Blockchain Technology – A Cure for Pharmaceutical Counterfeit (2/2)

Big Data, blockchain, Blockchain, Business Model Innovation, Business models, Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT), Innovation, Inspiring, Leading Digital, technology, Trends, Trendwatching, Uncategorized

A few weeks back the first part of Marlou her article appeared on www.rickbouter.com. You can find the start of this article here: “Part I – Current status, Impact on the Industry

Part II – how/ practicalities

On the bright side, Blockchain is expected to totally transform the pharmaceutical industry far beyond compliance. In addition to eliminating counterfeit, reassuring patient safety, adhering to regulations, optimizing supply chain operations, and protecting revenue, Blockchain is expected to standardize and automate multiple procedures, making an intermediary party redundant.

The patient in the lead of the supply chain

The patient will be put at the lead of the supply chain, allowing a more direct patient-stakeholder interaction, and is thought to facilitate the trend of personalized medicine, by making real-time patient data accessible to pharmaceutical companies. Combined with optimal utilization of analytics, pharmaceutical companies can better meet the patient demand and more directly reach their target market. This not only eases entrance barriers of market penetration, but also provides the opportunity to restrict premium pricing. The ‘pay-for-efficacy’ principle allows the price of a pharmaceutical product to be set according to the – relative – efficacy of a pharmaceutical product. This shows similarity with the ‘no cure no pay’ principle, requiring pharmaceutical companies to even more deliberately invest in secure and stable R&D projects.

Long term vs. short term impact of Blockchain in pharma

The benefits of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical industry may not be directly reflected in their revenues, but for sure have a long term impact with the potential extension to the healthcare sector in providing healthcare of a higher quality and the ability to better shape healthcare according to specific patient needs.

Optimizing impact of Blockchain due to technological add-ons

The optimizing impact of Blockchain can be further utilized by technological add-ons such as smart contracts, sensors, artificial intelligence, and different applications of IoT. Cold-chain logistics is a concrete example of an extended concept of Blockchain, where the integration of sensors and IoT allow supply chain stakeholders to track and confirm the conditions to which the products were exposed. This strongly contributes to the ability to confirm product quality and enables the industry to specifically remove individual products in case of an error, rather than reclamation of entire batches. The bottom line of these improvements is a business case for the pharmaceutical industry, of cost reduction and increased profits, accordingly.

Blockchain: Tangible prove of potential business value

We can easily write a bookwork about the speculations of what Blockchain can and cannot do. However, what we need exactly is not found in speculations, but rather in tangible prove of potential and unlocking of the business value for the pharmaceutical industry. The industry needs to take big and concrete steps towards implementation if they want to benefit from Blockchain’s potential. A concept unknown is a concept unloved, and therefore a critical act is to increase awareness around Blockchain as a technology and break through Blockchain’s technological abstractness.

Penetrating the pharmaceutical ecosystem

Although the core concept of Blockchain has already, to a certain extent, penetrated the pharmaceutical ecosystem, the majority is still unaware of the far-reaching and innovative applicability of Blockchain in digitally transforming the pharmaceutical industry. There are several steps the industry is recommended to follow if they want to unlock the business value of Blockchain for the industry. Education is a primary aspect to address the often existing asymmetry in awareness, knowledge, and understanding of Blockchain as a technology and what it has to offer in terms of potential. Part of getting stakeholders aligned with each other is to get them on the same level of expertise and thus to provide them with the required information. In addition, stakeholder’s hesitative or negative attitude towards Blockchain is to some extent a result of their deviating or wrong perception of Blockchain’s potential and how it works, also in their advantage. A better understanding of the technology would help the industry to better grasp the concept and its application.

Stakeholders intrests at stake

To reach the stakeholders of interest and in the run-up to get them on board, a pharmaceutical consortium should be formed as a starting point. In order to create alignment across the industry, stakeholders will need to discuss their objectives, perspectives, and expectations regarding an implementation of Blockchain. A consortium creates solid ground to further build on a pharmaceutical Blockchain, step by step. Together, stakeholders can determine the pain points that deserve priority in exploring and testing and formulate a consensus as the basis of the Blockchain.

Formulating specific use cases in a fragmented industry

Generally, it is important to determine and formulate specific use cases beforehand. To prevent the industry to come up with a pain point merely to follow the Blockchain hype, there should be focused on the recognition and formulation of specific use cases in the pharmaceutical environment. Specification allows for focused testing of pilots and concepts, generating tailored outcomes rather than standardized parameters that need to be translated to a particular use case. For this to be successful, the operational processes of pharmaceutical companies need to be overseen and frameworked. Given the fragmented nature of pharmaceutical companies, let alone the industry as a whole, achieving adoption is a fairly complicated process.

Mobilizing the pharmaceutical chain

The pharmaceutical industry will need to better cooperate with each other, allowing for change in their processes and behaviors. However, this is not so much of a rational process as it might have been pretended to be. Proving business value and encouraging stakeholders to embrace Blockchain definitely are steps in the right direction, but do not provide a guarantee of the technology to succeed in the pharmaceutical ecosystem. Practically, the conventional, risk-averse nature of the pharmaceutical industry and their need for evolution over revolution may just be difficult to unify with the disruptive, revolutionizing character of Blockchain. This large gap between technology and business may strain industry-wide adoption, even though stakeholders are on board with the solution. Another aspect challenging the implementation of Blockchain, but is difficult to address, is the quality of the input and the data recorded onto the Blockchain. Despite the immutable nature of the technology, the quality of the Blockchain is only as good as the quality of the information that is entered. It will be extremely difficult to qualify the channel where the information enters the Blockchain, which impinges on the promised trustless character of Blockchain.

