Solutions & InnovationArticle
Revolutionizing Healthcare: The Role of Life Sciences in a Changing World
August 18, 2023
3 min read
In a world where medical advancements are vital for our well-being, life sciences businesses play a key role in transforming healthcare. Life sciences, simply put, involves the study of living organisms, encompassing critical sectors such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, organ and tissue donation, blood banks, plasma donation and more. At the core of it, all lies the need for reliable temperature assurance, as some life-saving medications and vaccines require strict temperature control, ranging from +4°C to as low as -80°C.
The pharmaceutical industry has evolved significantly over the years, with the rise of biologics or biopharmaceuticals. Unlike traditional synthetic drugs, biologics are derived from living organisms, presenting unique challenges due to their heat sensitivity and susceptibility to contamination – increasing the need for sophisticated equipment and temperature control systems in ensuring the safe production, storage and transportation of these delicate drugs.
The industry also accounts for almost 5% of greenhouse gas emissions globally and toxic air pollutants on a similar scale. The industry's carbon intensity has sparked a pressing need for enhanced operational sustainability, particularly when the impacts of a warming planet correlate to so many underlying health risks for people. Proactive efforts to mitigate environmental impact involve various strategies, such as adopting lower global warming potential (GWP) and natural refrigerants, optimizing equipment efficiency, and integrating passive renewable cooling technologies. These measures aim to decrease reliance on previously energy-intensive methods and pave the way for more earth-friendly approaches.
Looking to the future, the life sciences industry continues to push the boundaries of medical innovation, such as cell and gene therapy, which promises personalized medicine targeting specific diseases. These advanced therapies, while transformative, present challenges in terms of manufacturing cost and temperature-sensitive logistics.
Another area of focus is RNA-based immunotherapies, which have shown remarkable potential in treating diseases like cancer. These therapies, too, require precise temperature control throughout their production and distribution. With the help of artificial intelligence, the drug discovery process can be accelerated, allowing for faster, more flexible, and cost-effective solutions.
As an already capital-intensive research and development process, the industry needs technology and solutions that address how to ensure lifesaving drugs reach remote regions lacking sophisticated cold chain infrastructure – and increase affordability of these groundbreaking treatments. The complexity of the global supply chain and the delicate nature of the drugs make this a challenging task. Our work centers around collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and logistics partners to minimize handling time and ensure medicines arrive safely and effectively to patients in need.
A notable area where global access equity has room for improvement is the demand for human plasma, vital for over 400 lifesaving therapies worldwide. While North America's donation and collection systems are well-established, other regions experience a significant supply-demand gap. Efforts are focused on preserving every liter of donated plasma by safeguarding it throughout the cold chain due to its immense value.
The life sciences industry remains at the forefront of healthcare advancements, playing a pivotal role in developing and delivering life-saving medications and vaccines worldwide. We are proud to stand alongside this essential business sector, contributing innovations that improve the environmental health of the planet and equip the health system to support the well-being of people now and in the future.
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