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A new forum comprising pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educators with expertise, experience and interests in technology was launched by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) today.
“Just as industrialisation did in the 20th century, a new tsunami ― technology and artificial intelligence ― is hitting pharmacy. We must quickly consolidate our role and, just as the profession integrated industries into its environment, it will be necessary to take ownership of new trends, new technologies, new logistic models and integrate them into our everyday work in the service of our communities. This new forum aims to support our profession to take that ownership,” said FIP’s president Mr Dominique Jordan. Among the objectives of the Technology Forum, established at the behest of Mr Jordan, will be to explore global initiatives in technology and pharmacists’ involvement.
The forum, which is to be chaired by FIP vice president Ms Jacqueline Surugue, currently comprises 18 members of FIP or representatives of FIP member organisations from 13 countries.
It will also be tasked with outlining technological trends and their potential impact on pharmacy, and providing guidance for FIP members on technology matters, including digital trends, medical devices, “Amazonification” of pharmacy, and mobile health (mHealth). It is a forum that spans all sections, boards and other structures of FIP to ensure the profession tackles many of the issues affecting the discovery of new molecules and methods of drug delivery, the functioning of systems and services, and workforce development. In this way, the FIP Technology Forum will comprise a number of working groups and projects under a programme of workstreams and policy development across the entirety of the federation.
“The explosion of technological advances is reshaping the future of health care. It is changing the way we work, our roles and our environment. In this shifting landscape, we must be able to ensure these advances fully contribute to tackling our health challenges, especially those we are facing in pharmacy. This international forum will be the perfect structure to fulfil this aim,” Ms Surugue said.
The launch of the forum coincides with the release of a new report, today, on mHealth from FIP’s Young Pharmacists Group. This report contains the findings of a survey of FIP member organisations in 22 countries about the use of mHealth applications by pharmacists and apps developed or endorsed by those organisations. “mHealth tools can be used to provide high-quality patient care services, supporting service delivery in communities and hospitals. Many mHealth applications have been endorsed by professional bodies around the world and pharmacists should expand their mHealth knowledge and skills,” said Ms Sherly Meilianti, co-editor of the report “Use of mobile health tools in pharmacy practice”.
The report highlights some of these endorsed applications and identifies gaps for future development.