Pharmaceuticals and the pharmaceutical industry have long been untouched regarding the developmental processes of its medicines and supplements. Archaic methods of synthesis and production of its products are still used today, with laboratories having very little to no overhaul in their tried and true methods.
With total nominal spending on prescription medication in the US surpassing $400 billion annually, the industry is a juggernaut and a growing one at that. This is an area saturated with consumer cash flow, which savvy innovators of the field have potential to rake in, with any ideas or innovations magnetic enough to gain traction.
Introducing The “Chemputer”
The “Chemputer”, a 3D printer for pharmaceuticals, may just be one of those ideas daring, and large enough in scope to shake things up in this bustling industry. Created by Professor Lee Cronin, who hails from the renowned Glasgow University, the Chemputer is commonly referred to by those in the field as “the universal chemistry set”, and synthesizes drugs via inputting formulaic quantities of carbons, hydrogen, oxygen and other elements to produce almost any and every prescription drug on the market today.
This is possible due to most medicines being made up simply of a different combination of these specific elements. The process dispenses the finished product based on the recipe it is fed, and can be very much tailored to certain bio or psycho-specific needs of an individual as opposed to general needs of the masses.
Future Pharma and The Chemputer
Modern life is moving successively and progressively toward a more automized way of daily life. Future pharmacies and hospitals are moving alongside this trend and looking to redefine the patient experience based on these projections.
In its infancy, the privatization of a lack of Chemputer availability and accessibility may be used for those patients looking to truly customize their prescriptions to their unique inner bio and psychometric landscape. We are all individuals, and having custom made medicine to match the uniqueness of our needs is one of the divergent realms of possibility for those willing to fork over the funds required.
By the same token, commercial uses of this technology will make large-scale production faster, more efficient and less labor intensive. Automated robotic aid can be seen already with examples such as Aethon’s “Eve” and “Tug” robots, which relay medical supplies and samples to central hubs, already permeating hospital walls.
With the digital side of the health industry growing at 20-25 per cent annually, the Chemputer may be making its entrance sooner rather than later. Automated pharmacies of the future could be seeing you order your meds via touch screen computer, inputting specific needs and concerns into a device which uses a carefully tuned algorithm to produce a custom prescription in unique quantities based upon your situation.
Companies such as Omnicell and Manrex are already in the early stages of machine-based pharmaceutical applications and may take on the Chemputer shortly, pending its early retention and sustained hype.
Predicting Its Potency
The Chemputer will be the first step of a larger-scale process that will overtake the future of pharmaceuticals. Full body scanning to further customize the needs of the consumer will inevitably be used in attempts to pinpoint, with utmost accuracy, the needs of the patient and the most logical evolution of this technology.
The increasingly customized approach to dispensing medicine is the fastest growing trend in the field of digital health care for 2017, and the technology associated with it is readily available and will be primed for commercial use with careful pacing and introductory measures being taken. These measures will be taken in an attempt to gain widespread acceptance in deviating from more “old school” and “human based” methods. These will be communicated to future patients as methods of the past that are more prone to error than technologically heavy applications of the future. These advancements in AI systems that lay the foundation for this automation can organically develop into something even the greatest doctor cannot.
With superfluous amounts of knowledge at the disposal of mechanized pharmacies of the future, the Chemputer will be an integral part and potential keystone in the “flagshipping” of future pharmacies that will lack the human touch, but make up for in patient satisfaction.