AI-Powered Digital Asset Management for the Pharma Industry
Digital asset management
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min read

AI-Powered Digital Asset Management for the Pharma Industry

AI-Powered Digital Asset Management for the Pharma Industry
June 2, 2023

As the pharmaceutical industry continues to expand its digital capabilities, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technologies are at the forefront of innovation. Enterprise-grade digital asset management (DAM) solutions with AI capabilities are driving new and improved ways for organizations to manage their valuable assets across all departments. By using AI, pharma companies can streamline processes while ensuring that asset content is secure and compliant with legal requirements such as Digital Rights Management (DRM). In this blog post, we'll explore how pharma companies are utilizing AI-powered DAM solutions to better manage their intellectual property and achieve success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

AI-powered Digital Asset Management in the Pharma Industry

The pharmaceutical industry generates vast digital assets related to drug development, testing, and commercialization. Digital asset management provides a structured system to store, organize, and quickly access all digital files.

Pharma companies may have assets like chemical compounds, medical images, patient data, marketing materials, and intellectual property documents. As drug pipelines expand and portfolios grow over time, these assets accumulate rapidly and become difficult to navigate without a proper system.

A digital asset management tool addresses this problem. It provides a centralized repository for all an organization's files, data, and media. Content can be tagged, indexed, classified, and searched swiftly. Users can quickly find any asset, even with poor metadata.

For pharma businesses, a digital asset management system reduces costs, saves time, increases productivity, and ensures compliance. It streamlines collaboration between cross-functional teams. It facilitates knowledge sharing across the organization. And it enables greater transparency and accountability over the company's most valuable digital information assets.

Challenges of Managing Digital Assets in the Pharma Industry

The pharmaceutical industry faces unique challenges in managing its digital assets. Pharma companies produce vast amounts of data at each stage of the drug lifecycle, from discovery to commercialization. This data includes chemical structures, pre-clinical trial results, clinical study information, regulatory filings, marketing materials, and patient health records.

As drug pipelines get longer and portfolios expand over time, the volume and variety of digital assets grow exponentially. Yet pharma organizations often lack a coordinated strategy to control these information assets. They are scattered across databases, file servers, email inboxes, and individual laptops.

This decentralization creates several issues. Redundancy emerges as the same files get stored in multiple places. Version confusion results from unclear ownership and version histories. Limited searchability occurs due to inadequate metadata, indexing, and classification. Non-compliance risks increase due to a lack of oversight over sensitive assets.

Collaboration is also one of the challenges faced in managing digital assets. Cross-functional teams struggle to find and share relevant assets efficiently. Valuable institutional knowledge gets diluted as critical employees leave the organization. Commercialization efforts become haphazard without a "single source of truth" on assets.

External threats loom large as well. Intellectual property is hard to protect without tight control over documents and data. Patient privacy violations can occur due to improper access restrictions. Regulatory penalties are possible for the inability to provide evidence on the lifecycle management of drugs, data, and other assets.

To address these challenges, pharma companies must adopt a comprehensive digital asset management strategy. They need governance policies to classify, index, version control, and secure various asset types. An enterprise-grade asset management platform is often required to integrate assets into a single, searchable repository.

Benefits of Digital Asset Management for the Pharma Industry

The pharma industry generates vast digital assets essential to innovation, compliance, and business success. Properly managing these assets brings significant benefits and opportunities if pharma companies adopt a coordinated strategy and integrated platform. Some of the benefits of Digital Asset Management for the pharma industry are as follows-

Improved Efficiency and Reduced Costs

A centralized asset repository eliminates redundant storage and governance of the same files across multiple systems. It minimizes searching for and integrating new or updated assets. Organization-wide policies and tagging also simplify finding content, reducing time spent navigating unclear file structures or searching inefficiently. All this can cut costs by 30-50% or more for IT infrastructure, administration, and employee productivity related to managing pharma's proliferating digital assets.

Enhanced Compliance

By providing controlled access, version history, audit trails, and metadata for classified assets, digital asset management helps pharma companies meet stringent regulations. It includes documenting drug specifications, raw materials, and compounds; maintaining patient consent, HIPAA compliance, and privacy; enabling product traceability; and preserving intellectual property. Well-governed systems make regulators comfortable with an organization's ability to monitor sensitive lifecycle information for compliance.

Optimized Collaboration

Pharma teams work across many functions, so needing different databases, file shares, and repositories hindered collaboration. A centralized repository breaks down these silos and always provides up-to-date content with searchable context by role, department, product, topic, etc. Scientists, medical experts, marketing managers, lawyers, and others can easily share patient data, feedback, designs, strategies, IP safeguards, and trial results to make fast, coordinated decisions and high-quality products.

