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Industry Insight

Our everyday lives are becoming dependent on smart phones and ‘cloud’ technologies. My sons (both in their early 20s) are constantly on their iPhones, trawling social media, gaming or taking ‘selfies’. Ironically, mobile phones are used more for managing our lives than for audible communication. On them, we can book flights and remotely change the central heating setting in our homes. This is the age we now live in, whether we like it or not. The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is infiltrating every facet of our personal and working lives. Even the pharmaceutical industry – historically very conservative in its practices and slow to change – is moving with the times.

In this edition, Eva Weber at ABBYY Europe gives a vision of the factory of the future, where she predicts we will see greater integration of robotics with optical recognition systems throughout the manufacturing chain (page 22). Jeff Hackney and Mike Boudreaux at Emerson also describe how the IoT is influencing practices relating to data management within the healthcare industries – both in the production sectors and for the design of medical devices (page 61).

Data integrity is vitally important within pharma. Articles from Piritta Maunu at Vaisala (page 18) and Léon van Deurse at Chemgineering (page 40) provide insights into the current practices for ensuring IT security and information integrity for computerised systems, introducing the soon-to-become-familiar acronyms of GAMP 5, ITIL and COBIT.

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Robert Harris is Chief Technical Officer at Juniper Pharma Services and PMPS Industry Advisor.
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