Conclusion: Blockchain: turning the inevitable into the desirable

All in all, the previously anticipated resistance coming from the pharmaceutical industry is better to be redefined as hesitation to get involved with what is uncertain and unknown. The pharmaceutical industry needs to put the blocks together and build a solid ground to embrace digitalization, which does not imply having to set aside their cautious, hesitative attitude nor their responsibility. A way to go is to invest in education, the formation of a pharmaceutical consortium, and additional testing in the act to unlock Blockchain’s business value for the pharmaceutical industry, to once and forever turn the inevitable into the desirable, and harvest the benefits. Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical industry should keep a critical eye on the anticipated challenges as well as on new emerging technologies that are on their way to overhaul the potential of Blockchain.

Biography

With a background in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Marlou is currently in the last stage of the Master’s program Science and Business Management, pursuing her passion of unlocking the synergy between life science and business. Her ambition is to improve and strengthen the collaborative relationship of life science and business development, through encouraging communication and cooperation between the different fields. After finalizing her graduate internship at Accenture Strategy, The Netherlands, focusing on the potential of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical supply chain, Marlou is starting a PhD in human psychopharmacology at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, striving for the aspired career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Image credits: Image 1, Disruptordaily Image 2, UKRInvest Image 3, Statnews

Wat is de ethische, moralistische, christelijke impact van nieuwe technologie?

AI, Artificial Intelligence, data, digital transformation, Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Het artikel: “Wat is de ethische, moralistische, christelijke impact van nieuwe technologie?”  is verschenen is de juni uitgave van: “De Banier” het ledenmagazine van de Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP) en is gepubliceerd onder de rubriek: “Politiek dichtbij” (pagina 24)

 

Wat is de ethische, moralistische, christelijke impact van nieuwe technologie?

We leven in een tijd waar versnelde verandering het nieuwe, maar ook het enige constante lijkt. Nieuwe technologische ontwikkelingen gaan snel, zijn vaak positief, maar kunnen ook negatieve gevolgen hebben. Naast allerlei praktische, sociale, culturele en economische vragen komen ook steeds meer ethische dillema’s naar voren. Te denken valt aan: ‘designer babies’, de relatie tussen robots en mensen

en de impact van bijvoorbeeld ‘blockchain’ en ‘kunstmatige intelligentie’. Een gesprek met SGPlid en deskundige op het gebied van innovatie en nieuwe technologische ontwikkelingen Rick Bouter.

De versnelling van de rekenkracht in de technologie, gezien in een overzicht vanaf 1900 tot en met de verwachte ontwikkeling in het jaar 2100.

Zijn er in de technologische wereld mensen die ethisch nadenken over de gevolgen van deze negatieve ontwikkelingen? 

“Gelukkig wel! Mensen als Elon Musk, oprichter van niet de minste bedrijven als Tesla, Solar City, Space X en andere, of wijlen professor Steven Hawking hebben zich kritisch uitgesproken tegen specifieke technologie als kunstmatige intelligentie waarnaar Musk verwijst als ‘een onsterfelijke dictator’. Dichterbij huis noem ik prof. dr. Marc de Vries in zijn boek Technologie, overal om je heen. Moderne ontwikkelingen in christelijk perspectief. Maar ook de schrijvers van het boek Meer dan mensenkennis geven mooie inzichten. Ondanks deze positieve voorbeelden, denk ik dat er, gezien de snelheid van de ontwikkelingen te weinig kritische kenners uit onze achterban zijn.”

Hebben politici en bestuurders (binnen en buiten de SGP) voldoende verstand van zaken als het gaat om technologische ontwikkelingen? 

“Met alle respect voor de ongekende inzet en kennis die onze bestuurders
hebben, denk ik van niet. De situatie binnen én buiten onze achterban beziend, denk ik dat we niet op de goede weg zijn. Persoonlijk vind ik dat de innovatieen technologieagenda van Nederland te laag gepositioneerd wordt. Als we bijvoorbeeld kijken naar een stad als Amsterdam die een eigen Chief Technology Officer heeft (en vele andere functies op het gebied van innovatie), geeft dat een bepaalde focus en richting aan. De Verenigde Arabische Emiraten hebben bijvoorbeeld een minister van Kunstmatige Intelligentie. Dat geeft de relevantie van en de focus op het onderwerp aan. Binnen Nederland mis ik dit. Het onderwerp ‘innovatie’ hebben we onder het ministerie van Economische zaken gestopt. Een uitzondering op de onderwaardering is het initiatief Smart Industry. Dat heeft als
ambitie dat Nederland in 2021 het flexibelste en het beste digitaal verbonden productienetwerk van Europa heeft.) Mijn mening is dat we, als Nederland competitief wil blijven, meer focus moeten leggen op technologische innovatie.”

Kan de Bijbel ons iets leren over dit onderwerp?

