When we first introduced Swittons to the world, our primary objective was to help pharmaceutical commercial organizations improve physician engagement by eliminating barriers such as closed-door policies, remoteness and territory spread. However, unbeknownst to us at the time, the world was about to change in a major way thanks to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic kick started a whole new world of use cases for Swittons, as life sciences organizations, medical device manufacturers and care providers scrambled to keep operations going while navigating a new no contact world.
It is interesting to note some of the innovative ways our Swittons IoT powered smart devices are being utilized. Here are some of our favorites. We would love to hear your ideas as well here.
Supply Chain Management:
Swittons is a great addition to supply chain management workflows. The Swittons platform comes equipped with agile, easy to integrate software which enables the devices to serves as a connecting point for remote communication, instant notifications and restocking of various warehouses or pharmacy distribution centers at the click of a button.
Typically, when a product being warehoused, a manager has to visually monitor the inventory supply and then go through a series of dashboards within an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to reorder. This process is cumbersome, creates delays and is prone to human error. However, by enabling push button, real-time reordering with Swittons, organizations can eliminate inefficiencies.
Here’s how it works… In the warehouse or pharmacy distribution center, a custom labeled Swittons device can be placed near a corresponding product. When the product is running low, all that a supply chain manager has to do is push a button. And just like that, Swittons communicates with the ERP system and processes the order for more product.
This enables the supply chain manager to visually check supply levels, while also automating the reorder process. Sure there are inventory management workflows built into ERP systems, accounting for theoretical supply volumes. But how many times have you witnessed those systems being out of synch?
What if there is a spill that wasn’t accounted for, or typo when data was put into the ERP system? Often times these errors aren’t caught until it is too late. Swittons eliminates this headache by connecting the digital with the physical at the most convenient location, at the supply level.
Swittons smart devices align well with Lab of The Future (LoTF) initiatives, because they help automate various workflows between people and existing equipment, systems and solutions. Similar to the supply chain management use case, Swittons for LoTF implementation enables the digital to connect with the physical in the most convenient places possible. For example, in pharmaceutical lab settings, Swittons fills the gap between the scientist and the lab by automating any four functions such as:
- Trigger equipment maintenance
- Open equipment service ticket
- Indicate equipment availability
- Trigger a video call
- Notify of temperature control deviation
- Notify of spill/cleaning needed
- Equipment occupancy notification
- Open Tickets in service software (ServiceNow, Saleforce Service Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics)
- Reorder reagents
The best part is that incorporating Swittons into existing workflows is easy. The Swittons software platform features a modern, flexible user interface that not only integrates with other systems, but other IoT devices as well. This flexibility gives labs the power to create their own LoTF, configured in the way that works best for their specific use case. This means Switton device can be uniquely programmed, even within an individual laboratory, so end users aren’t forced into workflows that don’t fit their job function.
Imagine being able to trigger the next best action in your lab workflow at the push of a button. It’s that easy!
Clinical trial management is another area where Swittons really shines. At clinical sites, Swittons can enable one-touch requests of drug supply, incidentals, or trigger discussions with clinical research associates (CRAs). But what’s even more exciting is that Swittons also works to help streamline things at the patient level as well.
During clinical trials, for example, patients can log responses or facilitate interactions with the clinical trial team at the push of a button. This enables patients to be in constant communication with team, without the need for around the clock supervision. Critical data can be collected at the moment, without the risks associated with time delays.
This is all possible because Swittons features a powerful backend portal and reporting system, where administrators can view user CLICKS in one convenient location. The devices are even able to trigger phone and video calls via a built-in integration with Microsoft Teams1. This enables real-time, remote communication with clinical trial team members at the push of a button.
In addition, because Swittons devices are designed to be compatible with existing IT systems (and integrate with clinical trial management platforms and services such as Trials360), they are easy to integrate.
Swittons smart devices aren’t just good for pharmaceutical commercial organizations, they also help care providers remotely monitor patients, by providing real-time feedback at the push of a button. This type of patient-initiated data stream helps reduce the administrative burden for both patient and care provider, and helps reduce patient visits and travel time. Real-time reporting also provides consistent post-discharge feedback to help avoid readmissions, while lowering staff-based outreach calls and messaging to check in with the patient.
Remote monitoring is especially important for those working in the area of specialized therapeutics. Roughly 125,000 unnecessary deaths occur each year in the United States because patients don’t follow their treatment protocols. In addition, medication nonadherence costs the US healthcare system2 $300 billion annually. All of these negatives can be greatly diminished when those responsible for adherence leveraged IoT devices like Swittons.
At Home Senior Care:
One of the more revolutionary applications for Swittons is at-home medical care for senior citizens. More and more people are choosing to age in place, in their own homes, rather than live in an assisted living facility. And while at-home caregivers are great for helping elderly individuals who are aging at home, they cannot always be there.
That’s where Swittons comes in. Devices placed in the home can be used to alert medical professionals in the case of an emergency, or used to signal supply orders like oxygen, certain medications and more. They can also be used to easily trigger remote calls with health professionals, reducing the need for in-person visits.
Pharma sales/Device sales:
As the cost of doing business goes up, and regulations become more restrictive, pharmaceutical and device sales organizations are increasing their demand for innovative products that help them remain competitive. Swittons helps in the following ways:
- Solves the “whitespace” problems by enabling communication with physicians who were previously untargeted, because of remoteness or lack of access.
- Boosts the launch of new brands by increasing brand awareness and sample facilitation, etc.
- Adds additional coverage for sales teams that have downsized.
- Helps physicians order samples and devices faster – especially for “buy and bill” offices.
- Creates a new channel of communication with physicians, something they are asking for.
Physicians appreciate Swittons as well, because the smart sevices enables them to be in better control of their schedule. At the click of a button, they can request samples, schedule sales visits, book consultations and access important medical information. And since the 4-inch device takes up very little desk space, it is conveniently available and integrates seamlessly with physician workstyles.
Given these creative use cases, it’s easy to imagine another 10 or 20 possibilities. As a matter of fact, with these innovative use cases, it becomes easier to grasp a future where data-driven smart devices are commonplace at both clinical and treatment levels.
Imagine a world where care provider systems are interconnected with patient devices, working together with life sciences platforms in the development of tailor-made therapeutics. This sharing of real-time health data between all levels of the life sciences ecosystem will fast forward the industry by decades!
Take for example, a device like Swittons that makes it possible to transmit data instantly while monitoring a patient, without the patient leaving their home. Something like this can help aid in the rapid development of therapeutics, because data would be completely streamlined – going from the patient to the physician, and then to the pharmaceutical company without bottlenecks.
These devices can also streamline therapeutic supply chains by signaling alerts to care providers when therapeutic supply levels are low. Care provider systems that are connected with pharma will then report aggregate usage, which will enable an instantaneous supply chain.
These types of IoT enabled systems are going to create a new, symbiotic world of efficiencies and cost savings not attainable solely via traditional technology-based means, and Swittons is at the forefront of this revolution. It’s definitely a new industrial revolution, one where better relationships between clinical development, physicians, and patients exist. Connect with us today here to learn how we can put Swittons to work for your specific use case. The possibilities are limitless.