Technology is a vital part of community pharmacy’s future, and is what younger patients in particular want to see developed in pharmacy, Cormac Tobin, Celesio UK’s managing director has said.
“It’s very important that the technology in healthcare becomes more apparent, because technology will be one of the ways that we can solve the challenges the NHS faces: using the speed, effectiveness and efficiency of technology with the human intimacy and understanding,” he said. “[Patients] want digital solutions but they also want physical engagement, so it’s very important to us in the products and the services that we provide that we build it around that.”
LloydsPharmacy is being “reinvented” with a strong focus on patients, customers, physical pharmacy and digital solutions, he said. “I see wonderful opportunities, but I do not see anything in the past that will give those solutions to me: I see the future. I see the future with technology, intelligence and human effort,” he said.
Younger people in particular don’t always want to go into a pharmacy, he commented.
In the future personal monitoring devices talk to one another and professionals will interpret people’s personal data collected real time, on blood pressure readings, for example, and take action as a result. “I’m really excited about that for pharmacy”, he said. “We’re in a position to do that, because we know so much about the patients.”
Pharmacy needs to be involved in changes in technology, he said. “I see a bright future, I really do – but it’s not going to be easy. Change is never easy.”