Better Knowledge Management

As subject matter experts leave pharma companies, tacit knowledge escapes with them. By implementing structured metadata, wikis, comments, workflows, and controlled vocabulary within an asset management system, others index and use this knowledge. New hires can get ramped up quickly and continue advancing critical initiatives that have stalled or regressed otherwise. Knowledge management also fuels better insight, quality, and efficiency gains over time by re-using methodology, lessons learned, and best practices across the organization.

Improved Version Control

Without version control, pharma teams may work from outdated assets, integrate conflicting changes, or make decisions based on inaccurate information. An asset management system assigns version numbers, tags, and descriptions to all controlled assets like documents, images, codes, and datasets. It locks down approved versions as "final" while still allowing edits to drafts. Contributors provide change summaries, and access can be set by version, date range, or other filters for accuracy and preventing disruption.

Streamlined Commercialization

Navigating the complex lifecycle of getting drugs to market requires coordinating countless documents, data, media, and details across many roles and departments. An asset management system provides a single, integrated view of all critical information for each product. It includes chemistry, manufacturing, and control specifications; non-clinical and clinical study protocols, results, and reports; regulatory filings and agency communications; marketing materials; intellectual property documents; and legal contracts. Better visibility and control allow for faster, higher-quality decision-making and issue resolution at each product milestone.

Robust Security and Governance

Pharma companies must protect sensitive assets like patient information, IP, trade secrets, formulas, and other controlled data. An asset management system enforces granular access control based on roles, credentials, and a need-to-know basis. It monitors for unauthorized access or downloads. It facilitates encryption, rights management, and secure sharing of assets. Tighter governance also provides an audit trail for accountability. Intelligent metadata, tagging, and search capabilities make assets easier to classify, restrict, and monitor appropriately based on sensitivity.

Reduced risks

Pharma organizations can mitigate significant risks by implementing a strategic, controlled, and integrated approach to managing digital assets across their lifecycle. It includes security threats, compliance penalties, knowledge loss, inefficiency, runaway costs, lack of innovation, fragmented commercialization efforts, and damage to business value, legal standing, finances, or reputation. Well-architected policies, processes, and technology give visibility and control over risks, issues, and opportunities — enabling proactive management and swifter response times to potential value-at-risk.

Key Features of Digital Asset Management Software for Pharmaceuticals

Digital asset management software provides the governance and integration that pharma companies need to optimize information assets across the enterprise. Some of the critical features of DAM that will be useful for an organization operating in the pharmaceutical industry are as follows-  

  • Centralized storage: An asset management platform aggregates all digital files, data, content, and media into one centralized and secure repository. It includes assets from repositories, databases, file shares, and individual laptops.
  • Metadata and tagging: These tools allow applying descriptive tags, keywords, taxonomies, and other metadata to provide structure and findability for any asset. Metadata can also enable advanced search, filtering, categorization, and personalization of content.
  • Version control: This feature keeps track of revisions and preserves previous versions of assets like documents, images, code, databases, etc. Authors can lock down approved versions, set access by version or date range, and provide version descriptions and change summaries.
  • Governed workflows: These tools provide templates, checklists, best practices, and approvals management for common pharma workflows. It includes reviewing trial protocols, protecting intellectual property, ensuring compliance, evaluating drug candidates, or launching new products. It governed workflow speed and standardized processes while improving quality and oversight.
  • Integrations: Software integrates with other cloud storages, security platforms, collaboration tools, and business software. Bidirectional integrations allow pharma organizations to manage all information in context across the technology stack.

Considerations When Choosing a DAM Solution for the Pharma Industry

Pharma companies must select digital asset management software that meets the unique demands of their industry while aligning with business goals. The following factors will determine if a DAM solution will succeed for pharmaceutical organizations-  

Regulatory Compliance

Compliance with regulations is mandatory, necessitating audit trails, access controls, encryption, DRM, archiving, and other features to satisfy standards like HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11, GDPR, and industry best practices. Proper controls over assets are needed at each stage of development, testing, commercialization, and post-market surveillance. Reporting and alerts help ensure continuous compliance while maintaining flexibility for innovations.


Pharmaceutical pipelines and product portfolios scale enormously over time, exponentially increasing the volume and complexity of assets under management. Solutions must scale horizontally and vertically to support potentially millions of assets without impacting usability, performance, responsiveness, or governance. As the company expands, room for growth is also needed to integrate more systems, users, features, and asset types. Scalable architecture is required to avoid management becoming unwieldy.


Integration with other critical systems and tools, including ECM/DMS, CMDB, security platforms, collaboration software, and business applications, is essential. Bidirectional, API-based integrations allow managing assets in context across the technology stack and gaining valuable insights facilitating informed decision-making. Integrations also enable automated workflows between solutions, reducing the rekeying of information and associated errors.


Pharma teams work across functions, locations, and time zones, mandating an environment that fosters seamless global collaboration. Features for sharing, discussing, commenting on, and rediscovering assets aid productivity, quality, and governance. Governed workflows can coordinate review cycles and approvals involving many stakeholders, speeding development and commercialization while improving oversight.