“Ik denk zeker dat de Bijbel ons genoeg te zeggen heeft over dit onderwerp. Dat
geldt trouwens voor ieder mogelijk onderwerp waarmee we dagelijks in aanraking
komen zowel privé als zakelijk. Persoonlijk denk ik dat we nuchter om mogen gaan
met innovatie. Kennis, grondstoffen en intelligentie zijn door God gegeven. Wij
mogen die middelen binnen de kaders van de Bijbel en onze grondwet ook
gebruiken ten goede en tot opbouw van mens, bedrijf en maatschappij. Het wordt
anders als technologische vooruitgang als een religie voor ons wordt, of als technologie onze kijk op Bijbelse normen en waarden verandert. God is nveranderlijk
en dat moet centraal staan. Overigens is het nieuwe Babel al wel door Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) voorspeld. Heisenberg is iemand die we kennen als
grondlegger van kwantumtechnologie. Heisenberg voorspelde toen al dat er een
moment zou komen waarop de mens zijn invloed op technologie zou verliezen en
waarop technologie zich zonder invloed van de mens onafhankelijk zou doorontwikkelen. Laten we zorgen dat technologie niet het volgende Babel wordt waarop we ons vertrouwen stellen en waar we vervolgens van afhankelijk zijn. Dat laatste is een zorg die zeker in onze de reformatorische gezindte alleen maar exponentieel zal toenemen.”

Wat zie je op landelijk, provinciaal en gemeentelijk niveau gebeuren omtrent
innovatie en nieuwe technologie?

“Wat ik zie is dat overheden intern steeds beter begrijpen dat alles digitaal wordt.
Overheden op de diverse niveaus zijn bezig met thema’s als ‘cloud’ en ‘digital
workplace’. Een goede ontwikkeling want om innovatie te stimuleren, is het verstandig om de positieve impact ervan te gebruiken. Laat me aan de andere
kant ook duidelijk zijn dat technologie voor eigen gebruik iets totaal anders is dan een overheid (zowel landelijke als plaatselijk) die mij als burger en bedrijf faciliteert door wetgeving, subsidies en initiatieven om competitief te zijn tegen concurrentie van binnen- en buitenland. Dit mag mijns inziens méér gebeuren en ik denk dat die terughoudendheid ook en voornamelijk komt door onkunde en onwetendheid. Dat is geen kritiek, want ik heb onze bestuurders hoog zitten, maar hier kunnen we ze wel bij helpen. Dat is dan ook ons plan.”

Welke aanbevelingen wil je (lokale) SGP-politici en bestuurders meegeven als het gaat over deze thematiek?

“Informeren, inspireren en experimenteren. Laat je als bestuurder informeren: zorg dat je goed beslagen ten ijs komt. Laat je inspireren: laat je ook verbazen over de ongekende impact en mogelijkheden van technologie. Ga ook experimenteren: ga het experiment aan met andere politici of met plaatselijke bedrijven om samen op te trekken om de impact van een technologie echt te begrijpen. Op deze manieren denk ik dat we ook op innovatief en technologisch vlak een betere agenda kunnen maken. De juiste dingen doen, maar ook de dingen juist doen. Natuurlijk snap ik dat je als bestuurder niet in alle domeinen goed onderlegd kunt zijn. Maar daarom is het juist belangrijk dat we niet onze ogen sluiten voor bepaalde thema’s, maar onderzoek doen en onszelf laten informeren van de ongekende mogelijkheden van technologie. Dat is ook belangrijk om onszelf te kunnen wapenen tegen de negatieve kanten ervan en de slechte invloed op het gebied van ethiek en religie.”

“ Informeren, inspireren en experimenteren.”

Aankondiging denktank Techtics
Om de in het interview genoemde redenen is het idee opgevat om een denktank op te richten, “Techtics” genaamd.

“Techtics, onze bijdrage aan de discussie over technologie, ethiek & religie”

Tot de denktank behoren:

  • Experts uit het technologisch veld, voor wie innovatie tot een van de dagelijkse  werkzaamheden behoort.
  • Voorvechters voor het behoud en de borging van ethiek als religieus geëngageerd
  • Betrokken personen, als ook politici van zowel landelijk als lokaal niveau

Een afvaardiging van deze denktank zal jaarlijks tweemaal een kort ‘Point of View’ brengen waarin een technologisch thema geduid wordt en de impact wordt bepaald door mensen met diverse expertisen. Het doel van Techtics is het kritisch bezinnen op en het formuleren van een visie op de invloed van nieuwe technologie en innovatie op het gebied van ethiek en religie. Dit kan een thuishaven zijn voor constructieve gesprekken omtrent technologie en een kennispoort voor landelijke en plaatselijke politici.

Contact met geïnteresseerden
We zijn nog opzoek naar geïnteresseerden die willen meedenken over dit thema. Voor hen en ook voor geïnteresseerden naar de bevindingen van de denktank is er de contactmogelijkheid via de e-mail. Neem contact met ons op via de bestuurdersvereniging: bsv@sgp.nl.

 

*Wil je meer informatie over dit initiatief of wil je hier aan bijdragen kun je contact opnemen met techticscontact@gmail.com

De impact van nieuwe (Blockchain) technologie – RMU.nu

blockchain, Blockchain, Business models, data, Digital maturity, digital transformation, Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT), Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Dit artikel is 15/06/2018 verschenen op de website van de RMU

Om relevant te blijven in een versnelde veranderende wereld, is er volgens Rick Bouter maar een antwoord mogelijk: Innovatie. En dat betekent dus ook kijken naar nieuwe technologieën. In deze blog legt hij uit wat Blockchain is en wat de potentie is van deze technologie.

