Covid-19: How industry is using technology during the covid-19 pandemic

The use of technology in its many forms was a recurring theme in BioPhorum’s recent COVID-19 Workforce Protection Survey that was completed by the Senior BioPhorum Connect group, which consists of the leaders and sponsors from the BioPhorum communities.

The survey assessed how industry was reacting to COVID-19 to identify and share best practices that would help guide its reaction to the crisis.

This article looks at the role of technology in the workplace and specifically how the Senior BioPhorum Connect group is addressing issues such as the use of remote working technologies, cyber security and digitizing the cGMP space.

Many organizations are using common web-meeting applications to enable remote-working, but the COVID-19 lockdown is encouraging innovation in business practices.

Virtual exchanges are widely replacing many types of physical contact, while online collaboration tools, smart and virtual/augmented reality glasses are increasingly used. Many companies are also accelerating their plans for digitization in cGMP facilities with the use of technologies such as video streaming and AI applications.

And while remote access of shop-floor data is already mostly in place, virtual management routines (for Kaizen, GEMBA and safety visits) are emerging from the need to minimize the number of people in facilities.

As the lockdown has progressed, there is an increasing realization that many ‘knowledge workers’ can operate effectively away from site, often using readily available conferencing applications. It will come as no surprise that increased remote working means IT departments are enhancing security controls and user awareness to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to systems.

Technology has always played a crucial role in biopharmaceutical operations. However, the COVID-19 lockdown has meant BioPhorum members have not only been looking at how it can be used to maintain business operations, but how to innovate for the future.

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