Technology offers ample opportunities to industries that are eager to change the way in which they conduct their businesses. Among these opportunities is the process of automation.
What changes will automation bring to the Pharma industry as a whole?
Automation in business is defined as using robotic technology to reduce dependency on manual labour and increase efficiency, which ultimately translates into increased revenues. Unlike conventional street stores whose only focus is on retail, income for pharmacies is a bit more complex. Its main sources of income are:
• Prescription dispensing
• Clinical service provision
Among these sources, prescription dispensing is the most labor-intensive and thus it is crucial that it becomes automated first. Prescription dispensing involves receiving prescriptions, ordering, collecting and sorting through required medicines then administering them in the right amount, at the right time, to the right patients.
Under the careful supervision of a qualified pharmacist, the robots tasked with dispensing can carry out the work of sorting through and packaging medicine. In addition, some robots are able to package pills by individual dosages, a task that cannot be replicated by humans.
For clinical services, booking and record keeping of service deliver can be automated. A software platform could allow patients to browse through what’s on offer and book a service at an available and convenient time, thus enabling the pharmacist to provide services of the highest quality. This will ultimately improve better prospects for retail.
In addition to improving retail prospects, efficiency regarding Pharma activities, especially in dispensing the right prescription is also of paramount importance. According to a recent Transparency Market Research report -‘Increasing incidence of deaths and injuries due to medication prescription error is consistently putting pressure on healthcare providers and pharmacists to deploy more effective technologies. The medication distribution system is becoming more and more complex with the rising number of patient visits along with the pressure of ensuring their safety needs.
Advanced automated technologies and solutions are emerging as the most effective tools to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety. Installing automated systems also helps pharmacists and healthcare providers to lower pharmacy costs.’Increasing incidence of deaths and injuries due to prescription oversight is putting pressure on healthcare providers and pharmacists to deploy more effective technologies.
Added to this mix is the pressure of addressing the safety needs of patients, whose numbers are slowly rising as the years pass by.
Thus this is where automation technologies can provide a much needed respite for the Pharma industry, as mistakes caused by human oversight can be rectified and thus avoid loss of life of life cased by such incidents
This however does not mean that the introduction of robots will lead to the replacement of humans in the workplace. Instead robots will be doing a better job in some areas, especially those areas that require algorithms to count pills, fill bottles and check for drug-to-drug interactions. This will free up techs and the pharmacists themselves to do patient education and high-order jobs.
It will be prudent to say that only time will tell whether automation will really be beneficial for the Pharma industry in the long run.
For now, it can be surely said that change for the industry is inevitable and just on the horizon.Companies who cater to the Pharma sector have focused their innovations more towards the technology solutions mentioned above and the time is ripe for a dedicated platform to showcase their innovations.
Pharma CIO Conclave and Awards is one such platform that brings together national and global Pharma IT experts to share their insights with their Indian fraternity.
The event is taking place on 9 August 2017 in Mumbai and will feature discussion centered on insightful perspectives and benchmark implementation strategy for IT systems – participated by business leaders and technology providers.
To attend the event or to inquire for sponsorship opportunities go here.