In this digital life and technology saturated world, using the latest technology has proved to be very fruitful for
the pharmaceutical industry. Is it possible to relate technology with pharmacy? The concept of eHealth cresendoing
is the answer. eHealth has helped in enhancing the health of citizens by improving the efficiency and productivity
in healthcare. Delivery of medications, economic and social value of health service providers, and peer-to-peer or
institution-to-institution data communication between patients and/or healthcare professionals have also greatly
Prompted by eHealth, pharmaceutical labs are devising new solutions to rise to the challenges of digital technology. Initially the digital transformation involved creation of simple tools such as websites for specific conditions and informative mobile apps intended for patients. It has helped industries to retain some markets and expand into others. Developed by labs and start-ups, these new apps are changing the landscape and the approach of pharmaceutical industry to eHealth.
The current trend is about working on open innovation that is, creating an inclusive structure so that they don't focus exclusively on the classic players in health, but on what the start-ups can bring to the table. Sanofi, a French multinational company and the world's 5th largest by prescription sales is getting involved in eHealth innovation centers. They are working with incubators of young digital companies. The company Roche is collaborating with the community laboratory La Paillasse on participatory epidemiology research projects. Labs are increasingly investing concurrently in areas of co-creation by organizing E-Health Hackathons. This involves pairing of innovators with healthcare experts to build solutions to front-line healthcare problems through the use of technology.
Big pharma, Big data:
Many laboratories are forming partnerships with 'GAFA ' – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon as a step towards collecting enormous amounts of data. Usage of cell phones for the operation of day to day work has been surging, and thus by the use of eHealth, local pharmacies are able to keep up. The use of digital refills, text reminders and email has helped to keep the patients loyal to the pharmacy.
For Pharmacists :
The new profile of the clinical pharmacist is taking shape. They are more connected and better integrated within a professional network supported by digital technology.
An opinion shared by Jean-Luc Fournival, President of French National Union of Pharmacies (UNPF) states, “The pharmacist is one of the key elements in the medication value chain, its starts with the manufacturer, goes via the pharmacist and ends up with the patient. With data, the pharmacist's role will undoubtedly gain value.”