Part of Carebook’s Global Series: The Future of Pharmacy
Carebook’s Global Series: The Future of Pharmacy asks, “What’s the pharmacy of the future?” Thought leaders around the world share their ideas. In this interview, pharmacist Xavier Schneider in France talks about how COVID-19 is a catalyst for lasting change—and how digital innovation can elevate the profession.
Globally, digital pharmacy is at an important crossroads. More than ever, there is an acute opportunity for technology to intersect with human needs. In addition to its new North American-based pharmacy advisory board, Carebook is launching in key regions around the globe—and investigating pain points, validating assumptions, and working with other markets to lead the way with digital health innovation and future-proofing their businesses.
Now, as Carebook takes concrete steps to grow its reach to include bringing its pharmacy platform and other digital health initiatives to Europe, it is focused on determining the core philosophies and features that will help European pharmacies lead the way in innovative digital health solutions.
With more challenges than ever before and the arrival of digital giants and artificial intelligence in the healthcare market, the bottom line is that pharmacists are at the frontlines of health; they are arguably the most accessible health professionals for the general population. As such, they are in a unique position to provide exceptional value to their patients and customers. Accelerating the need for change is the COVID-19 crisis. Roger Simard, a pharmacist, part of Carebook’s Pharmacy Advisory Board, and a member of the WHO’s roster of digital health experts, says that COVID-19 is a powerful catalyst for change, allowing pharmacists the opportunity to carve new roles for themselves—with less emphasis on pill dispensing and more focus on preventative and proactive care.
Xavier Schneider, a well-respected pharmacist and healthcare professional in France, agrees with Roger Simard’s analysis. “COVID-19 is a game-changer for the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacies and pharmacists who will prosper in this new era of digital health will put patient relationships even more at the heart of their care. The tools that are available for them need to amplify their efficiency and empower their patients to own more of their health journeys in an ever-changing world.”
Xavier Schneider says that one of the most exciting opportunities for new digital health tech is its ability to increase the level of communication with patients and to be more attentive to their needs. “Digital innovation optimizes the patient’s care path in a safe and secure manner,” he asserts. “The data we are able to collect at the pharmacy counter, when we perform home care services, and also from the other professionals that surround our patients, is critical to analyze for fast, smart decisions. The more we know about a patient, the more we can engage and empower them.”
A successful digital solution must also relieve pharmacists of time-consuming tasks outside their areas of expertise. But the wish list for pharmacists goes well beyond these functional needs, Schneider says. “The level of health expertise that pharmacists possess is beyond what they use day-to-day. The administration tasks are simply too time-consuming. But when we care for patients—for the people at our counters—giving them the time and advice they need, we are at the highest level of our performance. With enhanced digital solutions, we can act to our highest purpose as integral, accessible front-line health workers in a smart ecosystem directly supporting patients.”
Carebook’s people-centric philosophy is congruent with the future of care. “With the right digital tools, we can start this digital health transformation today,” Schneider says. “We can work on the whole relationship with our patients. We can offer them a prescription refill service in the safety and comfort of their homes. We can start tracking their health data and interacting with them to deliver preventative and proactive care and create a strong framework for discussion through new digital channels. For the pharmacist in the short term, our priorities are communication, information, and cultivating relationships by remaining accessible, close, and available.”
Carebook is leading the way in digital health on the frontlines and its proven pharmacy platform has a powerful feature set like digital refills, health and wellness, retail and loyalty, and more. Carebook’s team has started their medication adherence AI research, a joint project with two prominent Canadian Universities. The research aims to use predictive AI to assess and interact with a person—at the right time and with a personalized action—to improve adherence. Carebook is also testing an app that uses new, integrated technology called (rPPG) that measures heart rate and oxygen saturation using only a smartphone camera. In under one minute, this screening tool assesses the risk of COVID-19 and other viruses.
To get in touch with Carebook’s team please contact Howard Fried.