Gino Scarangella
Sr. Director, Life Sciences NAM
Dassault Systèmes
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Dassault Systèmes: Business Solutions Through Smart Data Use

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 08/04/2020 - 11:50

Q: How does the company bring technology and innovation to pharma and biotechnology companies?

A: Dassault Systèmes views life sciences in three significant sectors: pharma and biotechnology, medical devices, and patient care. With our recent acquisition of Medidata in October of 2019 we really expanded our capacity, which allowed us to focus on this new market. Prior to 2013, DASSAULT SYSTEMES focus was on medical devices manufacturing and R&D in medical equipment.

In 2012, following the acquisition of companies like Accelyrs, Dassault Systèmes’ life sciences vision broadened to include biotech and pharma. The Accelyrs became the BIOVIA brand.  With the addition of BIOVIA, and other brands like DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, SIMULIA AND CATIA, we could take our successes in other industries, and leverage the LifeSciences know how that the now BIOVIA brand brought to the company, and from there began the path that would later introduce our customers into the digital age within life sciences.

Dassault Systèmes has the capacity to break down barriers currently blocking companies because of the siloed solutions that have been deployed for so many years, by leveraging a platform architecture that connects applications so they may share data across the spectrum of the different work cycles within life sciences. This allows companies to take advantage of data flow across the entire business to increase productivity and reduce the time from ideation to actual production. This eventually leads to a drop in R&D costs and a much faster delivery of therapies to patients.

With pharmaceutical companies, it is common to have sufficient data collected throughout the years across many projects, and yet companies find themselves redoing many of the experiments they have done because they cannot access all the information gathered and stored, because it is easier to redo the experiment than search through their own data pools.  Our task here is to enable them to access that data and show them how, through technology, they can continuously improve their processes and performance through better data access and collaboration.

The goal in leveraging all of our tools lead us to our ability to support the market of patient care. With the acquisition of Medidata, Dassault Systèmes can now directly support how the inclusion of clinical data in conjunction with all of the other elements in the lifecycle for developing therapies and devices impacts patient care. With this, we are also able to leverage IoT for patient care and develop mechanisms to demonstrate the building process of a medical device that will become a tool to treat the patient. Getting data continuously and directly from patients is also a plus that technology can offer. To date, there are several apps and wearables that allow people to track their own vital signs and habits, which is of great value to medical professionals who can, in turn, deliver a more accurate diagnosis based on the person’s accumulated data, instead of basing the diagnosis on just the most recent symptoms or vital signs.

Q: How do Dassault Systèmes’ solutions for medical devices improve performance?

A: In the past, we had a strong product life-cycle management suite that worked from R&D to manufacturing. Data was key during this process. Allowing data to transfer freely from when you are ideating on what product to create, through manufacturing and distribution offers a huge added value to the customer. Dassault Systèmes has tied all those pieces together through state-of-the-art applications that can work with a company to also simulate the production process so clients can see what this will involve before they start operations. Thus linking the virtual and the real. Moreover, we show MedDevice companies how to take advantage of the digitalization of all their processes across all work streams enabling them to become more efficient. An example: within warehouses the automation of certain processes or the correct collection of data uses information productively, and accurately, taking away mistake driven rework, and increases overall efficiency. Improving technology within a warehouse does not only improve efficiency but it also lowers costs and increases workers’ safety.

For Dassault Systèmes, it is very important to first understand the processes of the customer instead of just jumping in with precanned solutions.  Our expertise and ability to consult with our customers, allows us to better understand and recommend the right process and technology to support a long-term sustainable solution. By leveraging this approach, we adapt our services to solve problems without being a disruptive force.

Q: How is your 3DExperience solution a differentiator for Dassault Systèmes?

A: 3DEXPERIENCE connects the company’s different work streams, across business operations and transforms them into a unified engine, focused on reaching the company’s goals. It enables the sharing of all relevant information, whether it relates to the manufacturing process or R&D data, and increases its value by being accessible and useful to the people that leverage it. One example is our work with a pharmaceutical that currently in clinical testing their new treatments to fight COVID-19, without a digital framework to do that, finding all the relevant data to derive a new therapy from the research of past experiments and therapy data would be much slower and complicated.

Having an interconnected process with elements that recognize different data components and how they affect the business, increases efficiency and reduces costs. Customers that have adopted our solutions have reduced their time to market by 20 to 35 months and increased their probability of success by over 30 percent. Costs reductions, conservatively, can be between five and 10 percent per year and overall, quality risks can fall by over 25 percent.

Q: How are Dassault Systèmes digital tools helping to grow healthcare access?

A: We have a very successful example in our Living Heart project. Through this solution, companies can create a simulation of an individual’s heart and then look for positive treatments. Medical devices companies use this to make sure their products work as designed. For the medical professional that is actually performing the work, this solution may enable them to take the data collected from the patient and project it into the Living Heart system. This could allow Surgeons to use a heart model driven by the data from their patient to practice before the actual surgery.

Dassault Systèmes also has a Living Brain project that delivers a simulation of the brain and also allows surgical simulations for medical professionals, or even determining the efficacy a drug has getting past the blood brain barrier.  With the participation of more companies, we could even develop full body projects to ensure a safer performance for the medical professional and the patient.

Q: How is Dassault Systèmes contributing to fight COVID-19?

A: Our clients from the automotive industry started an initiative to collaborate and manufacture ventilators with our customers in the healthcare sector.  Our solution had what it takes to support the design and approach to build those ventilators. We were able to put both parts together and show them how to get from point A to point B in the fastest way possible. The cloud was leveraged, to share supportive digital tools during this period which enabled quicker communications and transfer of information and designs. We also helped during manufacturing trainings to ensure and support business continuity.

Additionally, we enabled our customers, to leverage existing data of therapies that could be useful in helping COVID-19 patients. There is no cure yet but some treatments are out there that targeted similar symptoms and many companies are taking a look at how to follow up on those past developments, to see if they apply.

Another way we helped our customers, focused on business continuity, especially in the supply chain, which was disrupted during the pandemic as some global suppliers stopped exports, or shut down completely. We helped our customers through planning in supply operations find other suppliers manage labor resources, to continue working even amid staff shortages when some employees had to be sent home due to vulnerability to the virus or because of social distancing measures.

I am proud to note, that within our own company, we tried to transmit confidence to our employees and enable our own business continuity while taking measure for the safety of those who still had to tackle essential work.

Q: What are Dassault Systèmes’ near-term plans?

A: We want to showcase how our platform can help companies build and leverage ideas for the benefit of the patient. We will continue to develop ideas that focus on impacting patients through the smart and effective use of data, and the digitization of the work enterprise within life science companies. In the end, our goal is to ensure that, through technological support, companies can deliver better personalized health, better patient experiences and improve access to therapies for people.

 

Dassault Systèmes is a Dassault Group subsidiary that focuses on software that transforms the way products are designed, manufactured and supported. Dassault Systèmes’ collaborative solutions foster social innovation, expanding the possibilities of the virtual world to improve the real world

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst