With health care reform in full swing, patients and doctors alike are feeling the angst of change. From co-pays to medications, patients have never been in more need of answers and resources. Pharmacists have been the middle men for years, dispensing medication to patients and communicating with doctors. Pharmacists need to have knowledge of medications, possible side effects, drug interactions, and even patient’s medical history.
Amidst all of this change in health care, the pharmacist stands as our greatest ally to decode it all, and now there are digital tools created by pharmacists, for patients, to help navigate the sea of information available. Patient engagement and education has never been more essential, and possible. Doctor’s offices across the nation are going digital by taking patient records and data online and emailing prescriptions to pharmacies. In this digital age where information is at our finger tips 24/7, shouldn’t there be a reliable place to find trustworthy information on medications and natural supplements?
When searching the internet for drug interactions, for example, there is an overload of information coming from the manufacturer’s website, message boards, blogs, WebMd, and other medical webpages. Educating patients empowers the decision making process and provides more control over our own health. This simple act of informing can drastically affect the healthcare system as a whole. The role of the pharmacist is expanding into a new territory, and many companies are embracing the changing role of pharmacist and pharmacy with digital tools and resources. Customizable and interactive, these digital tools and resources are changing the way patients and consumers purchase medications and make educated decisions about their own health.
RxWiki stands on the forefront of the pharmaceutical digital age with their innovative approach to informing consumers about FDA regulations, natural supplements, pharmaceuticals, and OTC medications. “For patients, by pharmacists,” RxWiki publishes trusted information for the sole purpose to inform. RxWiki is also the first and only to publish a digital medications encyclopedia for consumers.
DailyRx is another online source where patients and healthcare providers can go for research-based, doctor approved information about health and medication related topics. With the purpose to empower and inform patients, Daily Rx News publishes health news that both patients and healthcare providers can use.
CVS Pharmacy has also created a digital solution for patients and consumers with their new CVS iPad app. This innovative and interactive app features a virtual 3-D drug store where consumers can customize their drugstore experience from home. Customers can order and refill prescriptions, while accessing various services from the pharmacy. For more than 10 years, Manhattan Research’s Cybercitizen Health ® U.S. study has tracked consumer digital health trends.
According to the Cybercitizen Health 2011 survey, of among 8,745 U.S. citizens surveyed over the age of 18, 38% owned a smartphone and 26% used mobile phones for health purposes. The relationship between healthcare provider and patient is changing, and has changed, with the emergence of digital tools and social media. Healthcare professionals are adapting, as are other companies who seek to arm the public with more information than ever before. What was once a one-way street relationship is now becoming a two-way street relationship where the patient is more knowledgeable and involved than ever before.