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Pharmacists need the right mobile tools

Alliance Boots' Kash Mahmood outlines digital opportunities for pharmacy

The changing role of pharmacists in the UK provides several opportunities for mobile technology to be harnessed for better patient outcomes.

But, says Alliance Boots' Kash Mahmood, an integrated, high quality approach will be key if pharmacists are to be able to make the most of technological advances.

Mahmood is director of group digital and healthcare technology for Alliance Boots and was speaking to PMLiVE at last month's ThinkDigital event organised by Digitas Health.

He said: “The NHS wants to push pharmacists into more of a role of providing services and helping patients end-to-end, and clinical commissioning groups are really pushing this in local areas and regions with the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) route.”

This increases the role the pharmacy sector can play in assisting with the management of chronic diseases and Mahmood suggested smartphone apps around diabetes, asthma and smoking cessation as areas industry could work on.

But what we don't want to see any more is a “great plethora of apps”, he warned, saying those currently available can sometimes be slightly gimmicky or don't encourage long-term use.

Technology to improve and assist adherence was another area that Mahmood said the industry and pharmacy “can definitely collaborate more on”.

“We know that 50 per cent of patients don't take their medications on time, every time, or follow the instructions, so [mobile technology] can really help.”

Beyond the obvious patient care benefits, Mahmood concluded that better adherence would also help pharmacies and pharma companies with issues of stock management and gaining a better understanding of their drugs.

• Podcast: Alliance Boots' Kash Mahmood on mHealth, pharmacy and pharma  

5th July 2013

From: Healthcare

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