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AI looms large in Pharma

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The margin for error in the pharmaceutical industry is very small; contaminated medications or unsanitary testing kits pose a threat to consumers. To ensure pills, medical devices, and kits arrive in the consumer’s hands defect-free, they must pass inspection. Vision systems today measure unit dimensions, shape, color, and the presence of embossed codes. They can also ensure that packaging has not been compromised or determine label presence and orientation.

Now, AI is increasingly used in conjunction with vision for quality assurance.

In this issue’s cover story, contributing editor Jake Saltzman chronicles the efforts of companies such as Neurocle, Pleora, Omron, and others, noting how AI algorithms have progressed beyond solely assessing the shape and color of a pill. They can now gauge pill contents and distribution to determine efficacy and safety.

Artificial intelligence is also refining the front end of drug research and development. The Swiss biomedical firm Roche, for one, is using AI for the sorting and analysis of large volumes of data. This has led to greater expediency and accuracy in the drug development pipeline.

But the use of AI is not without its cautions. Its use is restricted in specific safety-critical applications, with algorithms that conform to rules put forth by governing or supervisory bodies. Learn more in “AI Streamlines Inspection in the Pharmaceutical Industry,” which begins here.

Must-attend conference

By the time you are reading this, the Vision Spectra Conference will be close at hand. This year’s virtual event (July 18-20) will include sessions covering camera and sensor innovations, optics and illumination, vision-guided robotics and logistics, field- programmable gate arrays, and the ever-expanding applications for deep learning.

And don’t miss this year’s keynote on “Technology and the Future of Work,” from world-renowned logistics and supply chain expert Yossi Sheffi of MIT. For more, turn to the show preview here.

Vision Spectra
Summer 2023

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