Machine learnt system is better than numerous physicians put together - Dr. Sarfraz Niazi


CEO Round Table at Pakistan Pharma Summit 2019
Machine learnt system is better than
numerous physicians put together
- Dr. Sarfraz Niazi
Genomes of patients will help develop a drug
which is very effective - Sohail Ahmad Mateen

KARACHI: We should talk about what is going to come tomorrow. Let us talk about machine intelligence and not artificial intelligence. It will be an effective player. Machine learnt system is better than numerous physicians put together. This was stated by Dr. Sarfaraz K. Niazi an eminent research scientist and innovator who has done lot of work in the field of biosimilars as well while summing up the discussion in the CEO Round Table at the Fourth Pakistan Pharma Summit 2019 organized by PPMA held on April 24, 2019. The theme for discussion during the session was Pharma 3.0- From Drugs to Healthy Outcomes. The members of the panel included Javed Ghulam Mohammad Group Managing Director and CEO of Martin Dow Group, Mr. Haroon Qasim Managing Director PharmEvo (Pvt) Ltd., Ms. Nusrat Munshi, Managing Director AGP (Private) Ltd., Mr.Suhail Ahmad Matin Chief Executive Officer and GM GlaxoSmithKline, Consumer Healthcare Pakistan, Tauqeer Ul Haq, Managing Director Sante (Pvt) Ltd, and Mr.Hamid Raza CEO Neutro Pharma (Pvt) Ltd. The session was moderated by Dr.Zakiuddin Ahmad, Director Digital Health at PharmEvo.

Dr. Sarfaraz K. Niazi summing up the CEO Round Table  discussion at the 4th Pakistan
Pharma Summit 2019 organized by  PPMA at Karachi last month.

Earlier in his introductory remarks Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmad talked about fundamentals of health care, patient safety and ePatinet. He pointed out that digitalized patient is empowered. He also highlighted the importance and growing value of digital health which will generate new business.

Participating in the discussion Mr. Haroon Qasim said that digital issue has a bright future. Pharma 4.0 is related to Data Platforms role. It is smart factory where human involvement is minimum.

Mr. Javed Ghulam Mohammad opined that digital technology, artificial intelligence, information technology are all gaining importance in pharmaceutical industry and it can no more work in isolation. We need to discuss how it can be beneficial for us and how it can be implemented. This is related to new drugs discovery, proper clinical trials cost will be reduced. It will be increasingly used in regulatory appraisal. If we go to the semi developed market like Malaysia, for new drug registration you need to submit a dossier and if it is incomplete, the system will not accept it and once it is accepted, it has a timeline for further processing and the timeline has to be followed. If the dossier prepared is not in conformity with the system, it will not be accepted by the system. We should go to the patients and have direct interaction with them. Some companies are doing it. Some are using it in supply chain. For all this a proper system is needed to ensure that the products are delivered on time. Digital technology can play a great role in the pharmaceutical industry, he remarked.

Some of the speakers at the Pharma Summit 2019 photographed alongwith Dr. Kaiser Waheed
Sheikh Chairman Pharma Summit and Mr. Zahid Saeed Chairman PPMA

Ms. Nusrat Munshi stated that the new generation wants instant solution of their problems. Hence it is essential that we in the pharmaceutical industry start adopting this new technology otherwise we will be following a generation which does not exist. Apple and Android are talking about balanced baby grooming or well-baby.

Mr. Tauqeer Ul Haque called for collaboration between different stake holders. Company develops product and marketing based work in isolation. There is no collaboration at all with other stake holders. Now there is great change which necessitates that stake holders have to collaborate and become partners with Information Technology, Medial Technology companies, healthcare facilities, regulatory bodies and physicians. They all have to come together for collaboration and give healthcare solutions. Move for collaborative approach will ensure provision of high quality medicines. Pharmaceutical industry should move towards this. E detailing should be started and some companies are already doing this. We can develop Mobile Apps. It is an excellent tool for engagement between healthcare professionals. Patients can ask questions. Since we are working in the field of ophthalmology, we are trying to develop a Mobile App about Glaucoma. We can disseminate latest research to the physicians. We can develop disease specific portals. Experts can be invited even from outside the country. By using this technology, we can improve efficiency and productivity. We can link the DHQ and Tehsil Hqr Hospitals and use this link for continuing medical education (CME) activities.