Versnelde verandering lijkt in de wereld van vandaag één van de weinige constante elementen. Internetbedrijven schieten de grond uit als paddenstoelen en veroveren in elke maand of elk jaar complete markten die (soms sinds mensenheugenis) als gevestigde orde gezien werden. Hier kun je denken aan de bekende voorbeelden als Uber, die de taxi- en vervoersmarkt op zijn kop zet, Airbnb die dit met de verhuur van appartementen, huizen en kamers doet, maar ook aan Spotify en Deezer die de muziekindustrie in een compleet nieuw jasje steken. Verandering gaat dus snel, heel snel. Stilstand is vandaag de dag niet alleen achtergang, maar lijkt eerder op achteruitrennen. Een van de weinige vragen die overblijven voor bedrijven, organisaties en instellingen is: “Hoe blijf ik relevant in de snel veranderende wereld van morgen?”.

Innovatie is de enige manier om te winnen

Een concreet antwoord op deze vraag is even simpel als complex. “Innovatie is de enige manier om te winnen…” Als we deze vraag verder afpellen, komen we al snel bij de enablers van innovatie. Vandaag de dag is een van de grootste enablers en veroorzakers van innovatie het potentieel van nieuwe technologieën. Wanneer je dus wilt innoveren komt al snel het ongekende potentieel van nieuwe technologie om de hoek kijken. Internet of Things, Kunstmatige Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Nano technologie en Blockchain zijn veel gehypete en ook ‘over’gehypete technologieën.

Blockchain, een technologie met potentieel Laten we een van deze technologieën eens wat nader bekijken. Van programmeur tot boardmember: de term Blockchain geeft slapeloze nachten. Blockchain, de techniek achter de Bitcoin, kent veel meer toepassingsgebieden dan alleen cryptocurrency. Zo wordt gewerkt aan toepassingen in onroerend goed, containertransport, gezondheidszorg, muziekrechten, verzekeringen en pensioen. De technologie wordt door sommigen gezien als een innovatie vergelijkbaar met het internet. De grote vraag bij deze trend is: wat moet en mag je er nu mee?

Blockchain als digitaal vertrouwen

Blockchain is een technologie die het mogelijk maakt zaken te doen zonder tussenkomst van derde partijen. Bij deze derde partijen kun je aan allerlei organisaties en instanties denken. Van rijksoverheid tot gemeenten, van jurist tot ver¬zekeraar en van notaris tot kadaster. Deze derde partijen zijn ooit in het leven geroepen omdat wij, mensen, elkaar niet vertrouwen in het zaken doen of afhankelijk zijn van deze derde partij. We vertrouwen elkaar ten diepste niet terwijl dit een van de kernpijlers is van zakendoen. Een van de kernpijlers, net als andere belangrijke pijlers als een ruilmiddel (berenvel, goud, olie en bijvoorbeeld geld) maar ook het bewijs dat deze waarde maar eenmalig kan worden uitgegeven voor een bepaalde tegenwaarde. Blockchain als technologie waarborgt deze belangrijke aspecten van zakendoen en zou in potentie dus een belangrijke pijler in onze economie kunnen worden.

Hoe Blockchain werkt

Blockchain is de bekendste Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT). Deze gedistribueerde grootboek technologie heeft als belangrijkste doel om een consensus te bereiken over zaken die over dit netwerk komen. Laten we even zaken doen als uitgangspunt nemen. De kern van zakendoen is een transactie van waarde. Deze waarde kan een huis zijn, een verzekering, maar ook gewoon een valuta. Blockchain is kort samengevat een computernetwerk waarin elk onderdeel van het netwerk een compleet overzicht van transacties heeft en dit op een decentrale manier opslaat in databases. Deze transacties samen vormen een block. Het laatste blok is ‘de waarheid’ waaraan niet meer getornd kan worden, dit waarborgt het gedistribueerde netwerk. Dit laatste block is dus de input voor het nieuwe block en de nieuwe transacties. Door de tijd worden meer transacties gevalideerd en komen er dus ook meer setjes van transacties bij (blocks) en zo vormt zich dus een digitale keten van blokken, een Blockchain.

Omdat deze waarheid omtrent transacties vastgelegd is over het gehele netwerk kan die vrijwel niet gemanipuleerd worden en is frauderen ook bijna uitgesloten. Op het moment dat er een transactie gedaan wordt, wordt deze gevalideerd door alle onderdelen in het netwerk. Deze onderdelen bevestigen de principes van zakendoen. Is er een waarde? Wordt deze waarde een keer uitgegeven? Komt er een betalende waarde voor terug? Wat zijn specifieke kenmerken van de deal? (Hierbij kun je denken aan tijdstip, betrokkenen en andere items die specifiek meegegeven kunnen worden.) Zo zou je kunnen zeggen dat de Blockchain een open grootboek is waarin alle transacties terug te vinden zijn. Door de rekenkracht die het netwerk ter beschikking stelt worden deze blokken gevalideerd door ingewikkelde wiskundige formules die niet zo maar iedere huis- tuin- en keukencomputer kan kraken. Degene die als eerste de transacties valideert krijgt hiervoor in ruil Bitcoins. Dit principe wordt mining genoemd. Nu zijn er uiteraard diverse mogelijkheden van een Blockchain want niet alles kan en mag open zijn. Zo kun je een publieke variant op Blockchain hebben waarin veel informatie open en bloot staat, maar ook privé Blockchains waarin alleen bepaalde geautoriseerde personen/ instanties toegang hebben. Ook hebben al diverse consortia van partijen die elkaar vertrouwen samen een keten op willen zetten.

