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AI or Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized almost every aspect of healthcare delivery from diagnostics, clinical decisions to auxiliary health services such as pharmacies, research-based data extrapolations which can aid in developing clinical analysis. The emergence … Read More
AI or Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized almost every aspect of healthcare delivery from diagnostics, clinical decisions to auxiliary health services such as pharmacies, research-based data extrapolations which can aid in developing clinical analysis. The emergence of AI in the sorted medication delivery system is proven beneficial in increasing the efficacy of pharmacists.
The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence can turn around the labor-intensive function of pharmacists which includes verification of medication, counting medication, and maintaining an inventory. The emergence of AI in the pharmacy industry will greatly reduce errors in medication prescription.
According to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), they receive more than 100,000 U.S. reports each year associated with a suspected medication error. The number of deaths caused due to medication errors is estimated to be more than 250,000 deaths per year according to an 8-year study by John Hopkins safety experts in a study that came out in 2016. They cited medical errors to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. The study has been disputed by leading experts however the number remains extremely high in the country.
The incorporation of AI in the pharmacy business has the capacity to reduce medication errors in the industry. An example is PerceptiMed’s strip clip product that has been used to sell over 8 billion prescriptions without errors. The automation of tasks in pharmacies reduces wait time for patients while adhering to a stringent check which ensures accuracy and removes medication errors.
The economic burden the healthcare industry is facing due to medication errors is said to be to the tune of approximately $20 billion a year in the United States according to a paper published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances (NCBI). The utilization of AI in dispensing medication across the globe has the potential to reduce deaths and economic costs exponentially.
The use of AI technologies in every aspect of prescription delivery will result in an efficient infrastructure not vulnerable to human error which has caused significant loss of life to date. As technologies progress and new products are developed in the future, we will see a healthcare delivery system with a reduced burden caused by injuries and death due to errors in dispensing of medication.
One such example is Deliver My Meds, an online pharmacy headquartered in the State of New York in the United States and have integrated Parata within their processes. Parata provides a pharmacy automation portfolio with adherence packaging, high-speed dispensing, and workflow solutions. This incorporation of the AI product within the framework of Deliver My Meds has improved efficiency and removed the margin of errors. Automation has completely transformed the company’s output by increasing efficiency and productivity.
The AI integration is not just limited to medication dispensing; online pharmacies are using AI to expedite home deliveries using last-mile logistics algorithms. This reduces traveling time and reduces fuel costs while increasing access to medication for the patient.
AI can further play a role in patient safety by predicting the risk of drug overdose and preventing it. The AI can collate information on the patient including previous prescriptions and medical history and determine the possibility of a patient suffering from a possible drug overdose due to accidental prescription overdose.
The AI integration in pharmacies has the potential to completely revamp the healthcare delivery system as the medication is an integral part of healthcare. Thus, the potential is immense and the goal for increased patient safety by all regulatory bodies across the globe is within reach.
The use of AI devices and products in the pharmacy industry is expected to grow and reach a market size of approximately $7.9 billion dollars globally by 2026. The main goal of all AI products is to increase patient safety which will be achieved by reducing errors in medication, control inventory, and dispensing of medication. This will reduce the workload of pharmacists which will result in an increased focus on patient care.
The Coronavirus Pandemic forced pharmacies to adopt AI technologies to avoid human-to-human interaction and reduce the spread of the virus. This move accelerated the integration of AI in the industry making way for an efficient industry leaving marginal or no room for errors. The potential for AI in the industry is immense and key stakeholders need to harness it and effectively use it to their advantage.