AI Aids Drug Operations

We know that technology has had a tremendous on the medical field. And artificial intelligence (AI) is coming on strong. Today, we look at how AI aids drug operations.

As William SolimanPresident, Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs, notes: 

“Recently, two AI drug design companies, Insilico Medicine and A2A Pharmaceuticals joined forces to bring to market a possible treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other rare orphan diseases. Using AI to more rapidly discover optimal pre-clinical candidates may revolutionize the drug development process in the life sciences.”

“What AI can bring to the table is the ability to rapidly and accurately sort through massive amounts of data. This may very well revolutionize how competitive intelligence, drug discovery and stakeholder engagement take place as we know it. Among many functions that medical affairs is tasked with, an important one is stakeholder engagement with External Experts (EE) (formerly known as KOLs or Key Opinion Leaders). For Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), who are the primary function engaging external stakeholders, there will likely be several changes.”

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AI Aids Drug Operations
Medical Affairs and Artificial Intelligence in the Life Sciences

 

Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Safety Concerns

University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising patient safety concerns.

Too often, patient safety concerns about their care in medical facilities has gone unreported or under-reported. In response, there is new research about how to fix this.

As Johns Hopkins reports:

“In a case study published online last week in Academic Medicine, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising concerns. The study identifies measures to help health care organizations encourage their employees to speak up and recommends a systematic approach to promoting employee voice that appears to have already made a positive impact at Johns Hopkins.”

“It’s not enough just to say you’re committed to employee voice. Health care staff must genuinely feel comfortable speaking up if organizations are going to provide safe, high-quality care,” says Mary Dixon-Woods, D.Phil., M.Sc., a professor at the University of Cambridge, director of THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) and the study’s lead author. “Even when reporting mechanisms are in place, employees may not report disruptive behaviors if they don’t feel safe in doing so and don’t think their concerns will be addressed.”

“Because health-care workers often are reluctant to raise concerns about co-workers and unsafe behaviors, leadership at Johns Hopkins Medicine sought to encourage employee voice in the organization by first identifying barriers. To address the issues raised in these interviews, Johns Hopkins leaders developed, implemented, and in some cases expanded a series of interventions from fall 2014 through summer 2016. These interventions included clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, well-coordinated reporting mechanisms, leadership training on having difficult conversations, and consistent consequences for disruptive behaviors.”

 

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Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
Credit: iStock

 

Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?

Until now drugstore chains, independent pharmacies, mail-order delivery from prescription suppliers, and in-store pharmacies in retail stores have been the major ways that we buy prescription drugs.

Now, Amazon intends to change this — as it has so many other business segments. So, would you buy your prescriptions at Amazon?

According to Business Insider Intelligence:

“More than half of U.S. consumers say they would ditch their current pharmacy for Amazon. And Amazon’s $1 billion deal to acquire online pharmacy startup PillPack is bad news for CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and other pharmacies. The majority of respondents (57%) in an exclusive Business Insider Intelligence survey said they would use a pharmacy service offered by Amazon over their current pharmacy.”

“Amazon’s strengths are price, product selection, and delivery speed — all of which could be applied to retail pharmaceuticals. While it’s unclear how Amazon aims to use PillPack, we think consumers anticipate lower prices and convenience.” 

“Amazon still has a number of hurdles to overcome before offering a full-fledged pharmacy service. For instance, Amazon could have trouble forging relationships with pharmacy benefits managers who could see Amazon’s entry into the pharmaceutical market as a direct threat.”

Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?

 

Remembering to Take Your Meds

For those of US who take multiple medications each day, remembering may be a lot harder. This is especially true if medication dosage differs by time of day or by frequency.

For those of you who rarely need medications, remembering them may be rather simple. For those of US who take multiple medications each day, remembering may be a lot harder. This is especially true if medication dosage differs by time of day or by frequency.

So, thank you to Olivia DeLong for “9 Easy Ways to Remember to Take Your Meds”:

“Nearly half of Americans took one prescription drug in the past month. And about 12 percent (40 percent over the age of 65) took at least five, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not to mention, an astounding 50 percent of Americans don’t take their medications as prescribed by their doctors.”

“People take medications for different reasons, including managing health conditions, preventing or slowing disease, relieving symptoms, and more. However, the CDC estimates that failure to keep up with medication regimens contributes to 30 to 50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures and 125,000 deaths per year in the United States.”

“Americans forgo their daily medication routines for many reasons, reports the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including: Forgetfulness. Failure to understand the directions. Numerous medication regimens. Unwanted side effects. Cost. Perception of effectiveness.”

Click the image to read 9 tips from DeLong for better remembering to take medications.

Remembering to Take Your Meds