Vice President of Marketing for WaveMark. “It’s a difficult task for a medical device supplier to keep track of where the inventory is in what can be thousands of locations in the U.S. or in Europe or Asia. Having a much more granular and automated way to capture the information that can be used through the Web to do analysis can help address the question ‘does it match up to what is being consumed in that location?’ You can have data that you now share between the supplier and the hospital to have discussions on what is a regional approach to inventory management between the two parties.”
Initiate practices now to plan for the future
A surplus on inventory, expired items and lost or misplaced devices not only lead to operational inefficiencies and increased inventory cost but also increase the potential impact of quality of care provided.
And while such RFID and barcode-enabled solutions prove beneficial to the life sciences space, adoption of content management technologies—e.g., automated solutions to transition healthcare from paper-based to electronic processes—also impact the overall supply chain’s effectiveness to improve maintenance of data analysis from end to end.
“A big part of our life sciences focus right now is content management in the general sense, so companies that are now implementing global systems to ensure that they can house all the various content that they are responsible for including large volumes of electronic documentation,” said Walker.
“And we’re seeing this not just in life sciences but across a number of industries. Much more of a focus on implementing such systems to ensure that they can house and provide visibility to all of that documentation—from the very beginning of acquiring active ingredient material, to the end of distributing those products to the end user and all the clinical trials that happen in between.”
From changes in drug and medical device manufacturing, to stricter regimes and practices in healthcare settings requiring new strategies to global expansion—there’s no doubt that major upheavals in the life sciences space will continue. Add the need for patient safety and improved product accountability to the mix and the result is an industry that continues to grow in excess of six percent per year.
As massive changes continue to occur over the next five to 10 years, the life sciences space will have to adapt and adopt new ways to deliver necessary innovation and proficient patient service to continue driving this industry forward.