Bij mijn vorige werkgever hebben we een whitepaper* geschreven over Blockchain met een sprekend voorbeeld erin. “Stel u beheert een systeem met fietshuurinformatie. Een klassiek systeem zal in de database een record hebben staan waarin staat wie momenteel welke fiets gehuurd heeft. Een Blockchainsysteem zal echter een ketting van huurmutaties hebben waarin de fiets toegewezen wordt aan klanten en weer terugverwezen wordt aan de eigenaar. Al deze mutaties zijn ondertekend door de klant en de eigenaar. Zo weten we zeker dat de transactie heeft plaatsgevonden en kunnen we ook opmaken wie de fiets momenteel in bezit heeft. Blockchain is digitaal vertrouwen, maar hoe zorgt het systeem ervoor dat alleen geautoriseerde personen mutaties doen op de database? Hier komt cryptografie om de hoek kijken. Elke deelnemer aan het systeem genereert een set sleutels, een publieke en een geheime sleutel. De publieke sleutel is een controlemiddel voor andere gebruikers om te controleren of berichten van jou ook echt ondertekend zijn met je geheime sleutel. Deze publieke sleutel is daarom ook niet geheim, sterker nog het is vaak je identificatienummer, bijvoorbeeld je personeelsnummer, of in het geval van Bitcoin: je portemonnee-adres. Stel een deelnemer aan het systeem wil een mutatie doorvoeren op de database, dan ondertekent hij het mutatiebericht met zijn geheime sleutel. Andere deelnemers aan het systeem kunnen met hun publieke sleutel controle¬ren of dat bericht ook daadwerkelijk door hem is ondertekend.” Bron: Caesar Overheid whitepaper: Blockchain, de hype voorbij.

Tot zover deel 1: “De impact van nieuwe (Blockchain) technologie.” In het volgende deel hopen we verder na te denken over de impact van Blockchain technologie op ethiek en kijken we ook breder naar technologische innovatie en haar impact op ethiek.

Rick Bouter is consultant Emerging Technologie (opkomende technologieën) binnen Accenture’s consulting domein. Binnen deze rol helpt Rick bedrijven de impact van nieuwe technologieën te begrijpen en toe te passen om op deze manier te innoveren en positieve impact te creëren voor klanten. In zijn vrije tijd schrijft Rick artikelen over innovatie- en technologietrends als Internet of Things, Kunstmatige Intelligentie, Blockchain en Digitale Transformatie onder andere voor zijn website: http://www.rickbouter.com. In het bijzonder de impact van technologie op mens, maatschappij en ethiek zijn onderwerpen die Rick boeien. Om deze reden denkt hij met een aantal mensen na over het idee om een christelijke denktank te starten met een focus op nieuwe technologie en de im¬pact op ethiek. Mocht je over het voorgaande/ of eventuele andere vragen hebben, dan kun je Rick bereiken via zijn LinkedIn pagina: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rickbouter

 

Blockchain Technology – A Cure for Pharmaceutical Counterfeit (1/2)

Big Data, Bitcoin, blockchain, Blockchain, data, Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT), Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Part I – Current status, Impact on the Industry

The use of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical industry has been speculated and discussed by many different entities and stakeholders for quite some time already. Blockchain is thought to address the burning platforms pressuring the pharmaceutical industry, and to possibly optimize its supply chain operations.

The burning platform in the pharmaceutical industry

The one big burning question in this context is whether the pharmaceutical industry is ever going to embrace the long awaiting digital revolution, or if they are going to bundle their forces in the act to avoid the inevitable? Although pharmaceutical R&D is driven by innovation, this feature is not so much blended into their general activities and operational processes. Already being one of the most conventional and traditional industries, the organizational hierarchy and strong fragmentation of the pharmaceutical industry only further strains the ability of companies to embrace novel technologies, such as Blockchain. Responsibility of patient health and safety carried by the pharmaceutical industry makes stakeholders rather hesitant towards novel technologies and rules out the opportunity of a trial-and-error-like implementation approach of technologies.

Blockchain in pharma, fighting the falsified instead of diseases

Regardless of their ignorance, the pharmaceutical industry has already been confronted with multiple burning platforms. Counterfeit is a continuously increasing problem across the pharmaceutical supply chain, conveying major consequences for patient health and company performance. Counterfeit products either contain a too high or too low concentration of the active ingredient, reducing the clinically proven efficacy of the product. Apart from a deviating dosage, counterfeit products may contain excipients being different from those displayed on the package, which may affect the efficacy of the active ingredient or cause unpredicted side-effects to patients after administration. Although in most cases this may only cause modest discomfort for the patient, in other cases counterfeit products can cause severe adverse events and lead to hospitalization or even lethality in its extreme. It is therefore necessary to eliminate pharmaceutical counterfeit, the sooner the better. To facilitate the pharmaceutical fight of the falsified, governments have enacted serialization regulations, obligating the pharmaceutical industry to make each individual product traceable along the entire supply chain. This allows every stakeholder to, at any given point in the process, confirm the authenticity of the product.

Trust, the challenge & the opportunity 

Circulation of illegitimate pharmaceutical products does not only put patient health and safety at stake, but also has a damaging impact on the business operations of pharmaceutical companies. As long as counterfeit keeps on existing, pharmaceutical companies are not able to assure quality and safety of their products. This has an eroding effect on their reputation as perceived by the patient as well as by other influential stakeholders, such as physicians, specialists, pharmacies, and regulatory bodies.

