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    Top 7 Challenges (and Opportunities) for Pharmacy in 2018

    What’s the difference between a challenge and an opportunity? In 2018, for pharmacy, they may be the same thing.




    Activity monitors and other wearable technology are already moving into clinical trials to reliably evaluate changes in activity and other physical outcomes. Other trials are evaluating the use of cell phones and other mobile tech to improve medication adherence in diabetes and other chronic conditions. Pharmacy is next.

    The ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Forecast 2018 predicts that health insurers will offer incentives to beneficiaries who can document that they are meeting goals for health behaviors by using wearables. Incentives for using wearables could open the door to entirely new categories of devices, software and training for activity monitoring and reporting products. There is also the potential for new counseling opportunities in the most appropriate use of wearables and activity reporting.

    Related article: Pharmacy Technology: Disruption or Improvement?

    Information sharing is another area ripe for pharmacist action. Pharmacists are being called on to take more active roles in patient care, but providing quality care requires quality patient data. Few pharmacists have reliable access to patient medical data.

    “We have technology to share patient data, but we don’t have the policy to make effective data sharing happen,” said Tom Bizzaro, RPh, Vice President of Health Policy and Industry Relations for pharmacy data provider FDB. “All of the health-care providers who touch a patient need access to patient information at their own point of care. Pharmacy should be taking a lead in making sure we have standardized access to information using standardized vocabularies when we talk about health care.”

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    Fred Gebhart, Contributing Editor
    Contributing Editor Fred Gebhart works all over the world as a freelance writer and editor, but his home base is in San Francisco.


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