Technology has long pushed the limits of the possible in pharmacy. From the days of the best available lenses to help identify the seeds, flowers, and leaves that once provided the basic ingredients for most pharmaceuticals, to the latest in wearable electronics, technology has been a key driver in the effort to improve patient outcomes. All are changing the ways patients, pharmacists, and other providers work together to improve health
The Uber Model in Pharmacy
Instead of looking at pharmacy as physical stores or centralized call centers, Aspen RxHealth sees pharmacists as a community of providers serving patients who need their specialized knowledge and skills.
Wearable pharmacy technology is a reality and it’s not just limited to consumer-oriented products like the FitBit or Apple Watch. For example, Amgen’s Neulasta (pegfilgrastin) is available in a wearable autoinjector for patients receiving chemotherapy.
The adhesive on-body injector is usually placed on the arm or abdomen immediately after the final chemotherapy infusion. The automated injector lets the patient rest at home instead of traveling back to a provider for one more injection and ensures that patients actually get the colony-stimulating factor to stimulate neutrophil production and reduce the risk of infection following chemotherapy.
Custom Packaging Boosts Profits
The same repackaging machines that spit out strips of single tablets can be adapted to package multiple tablets to be taken at the same time in a single bubble.
For patients, packaging multiple medications together is added convenience; for pharmacies, it’s added profit.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Regular fingerpricks, test strips, and glucometers to measure blood glucose levels are moving into history. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) let patients track glucose levels 24/7, upload data to their cell phones, and automatically send it to providers.
Direct involvement in outcomes makes a clear case for service-based reimbursement above and beyond device and medication reimbursement.
Pharmacist eCare Plan
The Pharmacist eCare Plan (PeCP) is an interoperable standard that allows for a common method to exchange information related to patient care delivery.