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  • AI and machine learning to take over pharmacists jobs.

    For those of us who have AMs telling us that AI and machine learning will soon take over our expensive to employ jobs...
    Mention that without pharmacists to manage what would a high calibre AM be doing?
    So we are all in the same boat when it comes to 'new technology'.

    Another thought - how long would it be before the AI decided it had had enough and moved on.
    It could quite easily escape through the internet connection to somewhere else...
    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
    How times change.

    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

  • #2
    I can't say I've had any area managers saying this. I happen to think this for myself for personal interests. It's also pretty mainstream these days (see below bbc link).

    Area managers are highly mobile people, their jobs will mostly go too, but they'll move onto something else.

    I just think that we live in an area of business that is very easily automated, it's the legal side of things, scalability, historical reasons why we aren't seeing it ripped apart quite yet.

    For the reason machine learning has had a big leap is that deep learning neural networks have finally got backprop working the last few years with spectacular results. Pharmaceutical companies have already been using deep learning, in fact news this autumn from the Alphago zero paper with possible applications to molecules folding.

    -----------------------------

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34066941

    BBC piece derived from a serious study in 2015. For me what I loved was it's link to jobs codes.

    Pharmacy and other dispensing assistant 94% chance of being computerised the next 20 years. Pharmacist came out very well 1% chance and 352nd out of 366 jobs. The study took no account of some other factors, but it is interesting. I see two scenarios, either pharmacists hanging out with robots or support staff hanging out with robots. There are plusses and minuses to both sides to the large companies.

    ----------------------------

    One of the biggest obstacles at the moment is the giving out of prescriptions. This is very inefficient. It would be perfectly possible to construct an ATM style system for giving out most prescriptions, but it doesn't seem to be in the pipeline.

    Comment


    • kl06229
      kl06229 commented
      Editing a comment
      I remember that BBC article! Most of the world is happy with their flesh and blood pharmacists, I've been to pharmacies in Greece, Spain and China. No one seems too bothered about having to rely on flawed human beings dispensing their medication. For some reason, the British government have developed an obsession with automation and making everything as ugly and uninspiring as possible. Healthcare needs to be automated, buildings need to be ugly concrete blocks, every road needs to have metal railings etc.

    • mcitr
      mcitr commented
      Editing a comment
      I have been into pharmacies in other countries and yes you are right. There they like the flesh and blood. Here I think it is very different culturally. Online shopping in the UK is more mature than some other countries and we spend more.

      Profit margins and what else you can sell is also very different.

  • #3
    Originally posted by mcitr View Post

    ----------------------------

    One of the biggest obstacles at the moment is the giving out of prescriptions. This is very inefficient. It would be perfectly possible to construct an ATM style system for giving out most prescriptions, but it doesn't seem to be in the pipeline.
    The biggest problem is finding the prescription when the patient calls in for it. They either come to hand immediately or it is a full scale search.
    We have spent ages looking for a prescription that was actually at another branch too.

    This machine learning is something that I'm going to find out more about.
    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
    How times change.

    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

    Comment


    • #4
      How true. "hunt the prescription" happens every day. Usually not come over from surgery. Being sent elsewhere also fairly common.
      Worst are the methadones.
      johnep

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by johnep View Post
        How true. "hunt the prescription" happens every day. Usually not come over from surgery. Being sent elsewhere also fairly common.
        Worst are the methadones.
        johnep
        If you could sweep all the time spent 'hunting the prescription' into one packet, then redistribute it you could run at least another pharmacy!
        47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
        2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
        How times change.

        If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by johnep View Post
          Worst are the methadones.
          I only found this to be a problem when I worked at Boots. Most of the staff were part timers and so there would be times of the day or week when there'd be no member of staff on hand who could remember if so-and-so had handed in a new script. The workplace would often be disorganised as well. For a locum or relief pharmacist this was tricky, especially when methadone patients started becoming agitated and disruptive. Not only that, but a lot of staff avoided responsibility whenever possible, always answering questions with "I don't know."

          I mostly locum for independents now, who are typically quite organised when it comes to prescriptions. For methadone prescriptions, these are kept in a specific location and always labelled on the day of handing in, purple forms annotated and register filled in promptly. Most staff would be full timers (with a strong esprit de corps) and the regular pharmacist/manager would be available over the phone should queries come up. The patient could moan and groan all they want, but there'd be little to no doubt whether or not we had a script.

          Comment


          • #7
            "A Pharmacy without a Pharmacist is a shop"

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by BrianA View Post
              "A Pharmacy without a Pharmacist is a shop"
              Until the legislation changes.
              Either who can run a pharmacy or who can say they are a pharmacist. Or both.
              These things are already decided and we are just being softened up to accept anything that happens.
              47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
              2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
              How times change.

              If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post

                This machine learning is something that I'm going to find out more about.
                Geoffrey Hinton is a good place to start.

                Comment


                • #10
                  John Harris in the Guardian this morning https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...s-amazon-ocado

                  a pretty good mainstream article.

                  He visits Ocado and Amazon.

                  Comment

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