Control and oversight

Solutions must provide intensive controls, auditing, reporting, and alerting on asset access, usage, revision, download, and other activity due to high regulatory requirements. Granular permissions, monitors, log searches, notifications, and approvals prevent security issues, ensure data integrity, and support accountability. Alerts notify of anomalies, risky behavior, or policy violations, enabling quick responses to maintain compliance.

Best Practices for Implementing Digital Asset Management in Pharma

Implementing digital asset management in pharmaceutical organizations requires establishing best practices for success. By following specific guidelines, pharma companies can realize substantial value from optimizing information across clinical development, testing, manufacture, marketing, and post-market surveillance of drugs. Some of these guidelines are as follows-  

  • Determine key goals: Define specific objectives around managing assets more efficiently, enabling compliance, improving collaboration, and controlling risks or other benefits. These goals will guide choosing a DAM solution and implementation approach.
  • Assess current state: Map existing repositories, databases, file shares, security practices, and keywords/metadata schemas used for various asset types. Identify redundancies, lack of integration, compliance issues, or other problems to resolve with DAM. Determine human and technical resources needed.
  • Select a solution: Evaluate DAM platform capabilities and vendor offerings based on asset types, regulations, collaboration needs, scalability requirements, and integration priorities. Choose a partner and product that simplifies adoption and provides tools for success.
  • Build an information architecture: Develop a taxonomy, metadata schema, tagging approach, and folder structure suitable for organizing and governing assets. Include provisions for sensitive data or content that requires extra security and controls. A consistent, logical architecture is essential for finding and using assets.
  • Apply governance policies: Establish policies around permissions, access, downloads, sharing, versioning, retention, encryption, workflows, and other topics. Determine oversight and enforcement procedures to satisfy regulatory compliance needs. Educate users on policies to maintain integrity, privacy, and reduced risk.
  • Drive change management: Educate leadership and key stakeholders on the benefits of the DAM solution and new ways of working. Train users thoroughly on features and policies to ensure fluent adoption. Promote the importance of asset management best practices for business outcomes. Provide resources for getting help or reporting issues.
  • Migrate historical assets: Determine the scope of content to migrate from legacy systems into the new DAM solution based on access needs, sensitivity, and regulatory requirements. Ensure migrated assets retain critical metadata, context, relationships, and any previously applied controls before archives are potentially purged.
  • Continuously optimize: Monitor how well assets are managed, risks are mitigated, and value is gained from the DAM solution. Gather feedback to improve usability, user experience, and integration. Keep policies, architecture, features, oversight, and education current with needs. Develop new best practices as required for maintaining and building on initial successes.

How ioMoVo’s DAM Can Help?

ioMoVo is a leading digital asset management provider, offering solutions tailored to the unique needs of pharmaceutical organizations. ioMoVo's digital asset management software helps pharma companies overcome challenges in managing huge volumes of critical content across the entire product lifecycle.

ioMoVo DAM provides a centralized, secure repository for all digital assets like clinical documents, marketing materials, intellectual property files, device designs, chemical structures, and patient health records. ioMoVo DAM eliminates silos and integrates tightly with systems and business software. It gives pharma teams a single, governed source of truth for information and makes it easier to find and share assets in context.

Regulatory compliance is mandatory, and ioMoVo DAM strictly enforces controls around access, downloads, sharing, metadata changes, versioning, and more through granular permissions, audits, alerts, and reports. Based on sensitivity, control can be set at the asset, folder, user, or group level. ioMoVo DAM facilitates securely distributing controlled content to authorized partners and stakeholders through digital rights management.

Pharmaceutical pipelines and portfolios expand rapidly, but ioMoVo DAM scales economically and seamlessly to support growth. ioMoVo's solutions handle countless assets without impacting performance, usability, or governance. They integrate with additional tools and storage tiers as needed. ioMoVo builds flexibility to accommodate innovations while maintaining the highest control, integrity, and compliance standards.

In summary, ioMoVo DAM delivers comprehensive functionality, governance, integration, and scale that pharmaceutical organizations require to maximize the value of information as a strategic business asset. ioMoVo builds partnerships to support clients' goals and optimize solutions based on best practices and lessons learned. ioMoVo strives to become an extension of clients' teams, helping realize opportunities through improved content management across the entire product lifecycle.


The pharmaceutical industry can benefit significantly from implementing digital asset management solutions. By adopting a DAM system, pharma companies can streamline their content workflows, reduce risks of compliance violations, and improve brand consistency. However, they must navigate challenges such as complex regulatory requirements, data privacy concerns, and evolving technologies. By following best practices and choosing the right DAM solution, pharma companies can future-proof their content management systems and drive better results from their digital assets. With the right strategy in place, digital asset management can enable the pharma industry to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately provide better patient outcomes.

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