Prof. Saeed Qureshi VC DUHS was the chief guest at the inaugural session of 4th
Pakistan Pharma Summit 2019. Picture shows him photographed along with Dr. Kaiser
Waheed, Mr. Ikhtiar Baig from FCC&I, Dr. Musadik Malik, Mr. Zahid Saeed, Dr. Ali
Akhai and his sister, Mr.Haroon Qasim and Mr. Hamid Raza.

Mr. Hamid Raza referred to the phenomenal growth in the hotel industry. There are companies which do not own these accommodations, beds but they are doing tremendous business. Future of the industry is in App or Mobile. Adoption of these new technologies is needed but the question is how fast we can do that. He further stated that we must think how we can engage the physicians. How to control the patient? What is more important for the patients and their life? Education is extremely important. Compliance is much better is the patient is educated, he remarked.

Mr. Sohail Ahmad Mateen talked about creating awareness, connectivity, use of different devices, data. Transformation, he opined, has taken place. With Data the doctor’s role has become that of an advisor. Give the patient knowledge and empower them. Artificial Intelligence will redefine the role of a physician in some areas. How AI is working in pharmaceutical industry. He also referred to personalized medicine. Genomes of patient swill help develop a drug which is very effective. It will work wonders in cancer. One can capture data of life style of the patients. He also talked about the intelligent devices which will be controlled by the patients. He then referred to the menace of polio which has been eliminated from the entire world except three countries including Pakistan. We need to convince our population. He wondered if the pharmaceutical industry was playing an effective role in health. Technology can play a vital role in creating awareness among the public. We can create platforms where patients can talk to each other. Let us ask the patients what they are looking for? We can talk about prevention. Just look at the working of Goggle and Amazon. We have to collaborate with them. We can communicate with the consumers for which we have to move fast, PPMA should develop a platforms for the benefit of the patients. Pharmaceutical industry is already contributing 1% to the Research Fund and we need to ensure its judicious use by the authorities.

Some of the speakers at the Pharma Summit 2019 photographed alongwith Dr. Kaiser Waheed
Sheikh Chairman Pharma Summit 2019, Mr. Haroon Qasim and others.

Ms. Nusrat Munshi referred to the Smart Phones and felt that patient centered solutions should be found by using this knowledge. Patient will need regular access to data from their birth onward. One will have to analyze the data and suggest solutions to their problems.

In the next session Mr.Jawed Iqbal Co-Founder and CEO of Transform discussed how the pharmaceutical companies can improve their performance in the digital game. He pointed out that in future human body and machines are going forward to work together. What is going to happen in 2020 and beyond, you should have your mind open for that. Now Google is also a pharmaceutical industry. Innovations in diseases have come. Supply Chain and Finance is going to be automation hence spend more money on technology, you have made lot of money in the past. Spend on yourself on learning otherwise someone else will be chipping in your business. He urged the drug manufactures to open their mind-set and asked do you have a vision for your business. Find out where you stand. Ask someone to make a road map for you. Automation is coming. Technology is moving fast. Move up. Are you ready to give way for a second world?

Challenging Conventional
Medical Wisdom

Dr. Asad I. Mian Chair Dept. of Emergency Medicine and Director Critical Creative Innovative Thinking at Aga Khan University shared the experience of Aga Khan University in Challenging Conventional Medical Wisdom in the age of Data and Disruption. He first described in detail the Pakistan’s immense burden of disease and then asked do we need innovations in healthcare? He was of the view that simply importing Health-tech from the high income countries was not enough. We need to do some improvisation and trickle up innovations. Hackathons and other activities enable local innovators to develop their own solutions for low resource settings. He then referred to Africa where most of the people have skipped the landlines and went straight to wireless. At times challenges become opportunities for future growth. It is unfortunate that Pakistan has the third position in the world as regards under five mortality. Child births are the leading cause of death. A vast majority of people in rural areas have no access to surgical facilities. We are facing a triple burden of communicable diseases, Non-communicable diseases and trauma. We have no injury prevention mechanism in Pakistan. Greater suicidal tendencies are being seen and all this call for innovations in treatment.

