Pharmaceutical Technology - May 2022

Pharmaceutical Technology- May 2022

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Pharmaceutical Technology TRENDS IN MANUFACTURING 2022 eBOOK 59 "What is now possible is the deep integration of educational instruction through VR immersive programs with active automated coaching and validated randomized testing to quantify learn- ing effectiveness," says Duncan. "Having VR as an integrated learning platform provides holistic solutions that can help ensure educational objec- tives and training 'sticks', reducing training time and human error." Both men noted that while the pharma indus- try has trended toward automation where possible, advanced therapies are largely reliant on manual operation. Visualization technologies provide an avenue to impart this knowledge to new employees without relying on existing staff, who may or may not be suitable—or available—to provide it. "Imagine being tasked to document a complex assembly procedure for someone else in another country to replicate it," says Reyna. "How would you capture it on paper? What happens if the expert or the trained personnel leave?" Acclimation challenges While adopting these digital training tools is appeal- ing in terms of efficacy, Duncan notes that many com- panies struggle because they develop VR technologies to train employees on specific modes of actions on company specific equipment or processes. While this may seem natural, given the quickly evolving nature of the industry, significant company resources will be needed to keep the modules updated to current stan- dard operating procedures (SOP) and equipment con- firgurations. Putting an overemphasis on the transac- tional aspects of one's job can result in sacrifices for a more comprehensive education on the position. However, if the appeal of visualization technologies is in how they can give a remote hands-on experience, how does one realize these benefits without causing a significant company brain drain? One solution is to collaborate with consulting companies, such as QxP. "Ultimately, novel technologies must further learn- ing objectives and satisfy operational needs, which fre- quently require non-traditional learning modalities to get the most out of the technology," says Duncan. Alternatively, one can go directly to the manufac- turer, who often have the capacity to dedicate more resources toward various digital training technologies. A vision for the future While the associated cost might result in some skepti- cism toward the realized benefit of these technologies, their future in life sciences nonetheless remains bright. "In some processes, automation adoption will speed up, with the development of vertically integrated pro- duction. In this scenario, operators will become auto- mation technicians, requiring a much stronger under- standing of operating principles and automation data," says Duncan. "Other parts of the industry will have increasingly complex processes that will have heavily manual processes, where dexterity of the technician will be paramount. In both scenarios, training and education will be vital." Reyes has lofty expectations for the future of visual- ization technologies. For instance, he believes that one day companies equipment manufacturers will provide their equipment with VR/AR content instead of writ- ten materials. He also predicts that cognitive AR will develop to a point where software will be able to learn how tasks need to be performed and help workers per- form it the same way. "Companies that adopted digital training tech- nologies and experienced the benefits will con- tinue to expand it," says Reyna. "[We] won't go back to the old ways of doing things." PT

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