The inability of pharmaceutical companies to deliver product quality and safety has a direct effect on their revenue.

A decline in trust has a diminishing effect on sales. Additionally, sales of counterfeit products take away the incremental revenue of pharmaceutical companies. Thus, apart from protecting patient safety and product quality, the pharmaceutical industry is in an overwhelming need to safeguard and protect its reputation and revenue.

Curing the pharma counterfeit

Counterfeit products are incredibly difficult to identify by the naked eye, making it complicated to reveal and eliminate these products by human efforts solely. A technological tool with the capacity to enable end-to-end traceability could cure this pain point. Technically, Blockchain has the capacity to completely revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry, its processes, but above all to address the burning platforms and cure counterfeit. Its immutable character makes mutual trust and the need for intermediary parties redundant, while safeguarding secure storage and exchange of sensitive information.

Practically, however, unaligned objectives of industry stakeholders, a lack of trust in the technology itself, and the absence of willingness and often the guts to further explore the opportunities of Blockchain stagnates the utilization of these capacities.

As clearly described in Enterprise Blockchain: Are We There Yet? by Sebastian Wurst (Accenture Strategy, Munich), the unique value and at the same time the challenge is in developing a Blockchain solution that perfectly fits an enterprise setting. The abstractness and technical complexity should be converted into a commercial concept, in order to fully unlock Blockchain’s business value for any industry, and the pharmaceutical industry here in specific.

Blockchain in pharma: No success until mass adoption?

Along the way of praising Blockchain’s potential, we should not forget to touch upon the expected – disruptive – impact of Blockchain on company business models. Given the comparatively low extent of industry digitalization, current business models of pharmaceutical companies do not inherently support the implementation of a highly complex and abstract technology as Blockchain. Although some believe that Blockchain-enabled business models are on the rise, others recognize the need for only small adjustments to be made by the industry to successfully integrate Blockchain in their processes.

The largest adjustment required is said to be targeted at the mindset and core values lived up to by industry stakeholders and employees.

Cooperation, interoperability, and transparency are not naturally fostered by the pharmaceutical industry, being in an almost direct opposition to the core concepts of Blockchain. Additional education on Blockchain would increase the understanding of the technology, and possibly mitigate the risk anticipated to come with implementation. Altogether, the pharmaceutical industry may expect to be confronted with many different challenges along the way to adoption, making the successfulness of Blockchain an uncertain parameter. To address these challenges, it will require strong incentives to encourage and solid recommendations to point the pharmaceutical industry in the right direction and unlock the synergy between business and technology.

Biography

With a background in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Marlou is currently in the last stage of the Master’s program Science and Business Management, pursuing her passion of unlocking the synergy between life science and business. Her ambition is to improve and strengthen the collaborative relationship of life science and business development, through encouraging communication and cooperation between the different fields. After finalizing her graduate internship at Accenture Strategy, The Netherlands, focusing on the potential of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical supply chain, Marlou is starting a PhD in human psychopharmacology at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, striving for the aspired career in the pharmaceutical industry.

 Image sources

Image 1, Wharton: ‘Trying to Recapture the Magic’: The Strategy Behind the Pharma M&A Rush

The next big thing in Real Estate: ‘As a Service’

digital transformation, Dutch, Innovation, Inspiring, Leaders, Trends, Trendwatching

On a website about innovation, trends and new technology, a blog about Real Estate is not the first topic you would expect. Over the last decennia we’ve seen that the real estate industry is one of the most controversial market which is not chancing really fast.

 

Previous innovations in the real estate market

If we take a closer look to the market there are some changes visible already. These changes started in the last 10 years. Trends like BIM, LEAN, 3D printers and sustainability are already a trend for a while but during the credit crisis from 2008 it all speed up. When we take a closer look to BIM, LEAN and 3D printing in the real estate market we see the following:

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM) an digital presentation of the constructional and functional characteristics of a building; an effective way to create an building which ideally suits the customer.
  • LEAN, a management philosophy to create the maximum value for the customer focussing on less wasting
  • 3D-printing; an digital presentation and construction of (parts of) buildings; an effective way to create an building which ideally suits the customer.

All trends are really focused on an effective way to satisfying the customer.

 

Lack of innovation due to ‘provider markets’

Since the crisis also the rent and rental market is changing. In years of ‘provider markets’ innovations did not have big stimulations. The customers had to deal with the real estate which was available in the market. Long term visions of the real estate owners where not really focused to keep the users with longer contracts. When customers during the crisis stopped renting meters, a lot of real estate owners became in trouble. A huge amount of offices became empty and a change in management strategy was forced.

 

But then, the change kicked in

The providers market changed into a customers market, so the real estate owners were forced to think along with their clients. The products needed to fit the customers wishes otherwise they would have choose for someone else, a positive site of the crisis I would say. Flexible rental contracts with less square meters became the new standard. Since a few years the crisis in the real estate industry is fully over, but if you ask me, this movement has just started and is gaining more and more momentum.

 

Real Estate as a Service

One of the ‘products’ from the change into a customer market is real estate ‘as a service’ Over the last years, we see that companies are coming up which offer a working place with fully services.

 

“Real Estate as a Service can be observed as the shift from renting an office to renting a working place.“

 

Customers sign a contract for a kind of ‘all inclusive’ working spot for mostly a short period. Services like internet, cleaning, catering, office supplies are arranged by the real estate owner. Reservations are made on an internet platform and is it possible to rent already for a period of a few days.  It is a nice way to turn big, unattractive offices into attractive a fancy workspace for different companies. The buildings are besides a working place also a meeting place that can stimulates the cooperation between different companies in one building.

