Pharmacists: Embracing Technology to Better Deliver Care

DECEMBER 06, 2017
Colleen Hall
Just steps away from the exhibition hall at Orange County Convention Center, which was packed with the latest innovations in pharmacy for the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition, a man was discussing what comes next, after the digital age.

Dr. Lloyd Baird, who is Professor Emeritus at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University (BU) and most recently served as Chair of the Organization Behavior Department, met with other alumni at the Pharmacy Leadership Institute Annual Alumni Breakfast, and gave the pharmacy professionals in attendance a glimpse at what the future has in store, in the age after the Digital Age, which he called the Light Age.

 “We call this the digital age because it’s based on digits, electrons,” Dr. Baird told the crowd, which had gathered at the Rosen Centre. “But we’re getting to the point where we have computers that can run on light…we’re going into the light age. You can transfer a lot of information quickly with light.”

He said this quick transfer of information is already revolutionizing the way health care is delivered, and he pointed to Apple’s recent announcement that they are partnering with Stanford to see how the Apple Watch can help detect heart issues as evidence of how quickly the way medicine is changing.1

Dr. Baird said that it is important for pharmacy professionals to embrace these changes in technology, and he offered some advice for how to go about embracing the changes. He encouraged those in attendance to “go beyond the edge,” in daily job responsibilities, noting “if something needs doing, just do it, and don’t worry about who’s job it is.” He also encouraged those in attendance to “be creative and try something new,” because pharmacy is on the cutting edge of new technology, and not embracing change is not an option in this field. Technological change is coming, ready or not, he said.

“We’ve already got robots in surgery,” he said. “We’re adjusting to robotic life. We have to because that’s the next phase.”

Reference
  1. Apple Heart Study launches to identify irregular heart rhythms. Apple Newsroom. November 30, 2017. Accessed from 


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