Pharmaceutical Technology - November 2018

Pharmaceutical Technology - eBook

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8 Pharmaceutical Technology LABORATORY BEST PRACTICES 2018 P h a r mTe c h . c o m IMAGE COURTESY OF APPRENTICE.IO Augmented Reality F or years, virtual reality (VR) has been developing more of a presence in training applications. but its use in pharma R&D and manufacturing has been limited by the fact that it operates in its own world, separating the user from ev- eryday reality in the lab or on the facility f loor. When Google Glass appeared, companies began to see the possibilities of moving beyond virtual to augmented or mixed reality, which juxtaposes the real and the virtual, allowing users to refer to documentation, demonstra- tions, or other data to perform their jobs. As the hardware required has improved, the technology is being used by growing number of pharmaceutical companies. Merck, for example, is using Microsoft's augmented reality headset, HoloLens, at several of its facilities. In 2017, the company evaluated the impact that the technology had on a mock analytical method transfer at three of its R&D sites, and reported a 10-fold gain in efficiency based on time savings, cost reduction, and the ability to examine and discuss data in real time (1). Apprentice ios is focusing on pharma and biopharma applications for augmented reality. Founded in 2014, the company is capitalizing on the technology's ability to retrieve and validate data in real-time, and to establish a clear audit trail. The company, which already of- fers out-of-the-box integration to OSI's PI platform, is now adding interfaces that will extend its platform directly into batch record- keeping and manufacturing execution systems (MES) software on the facilities side, and to electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) and laboratory information systems (LIMS) in the lab. It plans to intro- duce products using the new Magic Leap headset (photo) in 2019. Apprentice is now working with more than half of the top 25 pharma companies at locations throughout the world, and has raised Mixed Reality Gains a Foothold in the Lab Rather than isolating the user in a virtual world, mixed reality allows contextualized data to be shared in real time, improving assays, standard operating procedures, workflows, and overall tech transfer. Agnes Shanley

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