BoxWorks Recap: Managing Regulated Content Within the Life Sciences Industry

Daelight attended the recent BoxWorks conference to learn more about what Box is doing within the Life Sciences industry. Many of our customers are happily using Box today for document collaboration of their non-regulated content. However, we were curious to see if that usage could be extended to managing regulated content as well. There were a number of interesting sessions throughout the conference (along with a hilarious interview between Aaron Levie and Steve Kerr!) but here are our main takeaways ….

GxP Compliance – Starting earlier this year, Box will, through a subscription, validate your repository to allow customers to manage regulated content in a compliant manner inside the same repository where non-regulated content exists. They follow a GAMP5 process that produces your typical validation documentation, which is available to customers through a vendor audit. While this is similar to what other vendors provide, we thought their automated daily testing was innovative. Like most multi-tenant environments, Box may update its software several times a week. In order to ensure key system features continue to operate as expected, Box runs a series of automated test scripts against the repository twice a day. These results are uploaded directly to the customer’s admin folder. Box can validate new repositories or apply this validation retrospectively to existing repositories.

Skills – No IT conference would be complete without mentioning the much-hyped artificial intelligence/machine learning space, and BoxWorks didn’t disappoint with many sessions related to their latest offering Box Skills. With Box Skills, information can be automatically extracted from documents, video and images and added as searchable metadata. This feature is becoming more commonplace now in the Content Collaboration/Management space with similar solutions from M-Files and Docxonomy. And while the base capabilities are useful, what has us excited at Daelight is the ability to leverage the Box Skills Kit, currently in Beta, that allows developers to build custom skills that can integrate with other third-party machine learning services. With custom skills, for example, we can potentially extract product data such as Routes of Administration, Dosage Forms and Strengths from a repository containing SmPCs and SPL documents.

Vertical Applications – Like Salesforce, Box doesn’t appear interested in creating vertical applications on top of their platform but instead will rely on partners to do so. Some partners such as Medidata and IQVIA have integrated their solutions with Box to implement a handful of use cases but it doesn’t appear they have plans to unplug the existing content management technologies they currently leverage and replace it with Box. Generis announced plans to extend CARA to work with Box. This is an offering that Daelight will continue to follow. Many Life Sciences customers are already using CARA as a front end to Documentum (OpenText) so it will be interesting to see if they will begin moving their on-premise document repositories to Box over time.

In summary, we like the direction that Box is moving in and the attention they are giving to regulated content management. We believe our Life Sciences customers, especially those in “Big Pharma,” need more established vendors like Box to enter this space that is currently being dominated by Veeva and OpenText.