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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Applications in Specialty Pharmacy
- March 29, 2019
- Adam Winstead
- Amber Specialty Pharmacy
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are buzzwords in every industry. Specialty pharmacy is no different. These technologies create exciting new possibilities to enhance specialty pharmacy services and improve patient outcomes. While the industry integrates technology into our services, let’s explore the potential artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in specialty pharmacy.
Understanding Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) is technology that learns from experience, analyzes data and automatically adapts accordingly. The goal of AI programs is to have them solve problems independently. AI is a broad science. Machine learning (ML) is a specific subject within the general AI field. ML reviews large amounts of data to identify patterns. As the machine learning algorithms read new data, they continue to learn and adjust, producing reliable results. In order for AI and ML to work effectively, they both require large amounts of data collected over time.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Specialty Pharmacy
The large data requirement is one of the reasons AI and ML have so much potential for the specialty pharmacy industry. In general, specialty pharmacies are known for high-touch patient care. This means specialty pharmacies have access to massive amounts of data from patients, healthcare providers, payers and manufacturers. Using this data to support AI and ML technology has the potential to make a significant impact on the entire healthcare industry.
Specialty pharmacies have the potential to access valuable information that could be applied across the healthcare industry. Using data from specialty pharmacies, drug manufacturers could perfect treatment options. Policymakers could apply the data to drive impactful legislation. Doctors and healthcare providers would be in an informed decision to provide the best possible patient care. Most importantly, AI and ML technology can help patients achieve the best possible outcomes.
The specialty pharmacy industry is dynamic and innovative. This places specialty pharmacy in a unique position to excel in technology integration. Additionally, as part of the healthcare industry, specialty pharmacies are deeply committed to privacy and protecting patient information. This provides another benefit when it comes to technology integration. Data protection is essential, and specialty pharmacies have years of experience with privacy and protected health information.
Streamlined Specialty Pharmacy Services
As technology and healthcare join forces, specialty pharmacies should look for new opportunities to streamline their services. The specialty pharmacy industry is built on providing high-touch patient care and support services to manage the most difficult conditions. High-touch interactions lead to high quality data for AI and ML algorithms. Using the latest technology, there is great potential to improve efficiencies throughout the specialty pharmacy industry. AI and machine learning could track adverse drug events and distribute the necessary information as necessary, for example. Information from patient conversations could be shared directly with the patient’s entire care team. Seamless integration between members of a patient’s healthcare team saves time, reduces the potential for miscommunication errors and keeps everyone on the same page. Efficiency in specialty pharmacy processes allows clinical staff to spend more time with patients.
Technology Benefits for Specialty Pharmacy Patients
With AI and ML technology, specialty pharmacy patients can take an active role in managing their care. Technology allows patients to access the information needed to manage their specialty prescriptions. It also improves communication between patients and specialty pharmacy providers. As technology becomes integrated into specialty pharmacy, patients will have the opportunity to interact with their specialty pharmacy via SMS text messages, automated phone calls or online chat programs. This allows specialty pharmacies to provide focused, helpful interactions to patients every time they call. Data gathered from specialty pharmacy patient interactions can be used to better understand disease progression, medication effectiveness and improve treatment options.
AI and ML integration provide a competitive advantage for the specialty pharmacies who adopt this technology. Pharmacies that only focus on dispensing medication will not provide the level of care patients expect. Specialty pharmacies equipped with the latest AI and ML tools can guide patients through the specialty prescription filling process while providing the convenience modern consumers appreciate.
Specialty Pharmacies Provide Reliable Data for Accurate Results
ML technology can help specialty pharmacies provide value-based support services and help patients achieve the best possible outcomes using reliable data. Many patients are prescribed a specialty medication for chronic, long-term conditions. This provides an opportunity for the specialty pharmacies who work with these patients to collect years of in-depth, firsthand information. As a high-touch specialty pharmacy, Amber Specialty Pharmacy has the ability to secure a large amount of valuable data when talking to our patients. Combining comprehensive, historical data from patients managing the same conditions or taking the same prescriptions allows specialty pharmacies to identify trends with ML technology.
Predictive Analytics in Specialty Pharmacy
Integrating technology into specialty pharmacy patient care programs makes managing complex, chronic conditions easier for both healthcare providers and patients. ML uses data to identify and predict patient needs, evaluate potential medication therapies and provide a clear picture of treatment effectiveness. Predictive analytics could also help identify potential candidates for clinical trials, improving overall efficiency of the drug approval process. An efficient drug approval process means patients get access to lifesaving medications sooner.
Technology helps specialty pharmacies find common denominators that may be impact patient outcomes. For example, ML technology can take information such as a patient’s zip code, diagnosis, doctor and more to help specialty pharmacies develop a clear picture of why a specific patient population is non-compliant with their medication. This data allows healthcare providers to predict patients at risk for non-compliance. If healthcare providers know who is at risk and why someone is not taking their prescriptions as directed, they are able to respond more effectively. Specialty pharmacies can use this data proactively to provide customized patient support programs before a patient becomes non-adherent.
Innovative Technology with Amber Specialty Pharmacy
The IT team at Amber Specialty Pharmacy actively pursues the latest AI, ML and other technology developments. One of our current innovative solutions is expanding an internal predictive adherence model. This predictive model allows our team to identify patients at a high risk of non-adherence. Once a patient is identified, this information is distributed to our patient care teams so they can respond with proactive outreach initiatives. We also initiate additional automated phone or text touchpoints with our patients. These proactive measures help keep our patients taking their medications as prescribed, which helps them achieve the best possible outcomes.
Our team applies cutting-edge technology to simplify life for our patients and make it easier for them to manage complex conditions. This vision for the future also makes Amber Specialty Pharmacy an effective, solution-driven partner for healthcare providers and pharma manufacturers. Data security and protecting patient information is paramount at Amber Specialty Pharmacy. In addition to staying on the forefront of technology in healthcare, our IT team is always monitoring our security systems and upholding strict data protection standards.
Amber Specialty Pharmacy’s Commitment to Patient Care
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technology have the potential to improve specialty pharmacy operations and help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes. Amber Specialty Pharmacy remains committed to meeting the needs of our patients today and for years to come. With over 20 years of providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience, Amber Specialty Pharmacy will continue to keep patient care in focus as we adapt to new technology and modern healthcare systems. While technology has the potential to save time for healthcare providers and improve patient care, Amber Specialty Pharmacy’s comprehensive support services offer the same benefits today. Contact our team to learn more.