The medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry has undergone a drastic transformation over the past years.
Indeed, the global trade of medicines, medical devices, and equipment had to level up to meet the growing consumer demand, which spiked during the Covid-19 pandemic.
But while this growth is certainly essential to provide all citizens with adequate, accessible, and affordable healthcare services, it also caused the industry to become more exposed to risks such as counterfeit and illegal cloning.
So, it isn’t surprising that today, up to 41% of medicines in certain countries are fake.
Luckily, new technologies such as digital twins can help make the industry safer, more secure, and far more efficient.
Learn what digital twins are and what they can do for the medical manufacturing industry in this guide by Authena.
What Are Digital Twins?
Let’s start by clarifying what digital twins are.
Digital twinning refers to a new technology that brings together tools such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, simulation, and reasoning.
Combined, these technologies allow manufacturers to create a digital twin (or digital representation) of a physical asset, which will exist in virtual infrastructures such as the Metaverse.
Although in some cases, digital twins have similar properties to the ones of digital simulations (i.e.: 3D models), they differ in that they are more dynamic and interactive.
Examples Of Digital Twins
Finding digital twins examples isn’t always straightforward, because this technology can be used in a wide range of industries and situations.
However, it is possible to understand the potential of this technology by looking at how it has been used in other industries.
For example, in the world of automotive manufacturing, digital twins can be used to create a digital prototype that reflects the real features of a car model.
In turn, the digital prototype can be put through crash testing and other assessments that might be too expensive to carry out on physical models.
Thanks to the adaptability of digital twins, this technology can also be used to create digital simulations of static assets (i.e.: medical equipment or devices), systems, multiple parts working together, and frameworks.
The Benefits Of Using Digital Twins In The Medical Industry
Digital twins are transforming the medicine and medical manufacturing industries.
And, they are doing so by providing manufacturers with real-time information about a product, asset, system, or prototype throughout their supply chain journey.
Here are some of the benefits that introducing digital twinning technologies can help.
Boosting Traceability And Visibility In The Supply Chain
Currently, the global counterfeit medicine market is worth an estimated $200-$432 billion. And, as the industry continues to evolve, these figures are only bound to rise.
Introducing digital twins can help manufacturers lower the risk of counterfeiting and other illegal actions such as diversion and refilling.
Indeed, digital twins of units and medical devices are much easier to track in real time throughout the supply chain, which can alert managers of illegal attempts.
Proving Ownership And Authenticity
As seen above, digital twins exist in virtual environments such as blockchain infrastructures and the Metaverse.
In turn, they can help track and trace each transaction their underlying physical asset has gone through. And, due to the properties of blockchain technologies, these records are immutable and impossible to tamper.
Because of these properties, both manufacturers and buyers can verify the authenticity of a medical product, medicine, or device.
Boosting Patient Safety
Digital twins can improve patient safety in more than one way:
- They can prevent buyers from acquiring fake products that have not undergone the necessary testing or have not been certified as safe
- They can help manufacturers conduct more tests on virtual prototypes, thus including the durability, safety, and efficiency of their medical products.
Preventing Public Health Issues And Recalls
The circulation of fake medicines and medical devices comes with several risks for manufacturers.
Indeed, if these items circulate under a certain brand name and cause significant public health issues, manufacturers might face costly lawsuits or recalls.
Digital twins are a powerful prevention tool that can help manufacturers lower the risk posed by counterfeit and pirated goods.
Boosting Efficiency And Reducing Waste
Lastly, digital twins can help manufacturers optimize their production operations, reduce waste, and boost the overall efficiency of their supply chain.
Indeed, by managing the digital twins of physical assets rather than the digital assets themselves, managers can obtain real-time information about their inventory, product location, and other data such as expiry dates.
As the global trade of medicines and medical devices continues to grow, it has become imperative for manufacturers within the medical industry to adopt inventory management technologies.
Implementing An End-to-End Digital Twinning Solution In Medical Manufacturing
Although digital twinning technology plays an essential role in boosting the efficiency, authenticity, and visibility of products across the medical manufacturing supply chain, they are not the only tools manufacturers need.
When working with a product authentication expert, you’ll be able to introduce a custom-designed end-to-end product authentication solution for your brand.
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