 

Real estate as a Service conclusion & outlook

The trend real estate ‘As a service’ fits completely in the current economy and suits the new generation. People like to have easy, fully service and want to be flexible.  This same culture is currently developing at companies. We’ve seen that companies can change really fast. Especially young companies and start-ups can grow fast, shrink fast or change philosophies which can change the need of real estate. People and companies want to focus on core businesses and they don’t want to carry about the non-core businesses. For the new generation the offices are also less relevant. As mentioned earlier in my opinion this trend has just started. The current ‘flexible’ generation is taking over the economy in the upcoming years. Companies will shift more and  more to an flexible part of their organisation. When we look to Real Estate as a Service I predict that this will become the standard for working places. Real Estate creators should already keep this in mind when construct an building. It should be possible for offices to ‘grow’, ‘shrink’ or change with their customers

 

If you have questions on this topic, please do not hesitate to reach out to me,

Best Jacco

 

Biography

Jacco Casteleijn is advisor project control at a consultant company. In this role Jacco advise project organisations to keep track on time, risk and money for big projects. Furthermore, is Jacco an entrepreneur in real estate an co-owner of Heica Vastgoed B.V. This company is an creator of turn-key buildings for rent or sell. If you want to catch-up with Jacco, you can contact him via his LinkedIn profile.

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Human Centric Design: “How to turn new technology into new money?”

Business Model Innovation, Business models, Design thinking, digital transformation, Human centric design, Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching, Uncategorized

New technologies are flooding the world, AI, VR, Blockchain, bots, edge computing and so on are regularly featured in blogs, articles and more. If you look at the Gartner Hype cycle you can’t but help thinking that the technological development is outrunning our imagination. When you take a closer look at those articles and blogs you see applications of new technology that you would have never foreseen. A question that is keep popping up is the value add for clients and end users. But besides all the technology wanderlust, in the end there is only one real question left…

“How to turn the meaning of new technology into new money?”

Today’s tech challenge

In a lot of boardrooms, this is a very big challenge. Because: “How do you use new technology in products and services that are beneficial for our clients and they are willing to pay for?” One key element is the need to question yourself on the following: “Are we client driven or technology driven?” Many companies these days are tech driven and, often fail in first instance. The problem with companies that put technology as their main driver, is that applying new technology is a goal in itself. The point of that is that it is not serving any company or customers issues or ambitions.

Today’s tech opportunity

The companies that do succeed, typically apply techniques that are derived from organisations that have an extreme customer focus (customer obsessed) and apply techniques like strategic design (design thinking, customer journeys, etc.) to reframe their thinking. The main driver to use these techniques is that the focus is more and more towards human centric design (HCD). But what is Human Centric Design. We would like to quote a line our of a brilliant piece from the Guardian called: “Why Human Centric Design matters”

“Steve Jobs once asserted, “True innovation comes from recognizing an unmet need and designing a creative way to fill it.” While he may not have been specifically referring to human centered design, you’d be forgiven for making the assumption. After all, the purpose of human centered design is to create innovative products, services and solutions through creative and collaborative practices.”

So how can digital transformation tools help you discover new applications for all these emerging technologies to apply Human Centric Design?

Building ground zero

The first step to apply Human Centric Design is by applying Digital Transformation tools to build ground zero. By applying the key principles of Design Thinking (Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test) you put yourself in the shoes of the customer/ end user and force yourself to reframe the initial question/ problem/ issue. It helps you identify why and for whom you are designing. Doing this from multiple viewpoints (reframing) will provide you with new insights and (sometimes) unexpected views of the initial problem.

Get ready for impact…

The second step is to point every single resource in putting Human Centred design to work. This method, originally developed by IDEO (ideo.org), turns imagination in to real solutions. By going through Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation steps you turn deep insights into human needs (empathy) in to multiple ideas, designs or prototypes to life and eventually to market. A key aspect to this is continuous learning in all of the phases.

Human Centred Design resulted in Impact

By applying deep learning and understanding your customers from the start, you maintain the ability to quickly adapt these learnings to what you are designing and building. As a result you will build a successful product or service since you have, throughout the process, kept the people you are doing this for at the heart of the process. By doing that the meaning of Human Centred Design is applied and you created meaningful innovation. Innovation, not driven by technology but driven by the people who are using it every day, using it to increase welfare and that is innovation as well companies as humans are willing to pay for.

Happy innovating, Bob & Rick

 

 

Biographies of the writers

Bob Ickenroth – Is lead digital consultant at inspearit Netherlands. In this role, Bob is responsible for assisting companies in their transformation towards a more digital self. He is a coach, consultant and trainer in topics such as innovation, business and IT alignment and value creation with the customer at heart. Bob has over 20 years of international experience bridging the gap between business and IT. More information about Bob can be found on his LinkedIn page.

Rick Bouter – is a consultant Emerging Technology within Accenture’s Consulting practice. Within his role, Rick helps companies to understand the impact of new and emerging technologies and how to apply them to create impact for their clients. In his spare time Rick writes articles about innovation and trends such as, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and others which can be found on his website: www.rickbouter.com. In particular, the impact of new technology on human, ethics and economics are topics that appeals to him. You can contact Rick via his LinkedIn page.