Syed Jamshed Ahmad Deputy CEO PharmEvo presenting a memento to Dr. Musadik
Malik at 
the dinner during Fourth Pakistan Pharma Summit 2019. Also seen in the
picture are 
Mr. Zahid Saeed Chairman PPMA, Dr. Kaiser Waheed Sheikh Chairman
Pharma Summit 
2019 and Mr. Haroon Qasim Managing Director PharmEvo.

Continuing Dr. Asad Mian said that Low and Middle Income countries enjoy a unique position. They have limited resources and limited innovations. Rich countries, Dr.Asad Mian stated can learn a great deal about health and human services from the poor ones. Combining the learning from the rich and poor countries can give us an insight on how we can improve healthcare. He then talked about the experience of instilling creativity and innovation into biomedicine and healthcare at Aga Khan University. There is greater standardization of medical systems. Data is given too much emphasis and critical thinking leads us to innovations. Creativity leads to innovative thoughts, critical thinking, and innovation in App and Device stimulation, drugs. Further critical thinking resulted in business models. First problems are identified at the CCIT. Women patients come in greater number with innovations. He then talked about Hacking medicine and how some of the emergency medicine problems were solved. Using this approach we have been successful in designing a low cost ventilation device for which patent has been filed. Our incubation programme also covers developing a mentorship network and strengthens multidisciplinary linkages across Pakistan. There are numerous innovations which are currently in the testing phase at CCIT at AKU. He also talked about potential impact of their collaborative health innovation mission. There is more public and private partnership, one can innovate and disrupt through multidisciplinary which will help in meeting targets of Sustainable Development Growth. He concluded his presentation by emphasizing on better community engagement, creating citizen scientists which will lead to decrease in morbidity and mortality besides sustainable improvement in Health.

Health- Tech Start up

Ms. Jahan Ara Member Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Information Technology and Telecom was the host in this session. Mr. Faisal Khan Founder and CEO of Averos was the first speaker whose presentation was on Biology is the Next Digital. He discussed in detail the molecular biology 101, The Human Genome. He then gave details of DNA sequence data and pointed out that a living organism is now in the text file. The cost of Genome sequencing has come down tremendously as compared to a few years ago. DNA synthesis cost as well as DNA engineering cost has been drastically reduced. Something which used to cost hundred thousand dollars is now costing just ten thousand dollars, he added. Engineering principles consist of Design, Test and Build. Now each enzyme can be engineered at the DNA level. Speaking about the industrialization of biology he mentioned APIs, Vaccines, Enzymes, Biologics, Flavors, Fragrances, Materials, Fibers, Fuel, Bioremediation, Solvents, Sensors, Compounds and Data storage. Biology, he further opined, has transformed, its molecular, its data driven. Costs are like software now. It offers a big opportunity to reset our Research and Development agenda. All these things are happening in Pakistan in Peshawar. This century belongs to Biology but the question remains Is Pakistan ready for this, he remarked.

Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram CEO of Sehat Kahani said that in Pakistan many female doctors are not practicing medicine due to various reasons. Almost 74% of pregnant women have no antenatal care. She then highlighted the concept of eHealth Clinics and said that so far they have developed twenty three clinics and examined over ninety thousand patients. Fifty doctors registered with PM&DC are affiliated with this. We provide health education and use eHealth applications. Digital Healthcare Platforms helps to communicate with the doctors 24/7.

Mr. Faisal Masood Director Business Development at MedWorks talked about managing data and then sharing it with the physicians, patient connectivity in view of reduced number of healthcare providers. He then gave details of MedWorks Mobile App. MedWorks Web App is a platforms whereby institutions can send data and share requests to patients. On patient’s approval using their smart phones, the institutions staff can have access to patient data routinely.

Mr. Rizwan Buttar Chief Innovation Officer at Pharma Trax stated that the use of this technology is helpful in tracking, tracing and verification besides improving patient safety. It also results in cost reduction, prevents medical errors, prevent Adverse Drug Reactions. It can be used for recall alert batch wise, reduce medicine shortages. It can be used for patient engagement, also enables Pharmacovigilance and strategic planning.

Mr. Zeeshan Aftab Co-Founder of Circle Health was of the view that adoption of new technology becomes difficult. It needs many partnerships. We are looking for visionary local companies for collaboration. We can develop patient focused strategies but pricing is a challenge. People wish to solve problems of Health and Education. They come to us .Working together we can help them, he added.