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Pharmacy AI Set to Grow as Companies Look to Streamline

The robots are coming — to a pharmacy near you. As the world looks to streamline healthcare, the pharmacy automation market is poised to be just what the doctor ordered, with a new report projecting the industry to dispense a hefty $12.7 billion by 2028.

The report highlights the demand for pharmacy automation technologies, driven by factors such as rising prescription volumes, the need for automated packaging and labeling solutions, and the effort to reduce medication errors. It’s part of a trend where pharmacies of all sizes are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline operations and enhance patient experiences.

The BCC Research study suggests that the inpatient segment dominates the pharmacy automation market, driven by the need for efficiency and safety in hospital settings. The opioid crisis has also contributed to the demand for automation, as healthcare providers aim to mitigate drug errors and deliver value-based care to outpatients.

As PYMNTS previously reported, Amazon Pharmacy is leveraging AI to enhance its same-day delivery service, initially in New York City and Los Angeles. By employing “generative artificial intelligence and machine learning,” the service seeks to expedite prescription processing, potentially reducing treatment delivery times to just a few hours.

BCC’s latest market segmentation report breaks down the pharmaceutical sector by product type, application and region. Product categories include distribution and storage solutions, packaging and archiving services, and logistics software. The report spans many applications, from acute and long-term care to ambulatory clinical services and pharmacy benefit management, highlighting trends in inpatient and outpatient care.

Geographically, the U.S. and developed Europe are leading the adoption of pharmacy automation, with emerging Europe and Asia-Pacific showing increasing adoption rates. The rest of the world varies in adoption due to local healthcare policies.

Key market players in the pharmacy automation industry are developing and deploying advanced technologies to meet the demand for efficient and error-free medication management. As the market expands, healthcare providers and pharmacies are expected to leverage automation to improve patient care and streamline operations increasingly.

AI for Patients Taking Multiple Medications

AI could also enhance the safety of patients’ medications. A new study is set to investigate whether AI can assist doctors in managing patients prescribed numerous medications simultaneously, a concern in healthcare known as polypharmacy.

The collaboration between FeelBetter, a provider of AI-based medication management tools, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston aims to tackle the challenges associated with patients taking multiple drugs at once, which can lead to adverse drug interactions, side effects, and increased healthcare costs.

The AI system, developed by FeelBetter, will analyze patient data to identify individuals at high risk of experiencing complications due to their complex medication regimens. By leveraging machine learning algorithms and vast amounts of medical data, the AI will then suggest personalized changes to each patient’s medication list to optimize their treatment plan and minimize potential risks.

Researchers involved in the study hope that integrating AI technology in pharmacy management will revolutionize patient care by providing doctors with data-driven insights and recommendations. If successful, this approach could significantly reduce the occurrence of adverse drug events, improve overall patient outcomes, and lead to substantial cost savings for the healthcare system.

The study builds upon previous research that has shown promising results in using AI to identify high-risk patients and propose appropriate medication adjustments. As the healthcare industry grapples with the problem of polypharmacy, particularly among elderly patients with multiple chronic conditions, the potential of AI-based solutions has garnered attention from medical professionals and researchers alike.

“FeelBetter is on a mission to personalize the way healthcare is delivered, developing purpose-built technology to help clinicians risk-stratify polypharmacy patients and proactively prevent related deterioration with timely clinical interventions such as medication regimen changes,” said Yoram Hordan, FeelBetter’s CTO, COO, and co-founder, said in a news release.

“We’re delighted to expand our research partnership with Brigham & Women’s Hospital with the rollout of the prospective pilot and to be growing the body of evidence in support of our Pharmaco-Clinical Intelligence’s capabilities in improving patient outcomes and driving value-based care.”