Image credit 1

Image credit 2: Source: IDEO

Image credit 3: Source: Stanford.edu

 

                                                                                                     

5 tech trends within Recruitment Marketing that you will often meet

Digital maturity, digital transformation, Innovation, Inspiring, Recruitment, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Opinion of Malique Steenbrink about the possibilities of technology within Recruitment Marketing that make HR processes more human.

5 tech trends within Recruitment Marketing that you will often meet

What influence does technology have in my field? A lot! When Rick asked me to write a guest blog I did already have some ideas. There are many technological trends that affect almost all industries, but certainly also within HR & Marketing, the cutting edge that I am involved in. You can think of optimizing your business processes, content distribution through smart algorithms, complete your data overview, but also new functions that you will encounter a lot in the future. So, I want to take you through a number of trends!

# 1 Virtual & Augmented Reality

In the construction and healthcare industry VR & AR has already adopted. Within recruitment it is an ideal way to give a glimpse into the kitchen. Think of company culture, the brand story, workplace, offices, cool projects, dress code, the delicious coffee machine, virtual tour, colleagues and person’s of interest that you will face in your first working week anyway. Curious? A few nice examples are (in the Netherlands): 360-degree VR experience makes Alliander stand out among many technicians, the use of the Hololens in healthcare at Omring. How did I use this directly by myself? During a kart hackathon for IT students and as a guided tour in an onboarding app.

# 2 Chatbots

The latent jobseeker is often not immediately interested in applying for jobs, but may be curious about you as an employer. It can therefore be a good idea to include your frequently asked questions (FAQ) on your career site and to give a candidate the opportunity to enter into a low-threshold conversation with HR or a colleague or the bot is given a suggestion. For example, Intercom is frequently used on the website for customer communication & support. Why don’t we just do this for HR as well?

# 3 Pre- & onboarding app

Where the first two trends can mainly support in the pre-hire phase, we can use apps during the onboarding and training period. Just as a virtual tour can replace a physical tour, an app can serve as a replacement or addition during the onboarding session and during the onboarding process. Technology ensures consistency in content, centralization of the process and also ensures two-way traffic with the new employee from the first moment. Want to know more about the app? Check it out!

# 4 Big data and smart algorithms

The company is growing and HR needs to hire a new employee. Where is the target group active? Which soft skills are we looking for and how are we going to test these skills? How would the candidate react in certain situations? In short: will we speak of a cultural fit or not? There are more and more companies that are focusing on data of target groups and making a business of it. Within the tight labor market targeted job marketing is important, because who doesn’t want this data of their target audience? After all, the goal is to fill that vacancy as quickly as possible with the right talent.

# 5 The internet and social platforms

Yes, we will almost forget this trend as it is so obvious. But no less important! It starts with attention to SEO, to ensure that your vacancies can also be found. In addition, a candidate will also visit you as an employer, think of LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed or directly through their network. Transparency is central, so ensure a good candidate experience.

Use technology smartly, but don’t forget the candidate experience

For those who think HR would not be human enough due to all those trends, is wrong. Thanks to the use of these technologies, we know much better where we can find each other, whether we will like each other and whether we see a long-term partnership. It remains human! Before you have an interview, you often have contact with HR beforehand and once at the table you and possibly your new team want to see if there is also a real-life match. So we will continue to use technology to optimize (administrative) processes, which means that we have more time for the human aspect. That is why we will face in the coming years more functions as professional happiness expert, onboarding specialist, employee experience manager, happiness officer and learning & development manager. Read more about it in the articles HR positions with a golden future (Dutch).

Also relevant, the article that appeared last week at Werf& about 9 ways in which AI in recruitment already proves its worth (Dutch) and 5 Fascinating uses of AI in Recruitment in 2018 (English).

Biography: Malique works as an Employer Branding Specialist at Appical – the app for new hire success. She is responsible for the content around the Employer Brand and the entire employee experience. Her mission is to tell stories from the heart of the organization and she closely follows tech trends in her field.

Would you like to know more about how you make a magnet from your employer brand? Ask her! She often says:

”Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world”.

Want to read more from Malique? She writes about Content Marketing, Social Influence, Employer Branding, Candidate Experience, Employee Journey and she shared a blog last month about her own onboarding experience.

LinkedIn

Appical blog (Dutch)

Appical blog (English)

Can you separate hype from trend?

Innovation, Inspiring, Leaders, Leading Digital, Trends, Trendwatching

If you look in fashion, music, energy or technology, the world is changing fast. Very fast. As CXO or management you live in an exited time where trends can be gamechangers for the long term. But as company leader you cannot know everything what is happening in your market and the world around it. Often you do not take enough time to dive into trends and their developments.

So that is what we will do for you!

“Trends are developments in a marketsegment, technology or whatsoever that can be gamechangers in a certain area for the long term.”

For the fact that the world is changing fast we want to help you determine what the future ‘might’ bring. Help you seperate hype from long term trends which can help you make strategic choices.

For the reason I am not an expert in every field I asked a few people to write a guest blog on trends they have identified within their field of expertise.

So what does a guest trendblog looks like? The bloggers will write about several marketsegments and developments they see happening in these markets.

  • Intro: What market or field do they write about
  • The need: What issues or ambitions are relevant in these markets
  • Enablers: What kind of enablers do they see
  • Trends: Towards what trends do these enablers develop
  • Impact: What impact will these trends have on business models
  • Chances: What kind of chanches will these trends offer companies

Are you also interested in writing a trend guest blog in a certain field? Let me know!

Rick

 

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